Fine W(h)ine

I’ve read news reports advising of the health benefits of drinking moderate amounts of red wine. I’ve also read reports saying that Elvis is planning a Vegas comeback and crop circles are divine roadmaps. But I won’t quibble.

I appreciate the fact scientists are watching out for America’s health. I am nothing if not the poster child for healthy drinking and eating. In fact, every single week without fail I eat a package of Twinkies to get my requirement of riboflavin and red dye #5. So quaffing a couple of glasses of red wine is not out of the question. Except for the fact I don’t really like red wine.

I have a friend named Bob, but I always call him Captain Vino because that’s the name of his business. And it’s way more fun to have a friend named Captain Vino than Bob. Sometimes I call him “Cap’n” and pretend he’s the Skipper of the SS Sugared Cereal.

But really, he is Wine Guy Extraordinaire with a vast array of wine knowledge and wine bottles. His wine cellar would impress … well, I don’t know any big deal wine guys, because I’m betting that Ernest and Julio don’t count, nor do the fine folks at Boones Farm. Trust me, though, it’s impressive.

When I am forced by circumstances to buy wine, I have a rather foolproof system, if I do say so myself. First, I pick up the phone to call someone else to buy the wine. If that doesn’t work, I drive to the liquor store and stand like a dunce in the middle of a giant smorgasbord of bottles, decanters, flasks and jugs. I know what you’re thinking, but standing like a dunce does not embarrass me. I see other patrons do the same thing, and I’m proud to say I haven’t yet staggered around and knocked over a display of something expensive and highly flammable. There are worse things than standing like a dunce.

Next I tell the clerk I’m looking for something with a nice bouquet, not too woody, a little irrepressible but not insincere. After showing me several lovely bottles, all with cumbersome corks and equally cumbersome price tags, I make my way to the cooler and grab a box of wine by its plastic handle, shouting, “AHA! Here’s the one . . . elixir of the gods!”

If Captain Vino knew I behaved this way, and if he were dead, he’d roll over in his grave. As it is, he will definitely roll his eyes in the manner we reserve for clueless dogs who crash into the sliding glass door because they can’t understand the difference between open and closed. Quite possibly the Captain will wonder how often I crash into the sliding glass door. Then he’ll sigh.

All is not lost, however, because there are things I adore about wine. For instance, I love the little charm bracelets that decorate wine glasses at parties. I understand they are to distinguish which glass belongs to which person. I’d love a reason to use them during parties at my house. Usually we rely on the time-tested method of giving each guest a different cartoon character on their jelly jar. Since there are no stems on jelly jars, if we used charms, we’d have to plop them right in the glass, so that might not be a great idea. I do have a couple of sets of wine charms, but we’d have to dig them out of the Christmas decorations because I hung them on the tree last year. They sparkled.

Another thing I love about wine is my fabulous wine rack. It’s filled with, I’m told, fabulous wine. More importantly, it looks great in the corner of my living room. Now if only I could fit a couple of boxes on it.

Are you a wine drinker? Do you have a favorite kind? Is white wine as healthy for you as red?

10 thoughts on “Fine W(h)ine”

  1. White is definitely better for you than red.

    Case in point – white doesn’t have that red dye in it! Plus it tastes better and doesn’t give you a headache so adding to my list of things to do to stay healthy: take vitamin D, have cardio workouts in bed, avoid headaches, AND drink wine, then well white it is. Once you’ve fallen in love with white, you never go back.

    If you must know, and since I like to talk, my all time fav is Benziger Sauvignon Blanc:
    – comes in a bottle (so I appear to know my wines);
    – comes in my price range (aka not as cheap as wine in a box but still cheaper than valium);
    – AND goes well with foolhardy American Idol watching.

    Hereintofore, it is perfect!

    Oh sure I stand like a dunce in the wine department and some ‘expert’ who works there tries to help me out with a dry sauvignon blanc that isn’t too sweet or too fruity and they swear by this or that as being the most amazing … and they lie. Really, truly, they lie. I said DRY – not tart! Jees. They really should try on my tastebuds before giving advice. So Benziger SB – any year – makes my nights and keeps me very healthy.

