A Few Last Minute Wine Reviews before the Apocalypse

May 25, 2011

With only one day before the rapture, I realized I had to hurry to taste all the wine I had left in my cellar. By taking one sip from each bottle, I could sample everything. Below are the reviews entered into my tasting journal on    5-20-11.


8:00 am. 2004 Brunellos: These have aged well. What a great vintage for Italy. Good structure and use of tannins. Finding it difficult to keep samples to one sip.

8:30 am. 2002 Burgundies: Delicious! Still young but what potential! Great power for such light body. Must try harder to keep samples to one sip. Lots of wine to get through today.

9:00 am. Woo Hoo! On to the Bordeaux! Who gives a crap about fruit and balance! All I know is these wines are AWESOME! One sip samples blow!

10:15 am. CalifoooorrrrnnnniiiiaaaWiiinnneeess!!!! This is MARLBOROUGH COUNTRY!!! Finally figured out how to keep samples to one sip: DO ELEVEN OF THEM!!! HAHAHAHAHA!

12:20 pm. Oregon Pinots: I lov Ponits! Do goodly drink for everyone.

2:00 pm: Kris has asked me, his wife, to write the remainder of his reviews for him while he dictates, because as he puts it, “he has the pre-rapture jitters.” In truth, he’s having trouble holding the pen, his eyes are crossed, and he mistook a cutting board for his notepad. I have hidden the corkscrew and most of the good wine. I can’t wait for this whole stupid thing to be over.    

4:00 pm. Rhone Wines: Kris found one 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape and managed to push the cork into the bottle with a fork. He drank most of the bottle from his skull-shaped shot glass and is now hiding behind the garbage can sobbing.

5:00 pm. Kris is now getting cold feet and says he doesn’t want to be called home. Has stolen my purse and won’t give it back. Says by sinning he will not be taken and can remain behind to see how the 2011 vintage turns out.

8:00 pm. Kris seems to have forgotten the 2011 vintage and has moved on to the Spanish wines. Insists they taste better when he’s shirtless.

9:30 pm. Kris has actually picked up the pace in an attempt to keep those “pansy-ass four horsemen” from getting his wine.

11:30 pm. He’s passed out cold and yes, still here, but he left this recommendation for those who were left behind.

The Whip 2009, ($22.99): Made from six grapes, this wine shows spectacular creaminess and summer flavors like melon and coconut. Drink what you can before Oct. 21st.


May 18, 2011

Nerds: the untouchables of our society. We like having them around because they make us feel so much better about ourselves. I know how politically incorrect that sounds but I also know you secretly agree. Don’t believe me? Okay, do this: think of two nerds fighting each other. Now, imagine one is wearing a “Black holes are out of sight” t-shirt. Good, now imagine the other wearing a t-shirt that says, “3.14% of seafarers are Pi-rates.”  You’re smiling now, right? You’re feeling better about yourself somehow, aren’t you? Yeah, me too. Maybe it goes all the way back to junior high, watching them walk down the hallway with a Bridges of Madison County lunch box in one hand and a clarinet in the other (more commonly known as an “abstinence horn” by those residing higher on the social ladder). Seeing them there spoke to our ego, convincing us that for some reason it was better to be one of us than one of them.

But why would someone be thrust into an entirely different social class for simply playing an abstinence horn or carrying a somewhat feminine movie themed lunch box? Especially considering how well the movie was scripted and cast. The rules and complexities determining these hierarchies are often ridiculous to anyone outside looking in. For example: in the world of competitive bicyclists, if you tell someone their saddle looks too low, you’ve just called them a nerd. Or did you know there are certain brands of binoculars that die-hard bird-watchers would not be caught dead using because of how it would make them look? And even nerd circles have their nerds. For example, when you play Dungeons & Dragons do you use a character sheet to help you remember your powers? I hope not.

Navigating the world of wine is just the same. As different wines ebb and flow in and out of favor, the wine public grabs onto some varietals making them the latest must-drink while vilifying others, usually for no reason whatsoever. Merlot has been a victim of this phenomenon. At some point, somebody decided that Merlot was the Civil War reenactor of the wine world and wine drinkers did not want to be seen with it. But like the chubby kid who becomes a football star, Merlot’s attributes could not be ignored and have recently brought it back to the starting lineup.

This week’s recommendation:

Starmont Merryvale 2006, Merlot ($23.99): Like nerds on the day the cute girl joined the AV club, dark fruit, smokiness, spice, and mocha flavors compete with each other to stand out.

A Conversation with My Financial Advisor

May 3, 2011

Advisor: “I see you’ve put together a budget. That’s good. Let’s have a look at it. Savings…good. Retirement account with company matching…good. Roth IRA…good. I see you’re diversified, that’s good too. Hmmm, what’s this? I see you’re pretty heavy on this entry–this “W” entry. What is that? Are you investing with William Blair? Winston Hill? The Woodbridge Group?”

Me: (Shifting uneasily in my chair) “Uh, no, that’s my wine allotment.”

Advisor: (Long pause as he stares at me over the top of his glasses the way my math teacher stared at me when I explained I didn’t need to show my work because I did all the work in my head) “Your what?”

Me: (Feeling more uncomfortable now) “My wine allotment. That’s…what I’ve…been setting…aside for wine…” (trailing off).

Advisor: (Still staring) “Kris…” (Another long pause and I recognize the face of someone struggling for words to describe the lunacy of my poor judgment. I recognize this face on people instantly now thanks to a lifetime of lunacy and poor judgment). “Kris” (repeated for effect), you can’t continue on this financial path. You’ve really only been contributing significantly since 2003.”

Me: (Brightening somewhat because I was about to drop a great line) “That was an awesome California vintage!” (Immediately wishing I could take that one back).

Advisor: (Breaking off the stare, but employing the equally effective sigh of disappointment, made even more potent with a simultaneous shaking of the head. Teenagers recognize this double whammy gesture as the one parents use right before they employ the “Okay, we’re going to have to make some changes here” line.) “Okay, we’re going to have to make some changes here,” he said. “You’re going to have to think more about your future.”

Me: (Getting defensive because my wine is now being threatened by a CPA) “But most of those wines are being cellared!” (That’s me not quite making the distinction between my wine-drinking future and my financial future). “And I’m sure my lottery investments will start paying off real soon!” (This speaks to the “lunacy and poor judgment” I mentioned earlier).

Advisor: (Taking off his glasses—the third move in the disappointing gesture trilogy) “I’m talking about considering some serious changes with your wine purchasing habits, Kris.”

Me: “Should I buy more whites?”

This week’s recommendation:

Concannon Conservancy 2007, Merlot ($14.99): Concannon had a crazy idea with this Merlot: Make it balanced. I could ramble on about the fruit, the nose, etc. but the bottom line is you’ll love the deliciousness factor. Your financial advisor will love the price.

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