The Canadian sketch comedy team at This Hour Has 22 Minutes has hands down made the best wine comedy of the year, perhaps since Miles dissed Merlot in Sideways. …and all without that lanky goof from Splash. Here’s your fix!
Here’s your home-grown instructions for surviving an onslaught of walkers, biters, and brain-eaters of all shapes and sizes …with wine.
Choose two loyal friends, preferably guys or gals who abstain from the sin of alcohol (you’ll be glad you did).
Find your favorite wine cellar of the underground, thick-doored variety and hunker down for the long haul.
Drink one glass per day, every day. Don’t drink two because, as Eduardo Galeano said, “We are all mortal until the first kiss or second glass of wine” and when a guy feels immortal, he likes to kick butt. Remember, we’re not here to kick zombie butt, we’re here to survive!
NOTE: Remind your pals how proud you are of them abstaining; your survival duration just went way up.
Keep drinking. You’ll live long enough to develop scurvy. There’s a history re-enactment in there somewhere. (Oh yeah, I shoulda mentioned bringing along some vitamins…)
Have fun scurvying on till the brain-eaters are eradicated! Or till the wine runs dry.
The text comes in at 7:00 am. The hand of Parker has annointed yet another oh-nine with a perfect 100 points, or a Century as I call it. The tingle comes next as I set into motion. Facebook up on higher than expected earnings but Apple mired and going nowhere, so I offload enough to get my cases. 45 minutes later, Fedex number in hand, I feel the rush. This is what the early bird must feel like, fat worm in mouth.
November 11, 2011
The rain is coming down in sheets outside. I shuffle along rows of reds, 7th edition holy book in hand, tracking water across the shop floor. I etch the numbers into my mind, and stop for a pregnant beat to pay my respects to a sad and flabby 89 – that most unfortunate of scores – some poor Spanish blend has been plagued with. Nauseous and exhilarated, I walk away with the trophies at the top of the heap. ..and I wait for spring.
March 14, 2012
I’ve heard the rumors, the 2010′s are weak. When the scores trickle down from on high, barely a Century to be seen amidst the carnage, and the tiger of the east is hungry for blood. My hands tremble as I dump, dump, dump and jump into the fray.
I come out with enough to show my face at the club, and with barely a dent. Too quick to liquidate, my Amex took the brunt of it.
December 12, 2012
Murmurs of disbelief. My maker, with the power of three wise men of the East, has ascended. I wipe away my tears… and I wait for spring. He’ll rise again to the world of man.
March 12, 2013
Nothing coming through over the wires.The weak have turned to the teats of the pretenders that are Suckling and the Spectator. Can it be true? Is this really the end? Say it ain’t so. …I need a sign.
March 19, 2013
A shop on the far side of town. They won’t know me here. I let my fingers caress each Bordeaux as I pass ever so slowly down the aisle. I wait for a sign. A tingle at the Pomerols. Perhaps? I stop and hold out my hand at the scoreless horde. I feel the rush wash over me as I feel the power of my maker flow through me. It’s time.
“The hand of Parker compels thee. The hand of Parker compels thee.”
I hear the sirens coming for me.
July 25, 2013
Two weeks clean… There’s an ugly man looking back at me in the mirror. A man who has put my children up on the block. I don’t know what to do with him.
Then a text comes in. Bidding has started. My babies are leaving the nest. But oh glory, at what numbers. I feel the pull of the numbers. Zero to hero, I can live with the man in the mirror. And the palate that loved those zeroes. …oh, Facebook is up on higher earnings… ooh, shiny!
Somm is the buzzed-about new documentary that delves into into the mysterious world of the Court of Master Sommeliers and their massively intimidating Master Sommelier Exam.
The film follows four sommeliers as they attempt to pass the Master Sommelier exam, a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world.
The film has its supporters and detractors in the film community, and after finally having seen it, I give it a thumbs up. The filmmakers do a great job of following the candidates and gaining an insight into their lives during this time as well as on the test itself and the organization and people that make up the Court of Master Sommeliers. Someone at Wine Spectator went so far as to call the transitions (with images or breaking glasses) as cliché, but I have a hard time thinking of many or any other movies that focus on breaking wine glasses, or anything similar, at scene breaks. And in any case, it’s a trier argument about something miniscule. Non-wine geeks may not get into the film, but for anyone keenly interested in wine, this is a great film.
I enjoyed what Napa Valley Register said, calling it “Engrossing and well-made. Deserves to be seen by anyone who’s ever enjoyed a glass of wine – and certainly those contemplating doing so. It should set the bar for all films about wine that follow. And it makes most that have gone before, like the pretentious ‘Sideways,’ look like child’s play.” Now, I enjoyed Sideways very much, so NVR is, in some sense perhaps, setting the bar high. But to be fair, this being a doc is a whole different genre from the comedy of Paul Giamatti and gang. Apples and oranges, you know what I mean?
The film is available to rent or buy at Amazon, as well as on iTunes in the US and Canada.
Over the last little while I’ve noticed that the Rolling Stones appear on a whole lot of wine out there, or at least it seems that way. On California wine from Mendocino, Canadian ice wine, and sometimes on wine where it’s pretty damn impossible to figure out where the wine comes from or even what grapes are involved.
