VIU MANENT ESTATE MALBEC (2009)—LB gets shafted again on a booze opportunity

The house was quiet last night, which is both always and never a good thing.

It meant five hours of quiet contemplation (good), cursing my paws’ inability to open bottles (bad), enjoying safety from pre-K torture (very good), but wondering if my parents were drinking wine without me (heinous).

And indeed they were. Someone had invited the family to an open house.

Now, I would never invite my parents anywhere. They do not know how to conduct themselves. Typically they blunder around trying to make small talk until one or both of them finally realizes they can’t comport themselves without alcohol, and next thing you know they’ve downed several glasses and wrestled somebody into a conversation about transubstantiation or genetic engineering or abortion. And then an invitation doesn’t come the following year.

Nevertheless, some well-meaning persons invited my parents to their home and off they went without me. Reportedly there was a sumptuous feast (don’t care, don’t care) and a selection of lovely wines (YEAH!).

After installing the kids in the basement to watch “Elf,” they made a beeline (I’m sure) for the decanter, which held VIU MANENT ESTATE MALBEC (2009). You remember we tasted an Argentine malbec not so long ago, so I would have liked to get in on this. But unfortunately I have to rely on my parents’ limited tasting notes:

“Dark and fruity (!!—it’s made of fruit, dumbass parents) with gentle spice and smokiness; supporting notes of chocolate and licorice with medium finish. An accessible, easy-drinking wine and a good choice for parties.”

Their hosts made the right choice decanting this wine. I don’t know how long any given bottle at the party was able to open up, with my parents holding their glasses out every two minutes, but a good malbec particularly benefits from decanting and tends to reveal a different character every quarter-hour if it’s allowed to sit.

My parents were very lucky to be invited to such a lovely Christmas Eve gathering, and bastards for not taking me along in a purse or pocket.

Merry Christmas, my fellow inebriates. Raise a glass to peace on earth.


Harrrrryyyyyyy! I’ve got a Gelt Martini chilling for you!

So I’m wondering where Hanukkah Harry is, and realizing something is wrong. You got it, my fellow inebriates—I’ve been forgetting to leave a treat out at bedtime.

How could I forget? We do this every Christmas Eve for Santa, who, it turns out, is probably my dad scarfing down the cookies after midnight.

But Hanukkah Harry is real; other, more reliable people than my parents have attested to his existence. So what sort of drink would make him feel welcome in our house? Why, a Hanukkah Gelt Martini.

Now, we’re talking! But what is gelt? Ahhh, money, often distributed as part of the Hanukkah tradition. So what makes a martini a money martini? Why, Goldschlager, of course! So why don’t we have any of this festive, gold-flecked booze in our house?

My mum won’t buy Goldschlager because she says it’s frivolous and no one wants cinnamon schnapps (excuse me? no one?). My dad won’t buy it because he doesn’t want to ingest any heavy metals. This seems like wussing out to me—back in the 1970s this guy staged-named Monsieur Mangetout ate all sorts of metal objects, piece by tiny piece. Over the space of two years he ate a Cessna 150, for crying out loud. So if some wingnut can survive consuming a plane, I don’t see why my dad couldn’t knock back a few gold flakes.

Gold is inert, which means it passes through the body with no consequence. You don’t even have to lube up your digestive tract the way Monsieur Mangetout did with castor oil before he consumed bikes and televisions. The Goldschlager flakes are 24-carat, so they pass harmlessly through you, and they’re so tiny they don’t even give you sparkly poo.

Now, if Goldschlager contained gold salts, it would be a more toxic matter. Then you’d be looking at falling hemoglobin/platelets, proteinuria, pruritis, rash and—OMG—diarrhea!

Monsieur Mangetout claimed he never had diarrhea, although he did die at 57, which isn’t so hot. That dude sometimes ate a pound of metal a day. So why is my dad being such a lightweight?

A 750-mL bottle of Goldschlager contains less than 0.1g gold—about $6 worth. Not only can my dad afford to buy it; he can afford to drink it without getting diarrhea.

Anyway, the Goldschlager’s not for my dad; it’s for Hanukkah Harry. Here’s how you make a Hanukkah Gelt Martini:

  • 2 parts chilled potato vodka (Luksusowa if you’re my parents; Schramm if you have more money)
  • 1 part Goldschlager (not kosher—hope that’s okay, Harry)

Combine in a martini shaker with ice, then mix and strain into a chilled martini glass. Come and get it, Harry! If you arrive tonight, I’ll think of another, non-diarrheic drink for tomorrow.

Move over, Oprah! LB’s “Favorite Things” are here!

My Fellow Inebriates,

It’s no secret that Oprah Winfrey likes bears, so I know she won’t mind if I hijack her annual much-anticipated “Favorite Things” for my own purposes.

Without further ado, an LB selection of favorite things for this gift-giving season:

PacMan wine charms. That little dude gobbles like there’s no tomorrow, so he’d probably make a good drunk too.

Brut Gold Champagne, Armand de Brignac. To quote Miss O herself: “Jay-Z has a head for business, a soul for poetry, and a taste for luxury. He sent me this glorious Champagne, and I’ve since sent 25 cases to friends.” OMG! How do I get to be friends with Oprah??

Lava Lamp Shot Glass Collection. Wow, the glasses light up when you pour liquid in them. The lights go out once the glasses are drained. Good reason to keep filling ‘em.

Houdini Automatic Wine Opener. Yes, yes, YES!!! For my ever-defeated, pathetically thumbless paws, this is a long-sought-after boon. For obvious reasons my parents will ban it from the house, but…ahh. You just press the button and it pulls the cork out for you. When it’s not doing waiter duty, it recharges.

Whiskey Stones. The perfect way to keep your scotch cold without diluting it or imparting additional flavor. Chill these Vermont-milled stones in the freezer, put them in your rock glass and pour. Remember not to crunch them.

Hakutsuru Premium Sake Selection Gift Pack. There’s more to sake than heating it up and slamming it before the taste comes through. These premium sippers are lovely enough to savor cold.

Jezebel wine bottles. Take these to the U-Vin next time you whip up a batch of cheap plonk. Six weeks later, when you’re stuck with 80 bottles of barely drinkable vino, you’ll at least be able to enjoy the different colors.

Liquor Bottle Christmas Ornaments. OMG, why don’t we have these on our tree?? My parents tell me it’s because the kids would be running around with them. Sigh.

Liquor Bottle Nightlights. I get scared at night just like anybody, especially when I start thinking about zombies coming to get our chardonnay. If I had a booze nightlight I wouldn’t have to grind up against other, unwilling bears when I get frightened at night.

Dan Lacey's Susan Boyle and Cat Duet

And lastly, a wish for art. Sadly, this painting has been auctioned off on ebay, but I can dream.