DANZANTE PINOT GRIGIO (2012)—You can’t trust this review any more than I can trust my mother

My mother texted some tasting notes from an undisclosed location last week:


Medium-bodied. Noticeable but restrained tropical profile. Good weight, good structure, excellent minerality. Quite firm with a long finish. Maybe 20 bucks or so?


So here my mother was again, drinking wine without me. When I asked my dad where the hell she was, he said, “At work.” And apparently it was not bring-your-bear-to-work day. Apparently work is not bear-friendly.

What the hell kind of work could my mother be doing that involves lashings of Pinot Grigio? And can I really trust her tasting notes? Let’s check, first of all, whether she’s right about the price.


Wrong! DANZANTE PINOT GRIGIO sells for $17.48.

Clearly my mother’s tastebuds were influenced by whatever sort of event she was attending. (OMG, where the hell was she?) Clearly whatever posh dinner accompanied the wine made it taste like $20 instead of $17.48. And clearly she needed a bear with her to estimate this wine’s cost more accurately.

So now I wonder whether we can even trust her tasting notes.

Let’s assume, my fellow inebriates, that this wine tasted a little better to my mother than it actually was. And really, I feel better doing that, because it means I didn’t miss out on such a good drinking experience. 

Next time I will stow away in her purse.

Empty seats for Federer? OMG!

Okay, so here’s Roger Federer serving at the 2012 Olympic Games. My dad would have a boner watching that—it would rock his world seeing Federer send Alejandro Falla (who made Federer work for it) packing in the first round.

Photograph by: Stefan Wermuth, REUTERS

You’d think tickets for tennis in London would be scarce as Broker’s Gin at LBHQ. You’d expect a packed house, even on Day One.

But check out the empty seats!

Londoners were scandalized to see scores of empty seats in primo stadium locations—not just for tennis but for aquatics and basketball. Wouldn’t you be pissed if, when you attempted to buy tickets, you encountered “Sold Out” signs—then, watching in a hot apartment on a crappy TV, you saw these big, empty patches in the audience? OMG, I’d be pissed! I might smash my beer bottle over the back of the chair, then rampage around London with my makeshift shiv.

Okay, maybe I wouldn’t. I totally wouldn’t.

But I’d expect the Olympic Games organizers to answer Londoners’ collective sense of WTF. Which, in a public statement, British Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt more or less said would happen.

“We think it was accredited seats that belong to sponsors, but if they are not going to turn up, we want those tickets to be available for members of the public, because that creates the best atmosphere. So we are looking at this very urgently at the moment.”

OMG, dude, I hope so!

5 ways to help your anus thrive

My Fellow Inebriates,

Running out of alcohol feels like the end of the world, which—especially here in 2012—got me thinking about actual Armageddon.

How will it come when it comes?

Are we prepared? What does “prepared” even mean when we’re talking about wholesale annihilation?

Sobriety is a bitch but I have to admit it makes it easier to read Discover Magazine. I like the way Discover’s Phil Plait (Death from the Skies!) calculates the odds of each of ten flavors of cataclysm occurring. In a way it’s reassuring—in a way not. Then again, the only proper reassurance is a headful of booze to make his scary ideas go away.

But I’m going to deal with one of them today: asteroids.

Phil Plait calculates 700,000:1 odds of anyone dying from an asteroid impact. Those are vanishingly long odds, considering you have 18,000:1 odds of being murdered (and 2:1 odds of getting away with murder; consider that). Chances of a meteor crashing into your particular house? Try 182 trillion against. Chances of you getting hemorrhoids? You just need to be the lucky 1 in 25.

So it doesn’t make sense to worry about an asteroid slamming into the planet. Nobody used to fret about it, even with the 1908 Siberian event as a cautionary reminder that there’s an asteroid belt out there between Mars and Jupiter that slings the occasional city-size chunk at us. Plenty of asteroids have grazed us over the years, but we were blissfully ignorant. That or we realized our close call after the fact. Some of them, like the bus-size rock that glanced by us on Wednesday, would have disintegrated in the descent through our atmosphere. Others, such as 1,300-foot-long 2005 YU55, which whizzed within lunar distance last November, needed only a little English on their trajectories to take out entire cities.