This is nothing new and other celebrities from Elvis to the Grateful Dead have gotten in on this. After all, beyond the wine itself, these items exist as collectibles and the bottles will surely last sealed and cherished long after the Best Before date of the juice inside, and dare I say it, even beyond the seemingly unending the lasting power of the Stones themselves.
What’s interesting is the depth of the Rolling Stones band’s and brand’s involvement. This is a global brand with amazing reach so why do the Stones tongue logo, and for example, the names of their most memorable tunes Satisfaction and Sympathy for the Devil appear on the labels of a small release of Canadian ice wine? Perhaps it’s just another conquest in a long line of supermodels, platinum records and other triumphs. Though the Stones have apparently tried the Pinot Noir ice wine and have given it the thumbs up, says Jeff Harder, owner of Ex Nihilo winery in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, where the wine hails from.
Whatever the reason, the business model is working both for the celebrities and the wineries. Sales of celebrity based wines have been on the rise the last few years. Gary Vaynerchukonce said that celebrity wines are “the next new marketing oasis”, but that oasis is running dry. Market saturation and overload are close at hand, but in the spirit of the Stones, why bother with those dreary details. No, let’s concentrate on the rock ‘n’ roll, and at least for now, a good – or even half decent – wine can be a part of that rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
A dude by the name of Mark Brooks brought this cool video to my attention. With all of us de-stressing after the culmination of the 2012 US election, this is a perfect a dose of elaxed wine fun as any. Enjoy!
Big news this week about Disney buying up Lucasfilm and with it the Star Wars franchise. You might know that George is in the wine game with his Skywalker Vineyards, but as we wait for Star Wars on Ice and a slew of new Disneyfied Jedi flicks to hit the theaters over the next Millennia or three, I ponder what wine would a Jedi drink?
One’s Force-sensitive mind can first turn only to the the Jedi High Council. When these academic space knights ponder the balance of good and evil in the universe in their ancient kick-ass wisdom, wine must the best thinking man’s companion. Hidden deep under their palace must be wine cellars built during the glory days of the old Republic, stocked row upon row with liquid more elevated than some high-yield, Australian plonk or, even more unlikely, yet another clone varietal approved by the mess of an Imperial Senate. I mean, can you picture Sam L Jackson downing a Two Buck Chuck before dispensing with yet more of Palpatine’s droid lackeys?
But of them, Yoda, the gnarliest of them all, would surely go for something even more old world. Perhaps an old vines red that personifies a terroir of suffering and rigor, from a long-forgotten stone-rimmed clos, of vines that have railed quietly against the vile elements and poxes of phylloxera and its ilk. A Mourvedre from Bandol or Chile’s forgotten Old Vine Cariganane.
With the skywalking Luke himself most likely going Romney on us (though if you find him in a bar at some grimy spaceport, he’d assure you he’s drinking a Sardinian Cannonau, because to a young swashbuckling whose adrenalin is laced with too many midi-chlorians, Cannoanau sounds like a cool thing to drink) and Darth Maul surely preferring over the top fruit-bombed oak monsters of country clubbing Cali cab cults, a wine geek can only turn to Darth Vader for a finer palate. If our first true Sith love were ever to touch down on our fair little planet without going all Alderaan on us, I’d dare to think he’s a Bordeaux man, willing to wait out the years and trilogies and coax out the best from a tight, young Pomerol that with time he would uncork on us as a mean, aged menace of a Merlot.
With the Siths accounted for, I think, we turn our eyes to the greybeard who got the ball rolling so many years ago – Obi-Wan. Luke only knew Ben Kenobi as a recluse hermit before galavanting to the Death Star with him on the old coot’s journey to suicidal elevation. And what would a lonely old hermit (with unnaturally neatly cropped beard, mind you) sip on as he waits for his death duel? Pondering your destiny at the wrong end of a Sith lord’s laser sword calls for nothing other than the distraction of a complex Viognier white wine from Condrieu, that windswept godliness of steep hillsides in France’s Rhone valley.
Oh wait… oh dear… I’m feeling that all too familiar tingle of the beginnings of a force choke hold (or is that my peanut allergy acting up? Damn you, Halloween candy). The Emperor – that wily rascal – mind-blocked me. But as my wife knows, I can’t resist the lure of the dark side and all the swill it has to offer, and the Emperor can’t keep my prying eyes from his stash. And if Vader’s drinking a Petrus worth a couple grand, the Emperor won’t be outdone and has had his minions scanning star systems far and wide for starship wrecks to enjoy outrageously priced Chateau Lafites of bygone centuries. And trust me, if it’s gone all vinegar on him, he’s so puckered up already, you won’t know it. Be warned, though, that if you’re stuck in a room with Palpatine, he’s gonna draw comparisons between the eventual domination of the wine world by Lafite and its mighty Bordeaux ilk and his own eventual domination of the galaxy. In this case, walk away. Just walk away.
And so we have come to the end of our journey to a galaxy of wine long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. May the force be with you and your sipping habits, and remember, when shopping for that Thanksgiving wine for dinner at the in-laws and you’re in the store by the animal logo wines, it’s good to remember that fateful line from the assault of the first Death Star, “Stay on target, stay on target” and head for something more, shall we say, Force-sensitive. If not, well, she might have this in mind…