  2. Red dye in Red wine? Gosh, that’s the first time in some 35 years of sipping I ever heard that! I think she is thinking of Kool-Aid! I would suggest a Wine 101 course for Lana. And the health benefits of wine – both red and white – are well documented now, and have been for over 30 years. One interesting fact: While red wines are higher in the anti-oxidents, particularly resveritol, the chain molecules of white wine are smaller than those of red wines. Red wines are more complex compounds. Hence, white wines can get deeper into your blood stream, down to the smallest capalaries. Great for oxygenating the bloodstreem, carrying the anti-acids deeper into the system, etc. Lesson learned – Drink both.
    I can appreciate Lana’s comments on the local store “expert” selling her. They all have their favorites, or are encouraged to “hand-sell” a particular brand, and everyone’s tastebuds are different. (I Love “moist” brussel sprouts and Lima beans, “arguably” two foods impossible to successfully pair with wines,) think I’ll type a “lull” here —- —- that’s better!
    Lana, how about trying a variety of whites, if you prefer white wines? Or a refreshing rosé. A Viogner, a South African Chenin Blanc, a French Macon area Chardonnay, or a NZ Sauvignon Blanc. You will be amazed at the fresh, ripe, fruity, tasty, cheap — er, inexpensive, wines you will find.
    But really???? American Idol???? (Actually, I prefer a nice Cab with this.) If I drink enough, even the rejects start sounding good!!!!

  3. And, Miss Becky — doggies that run into a sliding door I feel sorry for. No one ever showed them how to open it, possibly. It’s people that run into the doors that roll my eyes at. (My english teacher told me to never end a sentence with a proposition … I think that is what she said.) These people cannot tell the difference between open and closed, high and low, left and right, red or white — er, sorry Lana. I didn’t mean you!
    And while I am not familiar with the wine critics you mentioned – E & J and Boone – I do keep a bottle of “Mad Dog 20/20” in my wine cellar so I will ALWAYS have something to drink. FYI, Annette Shafer of Shafer Vineyards, CA, wrote a cookbook containing some of the top Napa family’s recipes called “The Wine Sense Diet”. The first 25 (+/-) pages are a collection of a bunch of health related benefits of wine, starting from 1976 or so. If you are not convince of wine’s benefits, the book will afford you many great meals — assuming your husband can cook! I enjoy your scribes. CV.

  4. Whoa, did I learn something new? For some reason my humor has offended – kind of funny actually!

    Seriously, red food coloring in wine? Isn’t that the most obvious sarcastic remark you’ve ever heard? (Sarcasm 101?)

    Ok, ok, if we’re being serious (at Beckyland? Is that possible?) and to restore your faith in humanity, and in Lana (who is a spy), I have a whole bunch of New Zealand SB’s that I love (and French SB’s as well, and a California one or two) – and some that I hate – (but they’re out of a box wine lover’s budget so why rub it in? Cause I do love my Becky!) Of course there are some gorgeous Chardonnay’s, Chenin Blanc’s, Fume’s (aka SB), Pouilly’s (aka SB), Pinot Griego’s, and on and on, out there too. Also, on rarer occasion, a dry Gewurztraminer. Oh, and some fabulous Cab’s too, but red disagrees with me so there you have it. I just hate going to bed with a headache. But I want to be just like Becky when I grow up so I wallow with her in ’40 is the new 20’s’ life so that we can learn and laugh together.

    But I don’t ever bother drinking light beer – I do have some standards. And, I have never. ever. doubted the health benefits of wine.

    Cheers to palate enticing wine AND, in moderation, American Idol too!

    1. See? Captain Vino knows all kinds of stuff! And sorry, Lana, but I thought you were serious about the red dye thing too. Not to fret, however. I, too, am misunderstood on occasion (and always misunderestimated) … even in BeckyLand! But I do take offense at the light beer crack. What can I expect from a spy who watches Idol, though? Pfftt.

  5. I haven’t laughed so hard since the last time I laughed so hard. This is GREAT! I’m so glad to read the funnies from someone else who is as clueless about wine as I am. I do have one question on your comments, though–what exactly is “light beer crack?” Sounds VERY serious.

  6. We’re not allowed to drink light beer in my house … my hubbie, aka Captain HOPS, won’t allow it. Thank God!

    But come to think of it he might have that light beer crack thing … I’ll have to check again. Then I have to figure out if it’s worse or better than plumber’s crack! Probably better cause it involves beer .. yes, definitely better!

    And Becky, seeing as how we went to the same intellectual institution of higher learning … red dye in wine?????!!! Seriously?! (I was feeding off your Twinkies comment – aka – I do read each and everyone of your entire blogs all the way through and I love them!)

    1. Lana … my dear … if you want to keep your low spy profile, you really shouldn’t tell people we went to the Sorbonne together. Or wait … maybe it’s a trick and you didn’t go there at all. Maybe you’re even an 8th grade drop-out. Or you went to some second-rate “college” in southern California. Now I’m so confused. But I’m sorry not to have picked up on your red-dye-in-wine sarcasm. Mea culpa. I guess it’s because I was serious about the Twinkie thing. That’s true. Every word.

  7. Wait, aren’t you the Becky who was with me at Carnegie Mellon? I know we eventually dropped out to pursue, um, other pursuits … second rate college??? I’m so offended! See if they ever ask you for a donation again!!!

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