Zin, cab, negroamaro and CAH—a glimpse of “normal” at LBHQ

My fellow inebriates,

On Saturday I had the rare opportunity of tasting THREE different red wines. Sitting outside on the deck with a couple of guests, sharing vaccine news and playing Cards Against Humanity, it felt kind of normal.

All so plausible…

Between 8:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. we consumed:

  1. Ravenswood Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel, U.S. (2017); sale price $17.99, reg. $22.99  
  2. Tom Gore Cabernet Sauvignon, U.S. (2018); $19.99
  3. Luccarelli Puglia Negroamaro, Italy (2018); $15.99

The first two bottles vanished quickly. The third didn’t quite get finished. (I attempted to open it at breakfast, but you know my challenges with opening bottles.)

Lingering along with my hangover is the question—did we drink these bottles in the correct order?

If it’s best to drink the best wine first, then we did things right. The Ravenswood was smooth and plummy while still being refined and balanced. In addition to layers of blackcurrant, tannins, and oak, it had a slight hint of baking spice in the finish. It was billed as “medium-bodied,” but it bordered on being full-bodied. We all loved it, and that’s why it was gone in a flash.

Choices, choices…

It sucks to take the stage after a great act, but the Tom Gore held its own. Bold and smooth, dry and balanced, it was a touch oakier than the zin but equally bursting with dark red fruit, and it had its own hint of peppery spice. Sometimes it can feel rough switching from one wine to another, but not with this wine. We all guzzled it happily. Only my dad thought the zin was better; the rest of us thought these first two were about on par with each other.

I like the pool noodle.

If being the second act sucks, you really don’t want to be last. That was the fate of Luccarelli, a less expensive wine we’ve had plenty of times before and always thought was a pretty good bargain. Sure, it was bold, and also smooth, but after the first two wines, it seemed less structured (although things were getting pretty unstructured on the deck by this point). It had a jamminess that seemed undisciplined, plus an unwelcome sweetness in the finish. As such, it sealed the deal on our collective hangover today.

I don’t blame Luccarelli for its poor comparative showing. If it hadn’t been upstaged, it would have been a decent wine. If the bottle had been able to talk to Dad before he unscrewed its cap, it might have yelled, “What the fuck are you doing? There’s no way I’m going on after those guys. Come on.” But we wouldn’t have heard—we were busy offending the neighbours with our reprehensible card choices. Into our glasses the wine sloshed, and we drank it with minimal complaint.

My dad was on a roll last night. Not only did he open three bottles of wine, which hasn’t happened in a couple of years, but he also beat the pants off us at Cards Against Humanity. Usually he refuses to play out on the deck because he thinks the neighbours are listening. But last night he was a different human. Maybe COVID-19 altered his brain chemistry? Should I feel thankful?

Dear Vaccine

My fellow inebriates,

I’m submitting a poem to “Dear Vaccine” (globalvaccinepoem.com). It is a global community poem that I just learned about today when listening to CBC Radio, inviting people to share their voices to promote COVID-19 vaccination through poetry.

So, I’m poised to enter my poem. I’ve loaded it into the field and am about to hit “enter.” Will they accept it? I’m very nervous… So just in case they don’t (for the multiple reasons they might reject it), here’s my poem:

We liked the day the traffic stopped,

The banging pots and pans.

The way we wanted to protect

Our granddads and our grans.


And suddenly we all were home,

with Zoom-enabled work.

With four of us and gerbils too,

We quickly went berserk.


At first they said: Don’t bother with

A face-shield or a mask.

“You’ll just spread germs! You’ll wear it wrong!”

They didn’t make the ask.


And that was dumb, but so was when

They said: “Go back to school!”

Why not share air with 30 kids?

Why wouldn’t that be cool?


And even dumber was the time

They said to stay in our “safe six.”

That only works if you can trust

Your six aren’t total dicks.


And while the numbers climbed and climbed,

Yet assholes still did frolic,

The government’s response was just

Chaotic and shambolic.


To mask or not? To get a test?

To bubble with your neighbour?

To get the CERB (or pay it back)?

To safely sell your labour?


And frontline workers, nurses, docs—

You get the biggest callout.

While douchebags rallied without masks,

You suffered through the fallout.


For those of us who work from home,

We should know we are lucky.

The fridge is here, and all the snacks.

It’s really not so sucky.


When you are home all night and day,

The liquor bottles beckon.

Why not pour Bailey’s in my tea?

It just seems fair, I reckon.


And on that note, why not partake

Of Cuervo with my brunch?

Why wait with jitters and the sweats

For noon-time liquid lunch?


And BC Liquor Stores, you jewel!

You made our booze essential.

Who cares if productivity

Has not been exponential?


So it’s been good, but it’s been bad.

For kids it has been rough.

A year without their grandparents

Is way, way, way too tough.


And now we have not just one shot,

But two or three or four,

To make those fucking protein spikes

Torment us nevermore.


“So which one should I get?” you ask,

When there’s a veritable menu.

Not only can you choose your jab;

You get your choice of venue.


But government, you’ve let us down.

You’ve vacillated once again.

You say the best shot is the one

That’s offered, while NACI maintains

It’s Pfizer you should get at once,

Not AZ if you have a choice.

Moderna, too, can beat those spikes,

And Pfizer’s good for girls and boys.


If you are stuck with AZ, then

Be glad that it’s not Sputnik.

The odds are astronomically against

A nasty platelet uptick.


It’s okay if you have some fears…

The needle stick, the achy arm.

The big thing is you understand

How vaccines can prevent much harm.


So anti-vaxers, hear me now:

You shut your mouths and take your shot!

It’s easy—all you’re gonna feel

Is soreness, and you will not clot.


The very best thing that our world

Has done is make vaccines.

When we’re all jabbed, we can feel safe.

Just think what that would mean.

Move over FRESHMAN-15 … here comes the COVID-19

My fellow inebriates,

We’ve been self-isolating for over a month.

My mum is starting to catastrophize about lack of exercise and weight gain.

D2015 weight gain during self-isolation

I told her she should relax with a drink, but she said that would just make things worse.

Would it?