ALAMOS CABERNET SAUVIGNON (2011)—Now your liver can handle it

My Fellow Inebriates,

I’ve been waiting a long time for technology to catch up to my drinking. So when I saw this new bioprinter that manufactures functional liver tissues, I knew my ship had come in. And probably yours, too, my fellow inebriates, with your complicated “real biological organism” livers that are no doubt being pummeled senseless by CUERVO.

bioprinter can print a new liver for me

Goodbye HP, hello NovoGen MMX Bioprinter. Photograph by Timothy Hogan.


The best part is that LBHQ is in the market for a new printer anyway. Two days ago our HP started blinking. After ascertaining it had plenty of ink, Dad jiggled the cartridges around to make sure it knew it had ink, but the bloody thing kept flashing until we looked up the error code and learned it needs a new print head. And given the disposable nature of electronics these days, I thought, well, why not put this wretched HP on the curb and get ourselves a new bioprinter? If the thing can print liver tissue, it probably does a freaking awesome job on ordinary office documents, right? Win win.

And the third win? We can drink more ALAMOS CABERNET SAUVIGNON (2011) knowing our livers have a back-up plan sitting in the office.

But wait a sec. What the hell are bioprinters, and are they for real? I’ve had my chain yanked before, people, so let’s look into it.

Judging by venture capitalists’ enthusiasm for them, bioprinters are the real deal. The printers layer bioink onto biological scaffolds that allow it to be shaped into blood vessels, ears, synthetic hamburgers, urethras—you name it, MFI. The technology is really complicated—maybe more so than our defunct HP’s, and certainly too complicated for an idiot bear to understand. So I gave the marketing materials to my dad, who makes all the LBHQ electronics purchases. You see, I can’t just say: “Dad, go and buy us a bioprinter so we can produce crisp documents and filtration organs.” He has to do the reading himself, so it can be his idea. All I can do is put a bug in his ear.

Meanwhile, our livers are crying out for this thing. ALAMOS CABERNET SAUVIGNON contains 13.5 percent alcohol and, with its dark berry redolence and mouth-filling depth, you try stopping me from finishing the bottle.

alamos_cab_webALAMOS benefits from decanting. Once swished and swirled it releases a concentrated burst of dark fruit and earthiness and perhaps a little leather. The color is deep purple. Tasting notes from our local booze shop insist that it’s medium-bodied, but—and perhaps we’ve just been drinking lighter wines lately—ALAMOS knocked our socks off with its palate-coating mouthfeel. The tannins are firm, you get oak and chocolate plus hints of tobacco in the background, and the finish is lengthy and satisfying. Damn fine for $14.99.

So my thought was: let’s pound as much of this stuff as we can. Within the week we’ll have a new bioprinter—i.e., an unlimited supply of livers, ears, and urethras if we need them. Now we can drink without worry.


Morning with the new bear:

Noon with the new bear:


Dinner with the new bear:


Bedtime with the new bear:


It doesn’t stop. The kid is on all the time. Where he keeps his stash I hate to think, but he is electric, nonstop a-go-go. We’re ignoring his “Mr Bean” nametag and calling him “Speedy.” He is a total freak.

Not even a bottle of MONTES CLASSIC SERIES CABERNET SAUVIGNON (2011) slowed Speedy down. You’d think, at 14% alcohol, that it might have subdued him slightly, but no.

montes-classic-series-cabernet-sauvignon-colchagua-valley-chile-10122464The wine turned out to be another example of a wine that really should be decanted. Moreover, our bottle was over 25°C when we uncorked it, which unfairly rendered our first sips flabby and unappealing. So we let it breathe and put it in the fridge for an hour. If this bothered Speedy he didn’t let on; he was arcing like a Tesla coil; who knows what electric things he’d smuggled over from the UK in his ass—obviously Nana and Papa had forgotten to scoop them out before presenting him to my mum.

An hour is a really long time to wait, especially without a television show to love, and so we decided to join another party in progress and start watching Mad Men, Season 1, Episode 1. My parents and I were immediately hooked; Mad Men is an alcohol fest, and only Scary felt angered by our TV choice. He hated Mad Men; it did not feature one space ship or pirate or cop or time traveler or drug addict or convict. Scary spent most of the hour farting and trying to provoke Speedy.

montes-classic-series-cabernetBy Episode 2 the wine was ready and it had settled down nicely. MONTES is from Chile’s Colchagua Valley, oaked in American barrels and wafting a chorus of interesting aromas ranging from peppercorn to mint to plum. On the palate it is dry if not parching with oak predominating and the tannins noticeably firm. The finish is boozy and warm, echoing strong oak and some of the stand-out tasting notes, coffee among them. If anything, MONTES’s flavor profile seems a bit crowded—intriguing but somewhat chaotic. Before we cooled the wine to a more drinkable 18°C, these notes seemed offputtingly discordant, but at the lower temperature they played together quite acceptably, especially as the wine continued to open up. MONTES might even be better on the second day, however slim the chance of any wine making it to a second day at LBHQ.

The bottle notes also suggest MONTES as a candidate for mid-term cellaring (another slim chance at LBHQ where the booze dollars are spoken for in the here and now, thank you very much). But it would be intriguing to see what another year or two would do for MONTES.

As for Speedy, who knows what a year or two at LBHQ will do. I expect him to still look like this:


But at least we might get used to him by then.

“Tonights” wine? What the hell, Dad?

My dad is not one to forget his apostrophes (very often), so I knew, when he emailed this picture with the header “Tonights wine” that he must be totally f#cked up.

Tonights wine

Tonights wine

My friend Blackie Bear once told me his apostrophes are the first thing to go when he gets hammered, so it’s forgivable. WHAT’S NOT FORGIVABLE IS EMAILING ME A PICTURE OF A $28 CABERNET SAUVIGNON FROM THE OKANAGAN ON A DRY WEEKDAY!!!!

Even my evil mother is starting to think about cracking a bottle of wine.