Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Raleigh Wine Shop -- well-deserved kudos
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Proof of Life -- And a Big Box of Rosé
Hello, friends. It’s been awhile.
Honestly, I’m not sure how to restart here, so I’m just going to ramble for a bit.
I intended to have a lot to say this year – was going to revamp things a bit and try to reboot the ol’ blog – but I started a new job at Penn State in October, which drew a lot of my energy, as did the day to day grind of surviving the reign of Der Gropenfűhrer.
2020 rolled around. The Sweet Partner in Crime and I decided to try to reset our respective livers. We more or less successfully completed a Dry January. Admittedly, we cheated a couple of times for special occasions (hey, Holly!) – but we managed to keep to the spirit of things.
Honestly, Dry January wasn’t as tough as I feared…at least for the first two weeks. We whipped up a supply of mocktails that kept us going, but I’ll tell you – the last week or so, until we staggered soberly across the finish line, were a real slog, because there were just some times that a glass of wine would have been perfect. We made it.
I lost some weight. I gained it back. I lost more. I weigh the same now as I did when I was half my current age. I started meditating regularly, which has been revelatory. Charlie and Rosie are still wonderful pups. The Sweet Partner in Crime was named a Fellow by the leading national organization in her field.
Then came COVID.
We went into our homes and, by all indications, started drinking our collective faces off.
Well, except here in Pennsylvania. Because of the crazy liquor laws – beer stores stayed open, but wine & liquor stores were all shuttered. Wine started getting in short supply around these parts. The grocery stores ran out quickly.
Thank goodness for our friends who drive the delivery trucks. Scott, our UPS guy, has been a godsend. Pennsylvania is a much easier place to ship to than our former address.
Which brings us to the actual wine content you’ve come here for, right?
As we were getting hard up for any kind of juice, particularly rosé -- I decided to venture onto Groupon and pull the trigger on a deal I saw for an inexpensive 15 bottle case. I’m happy to report that my experience with Splash Wines was highly positive. My order came with three bottles each of a selection of five rosé:
- Midnight Black Rose (Italy -- Trentino)
- “Rosé All Day” Beaujolais Rosé (France – Beaujolais)
- Maison Williams Chase Rosé (France – Provence)
- Domaine Jacourette Rosé (France – Provence)
- Mazzei Belguardo Rosé (Italy – Tuscany)
|Ah...good to have you back at the homestead...|
Seeing a raft of Italian and French pinkness looking back at me from the box filled me with hope. My major worry when I ordered this grab bag was that these inexpensive wines wouldn’t really be “rosé-ish” – meaning that they’d be overly fruity, slightly sweet, and somewhat heavier in body.
Not the case here at all. I’m not going to do detailed tasting notes on these selections. All of them are fine. Do any of them have flavors that leap from the glass to choirs of angels and transcendent goodness? Of course not. But are they, as a whole, light and crisp with enough flavor to be interesting, perfect for sipping while contemplating (or trying to avoid contemplating) both the excitement of a real social change in this country and the terror of the inevitable pain that will follow as the dying mule of racism kicks back hard? You betcha.
We’ve tried all five of these by now in various contexts. They’re perfectly food-friendly, pull and pop wines that aren’t just plonk. After shipping, the price was about $5/per bottle. At that price point, who’s to complain?
My friends, we’re a long way from the end of our various national turmoils. The levels of dumbassery we keep seeing are only going to increase as people demand that lockdown be lifted so other people can be forced to wait on them. Political ideology is no match for epidemiology, so no matter where you are – be safe, listen to and embrace the experiences of people who don’t look like you, and wear your damned masks.
And, of course, vote against anyone running for office, incumbent or challenger, who won’t do those things. Because not to put too fine a point on it -- they don’t care if you die.