Gravy be damned!

My mum likes cooking, but not enough to do it sober. That’s why, when Auntie H called to ask what she should bring for dinner, Mum said wine. Auntie H was hesitant; she said she didn’t know anything about wine, so I got on the phone and coached her through it. Well, actually I sat beside the phone gesturing madly while my mum claimed to be just joking about requesting wine. Dammit, we needed that wine, no matter what crazy bottle Auntie H and Uncle B might choose.

real de aragonWe especially needed wine because Mum had committed her annual profligate crime—she’d poured a bottle of LANGA REAL DE ARAGON over the turkey, torturing any liquids-only folk and animals (okay, just me) to suffer the sizzle of quickly evaporating alcohol off the browning poultry as whatever angels inhabit the LBHQ oven greedily guzzled their supposed share. It was horrible, people, but of course you know I’m getting used to it. Apparently it makes good gravy, but that doesn’t make it forgivable.

We did snatch one glass of LANGA REAL DE ARAGON, noting the 90-point Robert Parker accolade it wore around its neck before the cork got popped. Not bad for $13.99—could it be true, or was Parker just hammered when he made the call?

Don't let my mother do this to you, my fellow inebriates!

Don’t let my mother do this to you, my fellow inebriates!

It was true. OMG, my fellow inebriates, it was true. LANGA REAL DE ARAGON is crisp and subtle, wafting bright orchard goodness and biscuit notes. Fresh and lively on the palate, this Spanish bubbly deserved to be drunk, not sacrificed to the turkey. Gravy be damned!

Once the sparkling wine was gone I felt very morose. But luckily Auntie H and Uncle B arrived with their two monkeys and not one but TWO, count ‘em, two bottles of wine. Check it out:

Gnarly Head Zin 2011

Now, if I can only get the bottles open…

JAMES MITCHELL CABERNET SAUVIGNON—Big enough to chase away your trauma

My Fellow Inebriates,

Unless you are unnaturally hirsute, if you haven’t started cultivating your Movember stache you are pretty much shit-out-of-luck. Even if you start now, there you’ll be on November 30 going, Look everybody, look at my upper lip, look at my rad…baby-soft down. You’ll have to watch your copiously moustachioed pals head off for their triumphant end-of-Movember shave while your own peach-fuzz trophy succumbs meekly to the Hair-Off Mitten®.

Despite this logic, my dad has steadfastly refused to get his stache on. At first he cited work policy: “No facial hair.” But then he slipped up and mentioned that several coworkers were doing it.

“So you have to do it. You have to do it, Dad, because I can’t.” You see, I had only recently realized the static nature of my own fur growth. It is what it is, people; it doesn’t grow! (I’d always thought I was just growing and shedding simultaneously like wild bears do. OMG! This revelation was almost as traumatic as the one about my missing genitals.)

I meant to keep bugging my dad but was distracted by the severed arm we saw on the way home from elementary school drop-off. Any other day of the year I would have panicked, and for a second I did, but then my two brain cells reminded each other that yesterday was Halloween.

At afternoon pick-up the arm was still there although it had been tossed from the curb to someone’s front yard. Five-year-old Miss V asked casually if it was real or fake. She seemed receptive to either answer.

When you see something as shocking as a severed arm, you need to process the image so the horror doesn’t overwhelm you. You might even need a sedative to arrest the involuntary recapitulation of the unspeakable apparition by your unwilling retinae. I sought such a chemical this evening in JAMES MITCHELL CABERNET SAUVIGNON (2009). Its 13.9% alcohol seemed just the ticket.

Grapes from the Lodi region of central California enjoy a Mediterranean-style climate with warm days and cool nights, along with rugged, loamy soil. JAMES MITCHELL CABERNET SAUVIGNON is a good example of the area’s brawny viticulture. From the moment the cork is extracted this wine takes no prisoners—boisterously rich black cherry and lingonberry come out swinging with a hefty dose of oak, flaunting the wine’s quintessential Cabernetness like a handlebar moustache.

With these olfactory harbingers, the sipping doesn’t disappoint. This is a big, gorgeous Cab that doesn’t pull punches. If it’s been a while since you’ve had a Cabernet, get ready for a striking one. Tannins parch the tongue masterfully as berries, oak, and licorice go to town on your mid-palate; the finish reverberates with lingering dark fruit. This is a serious wine for those who like getting down with big, bold booze. And if you get some in your moustache, well, you get to enjoy it even longer.

All of which is much better than dwelling on severed arms or your dad’s non-compliance with Movember.