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We Went to the Real-Life Fucking Catalina Wine Mixer

All photos by Michelle Alexis Newman

If you’re between the ages of 30 and 40 and have a hankering to publicly make out with someone while wearing a novelty t-shirt, the Catalina Wine Mixer may be for you. The first ever Catalina Wine Mixerbased on the event from the movie Step BrothersStep Brothersoccurred yesterday, and nearly one thousand people jumped at the opportunity to spend the day drinking wine while singing along to Sublime covers. Other than the misplaced anticipation of seeing one the movie’s stars at the event, a big draw to the Mixer was the musical headliner, The Dan Band, who is known for their appearances in some notable bro comedies (Old School, The Hangover) of the ’00s.

The island of Catalina is an hour-long ferry ride from Los Angeles. When I first got on the boat, it was remarkably difficult to distinguish between Mixer attendees and your run-of-the-mill Catalina-goersboth looked like they could be background extras on The Real Housewives of Orange County. That was of course until people started chanting “The Fucking Catalina Wine Mixer!” and consuming copious amounts of Bud Light before 10 AM. The ferry was my first exposure to the type of person that would attend an event based on a scene from a Will Ferrell movie released in 2008. The main characteristics of a Catalina Wine Mixee seemed to be their willingness to get embarrassingly drunk in public, coupled with the insatiable desire to act like a frat boy (regardless of age, gender, or sense of common decency).

After getting off the ferry, I had about 15 minutes to enjoy the scenery of Catalina. I walked along the beach towards where the event was being held and was surprised by the serenity of the island. The ferry arrives in the town of Avalon which is a resort community on Catalina, an island off the coast of California primarily populated by restaurants, tourist shops, and golf-cart rental stores. The peacefulness of it all was soon interrupted by the arrival of another ferry filled with more excitable bros ready to get their wine on. I followed the pack of dudes in straw fedoras to the Descanso Beach Resort, where I would spend the rest of the day trying not to get vomited on.

Admission to the event was $35, which offered access to the event area as well as an empty plastic cup. Wine, food, and inflatable animal floaties were available for purchase once inside the event. Most of the Mixer took place on a grassy hill that both looked and felt like a university quad. The beach was on the other side of the quad, where you had the option to throw down some more money on renting a cabana. Shirtless bros and various scantily clad hot people laid out in the sun while eating poke bowls and sipping down $10 Ross. Paying homage to the fictitious Catalina Wine Mixer, a helicopter was available to lease or at the very least available to take a selfie with. “Pow!”

Wine vendors from across California were lined around the quad and charged between six and twelve dollars per glass. The pours were a little light for my liking, but the other attendees didn’t seem to mind. At 2 PM, one girl shouted “YAAAAS” when the first band played the opening chords of “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.

Mixer attendees alternated between drinking wine, dancing around barefoot, and swimming in the ocean for most of the afternoon. I regretted not bringing my bathing suitit was hot as hell and, due to the drought, they had to import bottled water from the mainland so they charged for water.

Mixees took the event as an opportunity to show off their finest witty hats and novelty t-shirts. And trust me, a first-rate graphic tee did not go unnoticed. One guy wearing a shirt with a Step Brothers photo printed on it told me he was offered $100 for the shirt right off his back. He declined, I assume because he wanted to see if there were any higher offers on the table. We then watched a man in a Chewbacca mask get on stage and dance while former American Idol contestant Adam Lasher sang a cover “La Bamba” with many of the lyrics changed to “Chewbacca.” (As in: Chew… chew bacca.)

Other than the attendees sporting references to Step Brothers on various hats and t-shirts, there wasn’t much of the movie at the event itself. My guess is that the beach club was probably in the process of organizing a public social event that happened to feature wine in some capacity, when someone realized they could brand it as the Fucking Catalina Wine Mixer, book the Dan Band, and let the novelty-seekers scramble over each other to attend the thing.

Regardless of the event’s tenuous connection to the movie Step Brothers, people remained hopeful well into the event that there would be cameos from John C. Reilly & Will Ferrell, or at least Adam Scott. Rumors circulated that other celebrities might show up. My favorite of which was when I overheard, “Zooey Deschanel may come but it won’t be until later.”

The wine vendors stopped serving at 6 PM, which was horrible news for an event that went on until 9. Also, it’s the fucking (Fucking) Catalina Wine Mixer! You can’t just cut the wine off three hours before the mixing concludes! And yet, this is a thing that happened. Everyone sobered up (a little) while waiting for the big performance at the end of the mixer when The Dan Band took the stage. If you’re not already familiar with them, the Dan Band is a group of middle-aged men who sing anachronistic covers of pop songs. They add their own signature to the tunes by dropping f-bombs and talking about titties.

I was actually impressed by them. For one, they proved to me that even well into middle age, men still love talking about cumming. More importantly, the crowd was eating this shit up. They were definitely the highlight of the day, and everyone was dancing and flailing around to their cover of Christina Aguilara’s “Genie in a Bottle” in addition to an original song inspired by Step Brothers. They didn’t mention the name of the song but if I had to guess, it was probably called “THE FUCKING CATALINA WINE MIXER!” Following a Shakira medley, they asked an audience member what his favorite quote was from Step Brothers, to which he shouted into the microphone “I’m gonna put my nutsack on your drumset!” Following that, another mixer attendee went on stage and put his bare testicles on one of The Dan Band’s snare drums. The Dan Band closed out the event by saying that maybe Ferrell and Reilly would show up next year. I supremely doubt it.

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Categorised as: interesting

Posted by: Wints1955

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