Just in case you were feeling insecure about your wine preferences in the face of overwhelming wine snobbery, and the now-ubiquitous $13 glass of restaurant Malbec, here’s a little evidence that even the Italians, who for all practical purposes invented wine, occasionally take a walk in the gutter.
I snapped this photo in a Rome grocery store back in March, and no, I didn’t buy any Mateus Rosé. I was in the market for a little Prosecco to accompany, well nothing really. Mr. Slattern and I were just in the mood for a glass or three of bubbly, but were too tired to go out to the local wine bar. We found exactly what we were looking for below the boxed wine and Mateus.
Interesting that this stuff is kept on the top shelf. Presumably it gives the reprobates who buy it a yoga-like stretch as they reach up. Now that’s a workout I can get behind!
What’s the takeaway? Drink what you like, folks. Screw top or box be damned. Va bene.
Alert reader (and honorary Slattern co-founder) Robin Grunder sent me the image of this lovely greeting card, presumably because it reminds her of me. I don’t know whether to be pleased at being remembered or disturbed by the sentiment. Sometimes the truth stings; other times it pinches you on the arm until you scream and then leaves a permanent mark. In any case, lower expectations almost invariably yield higher success rates, and that’s what I’m all about.
So there I was opening a bottle of my new favorite white wine, Cusumano Insolia from Sicily, and imagine my surprise upon discovering a glass stopper where the screw top should have been! At first I was somewhat taken aback and wondered how to extricate it from the bottle, but as my ever clear-headed husband pointed out, that’s what God gave us thumbs for. He then proceeded to pop the cork with nary a corkscrew, et voilà! The wine flowed like, well, wine.
Now you may have seen these little genius items, but they’re new to me, and I am some kind of excited. They fit right back in the bottle; you can keep ‘em for future use in bottles with pesky cork stoppers; and they don’t stick up so far that the bottle can no longer be placed upright in the fridge without a massive reorganization requiring a slide rule and a Xanax. Win win win.
Thanks for the shout out Lostnchina! For those of you who have yet to discover this screamingly funny blog, run don’t walk to Susan’s site. She is far and away, the most hilarious woman in the ether, and she was good enough to include me on the favorites list she compiled for her richly-deserved Versatile Blogger Award. I’d like to thank my friends and family…not really, I just want to thank Susan and the Widow Cliquot, for taking the trouble to put out their inspiring (though seriously addictive) products.
Up to now I’ve been somewhat agnostic on the causes of global warming, but this news has decided the issue for me. Something must be done! Apparently the late frost up north this year has imperiled the frozen grape harvest that produces ice wines.
Now, if you’re not familiar with these lovely offerings, you can read all about them here. Or you can just rely on my unscientific summary, which is as follows: certain grapes are allowed to freeze on the vine, then are harvested and made into sweet wines. They’re pricey, but they come in small bottles and you’re supposed to sip rather than swill them, so the occasional splurge (dinner for the boss, entertaining George Clooney, intentionally pissing off your mother-in-law with your spendthrift ways) is okay. They can be drunk with dinner or dessert, but I like them paired with cheeses. Think special appetizers or a cheese course between the meal and the dessert. Or, if you’re entertaining non-sweet eaters, this is the perfect thing to serve in place of dessert.
Pairing ice wine with food can be tricky, but the good folks at Inniskillin Winery have gone to great trouble to lay it all out for you. If you’ve never tried it, don’t be put off by the sweetness of the wine — it’s the perfect counterbalance to cheeses, from mild to stinky. Trust me, you’ll never ruin a perfectly good gorgonzola with a glass of Cabernet again.