Holy shit, how often does this happen?!

Well, it doesn’t occur nearly as often as painful hemorrhoidal itch does. Hemorrhoids are an absolute epidemic compared to asteroid hits. Worse still, your odds of getting hemorrhoids increase if you enjoy binge drinking. Tales of alcoholic woe abound:

  • …everytime i go out and party and drink alcohol in mass quantities at somepoint the hemorrhoids protrude. By the end of the night I feel them sticking out and the next day because of the irritation they tend to bleed…It only happens shen drinking alcohol. Help please!!
  • every time i have a drink the next day i see blood on the toilet bowl which is very scary…. i tried to quit drinking but its not that easy… i am only 22…. i was hoping to get surgery but i dont know yet…
  • it felt like as if there was something popping out, like as if i’m going to soil myself but it’s actually just the hemoorhoids getting bigger which makes me panic a bit…when my body temperature rises in a warm environment they start to get irritating…also when i drink alcohol they get worse and i’m running to and from the toilet a lot

Leaving aside the profound effect hemorrhoids seem to exert on spelling and punctuation, they do sound like a dreadful death knell for the party lifestyle. What are the wretched things anyway?

Also known as piles, hemorrhoids are painful lumps that result from excessive anal pressure. In addition to causing the ass to bleed, they interfere with comfortable pooing, and the unfortunate social stigma they carry often causes sufferers to avoid seeking medical attention or even purchasing soothing ointment. One of my mother’s friends was so embarrassed by his affliction that his hemorrhoids ran rampant until he finally shoplifted some Preparation H because he couldn’t face the drugstore cashier.

I should mention that he has an enviable liquor collection and rec-room bar. But is curtailing his drinking the only way to rid himself of the burning sensation of hemorrhoids?

Of course not—how silly that would be, and how intolerable. Here are some medical recommendations:

  1. Get some exercise. This would of course include grinding away at a dance club. (Did I mention my friend Julia Gale of Broker’s Gin recently injured her knee at such a discotheque, gyrating to Love Shack by the B-52s while her colleague Petronella looked on aghast? Julia, who described the injury as an “alcohol-fuelled” form of “self-expression” is going under the knife this week to repair the damage. This sounds infinitely worse than hemorrhoids, although of course the latter can eventuate in surgery too.)
  2. Eat fiber. This makes it easier to flush stool out of the rectum, alleviating anal pressure. Have your breakfast oatmeal with Jack Daniel’s instead of just having Jack Daniel’s.
  3. Drink plenty of water. This softens your poo, which also eases pressure on the anus. If you have hemorrhoids, it’s okay to water your scotch.
  4. Defecate regularly. I guess this means you need to make an effort instead of waiting for your business to slide out on its own.
  5. Avoid heavy lifting. This means modifying point #1 to exclude weightlifting. I’ve heard of compound exercises recruiting multiple muscle groups, but who knew the anus helped with your deadlift too?

And of course there are all sorts of other ways to strain the anus. You may have a favorite way, or even several favorites. The important thing is to realize that your anus needs a rest now and then. It is your friend and you mustn’t mistreat it.

But is alcohol necessarily contraindicated for hemorrhoid sufferers? Scientific reports conflict, besides which they are brain-numbingly full of numbers and terminology. I couldn’t make any sense of them at all, but they do conclude that alcohol’s contribution to hemorrhoids is dose-dependent. The upshot is that there’s a definite sweet spot when it comes to drinking—an amount that will allow you a few drinks yet permit your anus to thrive.

OMG, what amount is that? you may well ask. Sadly, I don’t have a clue. I don’t even have a functional anus, my friends.

But don’t envy me just yet, because there is a dark side to lacking an anal cavity.

It means my odds of getting hit by an asteroid are greater than my odds of getting hemorrhoids.