CRIOS TORRONTES (2011)—Good enough to attract the undead

My Fellow Inebriates,

It appears Granny doesn’t need Fluffy any more; she’s loose in the house and no longer requires a furry vessel.

Go ahead. Roll your eyes. But last night at 3:00am both kids woke up screaming.

Usually, if this happens, my dad wakes up first. In contrast to all the other mothers in the world who are famously sensitive to their little ones’ cries, my mother goes into a coma when she sleeps, and by the time she’s aware of their distress (if she even becomes aware) my dad’s already parked himself on the floor between their two beds and resigned himself to an uncomfortable hour while they settle down.

Tough luck for my mum—Dad’s in Vegas this week. Who knows how long the kids had to scream to rouse her; I didn’t hear it myself. (I don’t sleep in my parents’ room [for fear of witnessing Unspeakable Acts].) I was downstairs, passed out after an irresistible glass of CRIOS TORRONTES (2011). But she finally dragged herself into the girls’ room and sprawled between their beds.

On the floor she was oppressed by dreams of Granny, who demanded—in the only dream my mother could remember particularly—whether she had watered the plant. (She hadn’t.)

But why do I suspect Granny’s ghost has decoupled itself from Fluffy? It seems to need to be somewhere; it wasn’t here until Fluffy arrived from Ireland, which makes me think it hitchhiked, which makes me think she needed a place to reside for the voyage. It’s just that lately…lately Fluffy’s started seeming kind of normal, maybe even cool. He hasn’t given off that freaky golem aura in a while. He hangs out with the bears; he watches Breaking Bad with us…he’s okay.

So why did Granny ditch him? And where is she now?

The first question is easy. Summer will drive our thermostat beyond 38°C (that’s over 100°F). Fluffy’s the fluffiest, most insulated animal who ever entered the house. His body will be purgatory for any occupant spirits. In fact, a paranormal squatter would be only slightly less desperate than Fluffy himself. Granny must have vamoosed.

What confirms this is the thermostat itself. We bears have been razzing Fluffy about his thick pelt and warning him that Langley ain’t Northern Ireland—he’s gonna suffer when the mercury rises. So he’s been getting stressed out. And the day Dad left for Vegas, the thermostat quit. I think Fluffy accidentally destroyed it with his mind just by fretting about his impending suffering. And Granny herself—well, she’s visited Langley in summer before, so she knows what it’s like; she probably deked out at that moment, leaving Fluffy in sole charge of his paranormally amplified faculties and nuking our thermostat.

So Granny is bumping around the house sans Fluffy and messing with everybody’s REM sleep. OMG! Why? How long do the dead hang around? Isn’t there some notion about them going somewhere? Or is there unfinished business here?

Personally, and you may find this cynical, I think she may well have been on her way into the ether when we bought BEEFEATER 24. Granny was pretty easygoing about her booze, so she wouldn’t quibble about whether it was the family gin of my mother’s childhood or a tea-infused 2008 bid for more market share. It was BEEFEATER, damn it, and when 750mL of it arrived in the house, she decided to stay. And my mum sealed the deal by also buying a delectable white wine. Why would Granny go anywhere with CRIOS TORRONTES in the house?

A Staff Pick at our neighborhood booze shop, CRIOS TORRONTES had been giving us come hither looks for months. The only thing delaying the purchase was my dad, who’s not keen on white wine. My mum bought it within an hour of dropping him off at the airport—that’s how keen we both were to try it. And with good reason.

Intensely aromatic, CRIOS TORRONTES exudes peach—not the gently rotting peach of a Unibroue beer but rapturously fresh peach backed up by subtler orchard fruits. These generous fragrances hint of fruit hedonism—out-of-control sweetness and mayhem in the mouth. But CRIOS TORRONTES is faking you out with those orgiastic aromas. Sip it, and instead of being overwhelmed, you are drawn into a beguiling off-dry symphony of flavors, delicately structured with all the fruity exuberance of a good Sauvignon Blanc—but in a bigger-bodied, sultry, and lingering Torrontes. As it rises from fridge temperature, CRIOS TORRONTES becomes even more appealing, continuing to waft gorgeous peach and melon while spreading across the palate with elegant pacing and controlled generosity.

I’m thinking we need to pound this wine tonight and chase it with the BEEFEATER 24 so these libations are not hanging around when everybody goes to sleep. As much as I liked Granny, her visits are freaking me out.