Friday, 5 July 2013

My whine on wine

I was in the LCBO at Elmvale yesterday to buy my first bottle of red wine in months.

It's not that I stopped drinking wine -- though I probably should -- it's that Scott has been making me red wine at Pure Brew out in Orleans. He had a part time job there and part of the deal was he got a case of wine or beer every month.

I, therefore, was the lucky recipient of some nice Barolo and Pinot Noir. Drinking it took some getting used to because, let's face it, the wine is young and a little grapey for my taste which has changed since I left St. Catharines in the 70s.

Back home, we all cut our molars on Ruptured Duck as teenagers, a wine now referred to by the industry as "pop" wine. I don't think you can find it anymore, as the purveyors of spirits have moved on in their quest to get teens hooked at a young age. Now, the rage is flavored vodka -- there's even one that is basically a Fluffernutter with booze -- and Red Bull infused drinks. Blech.

Anyway, I lost the taste for pop wine years ago after moving to Ottawa and being exposed to free wine in ministers' offices as well as other expensive hooch all poured as part of the Wonderful Wednesday celebrations on Parliament Hill.

Usually, the parties spilled onto the street about 8 p.m. and we all landed at Mama T's.

I remember a very ribald evening at Mama Teresa's and five bottles of vintage Barolo split amongst four of us. This was truly piggish behavior on our part, behavior that would make Mike Duffy's penis-shaped head blush to a crimson hue. Excess, that's what Ottawa was all about back when there was always a Deputy Minister to pick up the tab. (That was before the invention of access to information, a time when journalists were just as likely to join in the party instead of reporting on it.)

In recent years, I have cut back my consumption of alcohol considerably. Now that the press club is gone, I no longer spend my afternoons getting soused with officers of the House of Commons and my regular meet up with Antonio Lamer, former head of the Supremes, ended with his death a few years back.

I made a decision to give up beer altogether, having drank more than fifty times the lifetime average allotted for women by medical professionals. In the defence of we plebes, I say that doctors cannot be trusted to administer advice on the subject of alcohol. After I gave up my political career, I went into the medical field and can tell you on great authority doctors cannot be trusted around an open bottle of anything, particularly during "Spring Round".

Doctors are like teachers. Do what I say, not what I do.

Anyway, now my poisons are red wine (only) and strong drink, meaning three ounce margaritas (two parts tequila, one part Triple Sec and a splash of lemon juice, my own concoction which has afforded me respect from my bartender son, Stef. And one only.

It must be part of getting old. I believe the cocktail hour was invented by seniors who have been told by their doctors to have only one drink.

For the most part, I practise "behavior modification" which means, essentially, four drinks max on an occasion, with the majority of those drinks being low alcohol.

I should not be drinking at all, but let's face it, I'm fucked anyway having long ignored the peer reviewed medical research that consuming more than 14 alcoholic drinks a week will give a woman cancer and sometimes the human papillomavirus, especially when drinking with Michael Douglas.

So French wine has become my drink of choice because of its low alcohol content.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I discovered the French no longer make 11-12% wine. What gives? Is this some dastardly plot by the French to sozzle the entire population of North American in their quest for world domination?

Investigation was required.

Fortunately, I work for the French, so this morning I emailed my work colleague in Paris and this is what she had to say:

I am totally aware of this !!! I think it has to do with the fact that the trend in wines is to go to more powerful and heavy wines - and I think that marketing has to do with that.

Her advice?

My favourite wines come from Languedoc (I am not a big Bordeaux lover, I think they are often too pretentious) and they all are around 14 % ! Maybe you can go for the Beaujolais, but well, they are often not that great...

So there is no solution to my problem other than to go back to drinking beer (not an option for gluten intolerant bloatees, like myself) or to give in to the high test stuff. There is one other option, yes I know what it is but teetotalling requires a noose.

I blame the damned Australians who have turned wine into moonshine.

Never trust anyone from a country that was founded by murderers and pickpockets. .

In Australia, they eat their own young, or their own politicians at least. So how can they be trusted not to make wine out of spiders and snakes which are widely available throughout the countryside?

Their wines are ripe with venom.

As are my thoughts right now about a little man called Wolf Blass.


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