Say what you want about reality TV, I've learned more about drinking around the U.S. from watching Bravo than I ever have watching Bourdain or Booze Traveler. Personally, I love the drama of shows like The Real Housewives (I'm a big fan and I've been lucky enough to hang out with a few of them over the years), but even if you think reality TV is for brainless morons like myself, you're missing out on some very keen insight regarding today's regional booze culture by not tuning in. My wife and I missed the boat on Southern Charm when it debuted a few years back, but we've been catching up as of late and our livers have paid the price as a result. I'd never once in my life even considered going to Charleston, South Carolina, but thanks to this show I'm adding it to my more immediate travel destinations. Watching these southerners tear up the town, drink endless amounts of Bourbon and gin, and throw lavish parties on beautiful plantations is my idea of a good time. My wife has said it numerous times and she's absolutely right: reality TV has completely opened our minds to an America we'd never thought we'd visit.
Of all the spirit-swilling goddesses to adorn the reality screen, however, there's one who absolutely takes the cake. Patricia Altschul is my new drinking hero. If I could ever get her into the Drinking to Drink interview series, I'd be over the moon. She has a butler bring her "her medicine" daily and she's always drinking goblets of gin, whiskey, and whatever else she's in the mood for. Her house is utterly gorgeous. Her clothes are divine. She has style, sharp wit, and a sassy personality. And she's seventy six, if you can believe it!
I can't get enough of her. Last night I drank way too much Burgundy and Bourbon (see my complete breakdown of our new Burgundy arrivals here, by the way) partying with Patricia on the TV. I highly, highly recommend checking her out. Even if you can't take the petty drama of the show itself, she's more than worth wading through all that southern hospitality.