Saturday, December 31, 2011

Well, well, well...and just in time for New Years Eve!


  1. That study was done at the University of Florence. Now, only Italians with serious medical conditions or extreme moral scruples don't drink wine. Two glasses? That's practically teetotaling in Europe. So, limiting their non-wine drinkers to Nuns in chemotherapy, who'd expect any different than these useless statistics? Some academics do worthwhile research, while others pursue mistaken frivolities.

    It's also too bad about box wine. There's no reason better wines couldn't be sold this way, especially if they're fairly local. Personally, I've been disappointed every time I've tried box wine, even when the box says it contains something tolerable, and the price is non-rotgut.

    But, dear EBL, the meme that your sister commonly drinks such swill is simply an unfair cavil upon her taste. As in everything but civility and music, she holds herself to certain standards. You can see these in her automobile, her food, her house, even her shoes, all of which, along with her person, she has put on incessant display these seven years. And the wine glasses frequently seen are likely to contain, if we believe your sister, the admirable fruits of the J. Lohr vinyard in Paso Robles, California.

    J. Lohr Cabernet, your sister EBL's stated house wine, is very well-made and reasonable for the price, which is about $14-19 a bottle. We're sure to hear from those who can buy it for less. But such is what we pay in Massachusetts, and I suspect no different in Wisconsin, both cold and often dreary places far from lovely Paso Robles.

    The expense of these cold climates includes, besides wine, exorbitant fuel bills. Such outlays, in my case, mean selldom affording wine over $10.

    So, a proper criticism of the other EBL's taste is that it's too immoderate. Anyone who can afford to drive an Audi TT and drink $16 wine every night and tell the world about it ought to be more circumspect.

    But what do I know? I have enough trouble paying my own bills.

  2. Live longer, drink wine! The Sardinians must be doing something right!

  3. I was teasing about box wines. They can be very good and a very good value.

  4. I was teasing about box wines. They can be very good and a very good value.

    People deride square watermelons too, when in fact they stack better and are quite tasty.

  5. Researchers have discovered that red win can cure the common cold. It cannot, however, cure common hangover.

    I like some box wines, by the way. When we have company I decant box wine into bottles that formerly held pricey wine, and to this day, none of my snooty oenophile guests has ever been able to tell the difference.

    So-called wine snobs are usually more about the label than the wine.

  6. If anyone knows a good box wine, I would be very happy to have a recommendation. I enjoy wine with dinner, but have been priced out of the non-swill California market, for example. (I don't want to even THINK about Modesto)

    As a California native and chauvinist, this has been very painful. As it is, I mostly buy cheap Aussie Chardonnay or Shiraz as under-$10 utility wines. South Africa and Australia make some of the best wines for the money these days.

    As someone who personally does his bit for our balance-of-payments problem (my company exports 60% of what we make) it galls me to spend a dime abroad, even if it mostly goes to friendly Australians.

    And, Michael, I think sailing the noble products of the vine under a false flag is beneath you. That's the sort of thing you get in some cheap, fake Italian restaurant. Or you would until a mob boss shows up, gags on the crap in the Ruffino bottle, and the restaurant gets a letter with a black hand print and the words, "paga o mori" in a day or two.

  7. A cows favorite, Liebfraumilch.

  8. Du vin du vin-toujours du vin. Tu bois trop vin Tim.

  9. TTB - I particularly like Black Box wines, part-way down on this helpful list.

    As for re-bottling, let's just say I know my guests and leave it at that.

    My current notch-above-Trader-Joe's wine is called "120" and imported from Chile. $6.99 a bottle, and tastes at least 3X that good.

  10. I learned from Ken Burns' "Prohibition" that homemade wine for personal consumption was exempted from the Volstead Act. Makes sense.

  11. Would that Trader Joe's sold wine in Massachusetts.

    Would that any damn supermarket sold wine in Massachusetts.

    But this is a very prudish, locally-minded place, and the liquor store owners effectively promoted a referendum to quash a bill to allow supermarket wine sales. The arguments were how understaffed supermarkets could allow for underage drinking, and how supermarkets would undermine your local, friendly "package store."

    I'm torn about this, as I know a couple of liquor store owners, and I would hate for them to lose business.

    OTOH, I'm sick of being gouged and having to put up with inconvenient hours. But, OTOH, I like the Massachusetts tradition of local control and local business. The horns of a dilemma: The wine drinker wants his beverage cheap, and the local guy wants his friends to be prosperous.

    *Sticks out left arm*

    Ah, well, take a little more. That Yellow Tail Shiraz ($11,95/1.5L.) I'm drinking tonight will replace a lot of those red corpuscles.

  12. No 2 buck Chuck for TTBurnett!

  13. And Michael, thanks for the recommendation. I personally think Black Box are the best of the lot, and that their reds are quite tolerable. My wife gagged on their Chardonnay, and ordered ANY box wine out of the house, so I haven't had a chance to try their entire line. Our local liquor store features them, however, and I think I'll sneak a box or two in the future and give them another fair try.

  14. One last thing for New Years: I bought a split of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin today for my wife and I to share at midnight. It blew my wine budget for the month.

    It was the champagne we had for our wedding 22 years ago.

    And we're alone for the first time in nearly 18 years. The boys have each gone to their own New Years parties. We're sitting here like the old people we've become, champagne and memories to keep us company.

  15. It is very interesting to me reading and knowing people who really love wine. The passion is unabashed. I like wine but being brought up in a blue collar dago family just a basic table wine is fine w/ me. I'm not cheap and will buy $20-30 bottles in stores, mostly California that a friend suggests, but I'm good a basic table wine.


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