Scene: Hotel function room. One table, one chair. White tablecloth. Six wine glasses, filled with unknown wines. By sight, scent, and taste alone, you will identify them by grape variety(ies), region, and probable vintage. Verbally. To a seemingly-omniscient wine judge. Are you terrified yet?
Notes From All Over
A few hundred thousand years ago, one of our primate ancestors swung down from the trees to eat some rotting fruit on the forest floor. With that small act, the human love for alcohol began.
Spring (appearances of the last few days notwithstanding) equals time for renewal. Change. And-ugh-cleaning.
In this spirit, we're changing up the store's layout and moving things around. Because we are not masochists, we'd like to move less-heavy, breakable-things. So before we start, we're holding a giant blowout SALE.
On Sunday, April 9, buy 12 bottles or more of any combination of wines* and/or spirits, and we'll take another 15% off your purchase.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness..."
-Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
"They talk very loud, very fast and altogether. If they ask you a question, before you can utter three words of your answer they will break out upon you again and talk away.”
-John Adams, on New Yorkers
New Yorkers are rude. Everybody knows it. Right? They talk too fast, move too fast, and don't even think about asking them for directions. Even in the nascent days of our republic, John Adams 'knew' that no good could come from consorting with those savages to the south of New England.
I bought my copy of Kermit Lynch's Adventures Along the Wine Route in 1993. To say it is dog-eared and well-loved would be a gargantuan understatement. I have read it cover to cover at least once a year since then, but also pull it out to revisit favorite stories and characters. I quote it fairly frequently. I am guilty of forcing it upon anyone I feel would either enjoy it and/or benefit from the reading. I have given it as a gift more times than I care to relate. In short, I love it; it's an old favorite.
If you're looking for an authority on March, look to the prairies of the upper Midwest. Growing up in the Dakotas, I always found the calendar images for March perplexing. They were full of shamrocks and tulips and-above all-greenery. March on the prairie did not look like that. It was cold, brown, and windswept, with just enough snow to remind you that winter was still in charge. Garrison Keillor (radio raconteur and former host of A Prairie Home Companion) knows this; he hails from Minnesota. March is a fat man in plaid pants? Yes.
"Riesling is everybody's Charlie Brown, the lovable loser possessed of abundant charm and talent, waiting to be tapped if only the marketplace, the proverbial Lucy pulling the ball away before the would-be successful kick, would see what the rest of us know."
-Terry Theise, Importer
Scene: a public place. A child-not a toddler, but an 'old enough to know better' kid- and at least one parent. And you. Said child does something awful...throws an absolute hissy fit, repeatedly kicks the back of an airplane seat, licks the food for sale in a retail case. Said parent does....nothing at all.
What do YOU do? If you can honestly say you don't judge the parent just a little, then you are a better, more charitable person than I am. Even worse: it's your kid. You wish the floor would open up and swallow you, because you KNOW you're being judged.
On Thursday, I did something fairly mad. While the Northeast was girding its loins for a major snowstorm, hunkered down with emergency supplies of bread, milk, batteries, and a little beer and wine, I drove to Westwood and hopped aboard the 5:19 AM train to NY. Why? Because Thursday was the Tre Bicchieri tasting, where the creme de la creme (de la creme!) of Italy's current releases are opened up for the trade. The best wines of the year, all in one room, along with many old friends....who would miss that? Not me.