BORSAO CAMPA DE BORJA GARNACHA (2011)—Literacy, here I come

Elementary school barfs out almost as many bullshit phrases as your typical business-speak corporation, so it was no surprise to see a sign in the lobby about PHYSICAL LITERACY.

physical literacy

According to Physical & Health Education Canada, “individuals who are physically literate move with competence and confidence in a wide variety of physical activities in multiple environments that benefit the healthy development of the whole person.”

Which is to say, if you’re physically literate, you’re physically fit. Unless it’s not okay to say “physically fit” anymore.

literacy defintion*

You’re damn straight wine literacy can’t be taught in three hours. You need to drink for a lot longer than three hours, friends, if you want to learn the ins and outs of wine. You couldn’t possibly try all the available varietals in three hours and be able to apply a discerning palate. Not even a supposed guru like Robert Parker, who claims he can remember the characteristics of every wine he’s ever tasted (and he does 50 at a time), could have become wine-literate in three hours.

But still…in the case of a phrase like “wine literacy” we’re talking about knowledge of the subject. And while experience with wine is necessary to achieve both intellectual knowledge and visceral understanding, we’re still talking about a discipline that involves verbal and written descriptions of wine, not to mention a fair whack of studying for the really serious oenophile.

So when Miss V, who is reading “Cool Cats Drive” admirably but probably won’t tackle the Harper Canadian Government’s position paper on physical literacy anytime soon, what the hell does a stupid catchphrase like “physical literacy” mean? Does it mean she knows about monkey bars and slides and tetherballs, and does her so-called physical literacy increase as she betters her skills at these activities or only when she learns that her calf muscles are called the gastrocnemius and soleus?

If you saw V on the monkey bars you would not question evolution (I’m speaking to you, Langley). The kid is a serious monkey. Unlike monkeys, however, she knows how to write her phone number, albeit with the 2s backwards. If “physical literacy” means being good at physical stuff, the kid is also physically literate. But can’t we just say she’s fit? Or does that discriminate against paunchy kids and child amputees? I don’t want to be a dick, but you’d think “fit” would do here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne kind of literacy V doesn’t have (this time I’m speaking to you, Child Services) is wine literacy. That’s why we waited until she was in bed before opening our bottle of BORSAO CAMPA DE BORJA GARNACHA (2011). Another inexpensive Spanish find, BORSAO is a blend of 70% Garnacha, 20% Syrah, and 10% Tempranillo. We bought it, curiously enough, because it had a shelf-talker quoting Robert Parker raving about the stuff. Ninety points he said, and goodness knows you have to take a mark like that seriously when the scale starts at 50 and everything under 85 is considered shit. LOL.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe decanted it, noting (with our oenological semi-literacy) that it was a young wine, plus we’ve found that when Tempranillo is present to any degree we’re in for a lot of interesting changes as the wine breathes, so decanting is a must. And BORSAO was no exception. It was immediately enticing, yes, and Mum and I were ready to guzzle it with abandon, but Dad said it was a bit rough at first. So we let it sit for a while, and indeed it did open up, developing all sorts of nuance. Before that happens, you get a fantastic fruit-forward orgy; 45 minutes in the decanter and you get something quite special.

Aromas: ripe berries and spice. BORSAO is full-bodied and complex, serving up tasty dark fruit and multi-layered detail—hints of tobacco and flowers that awaken as the wine sits.

Now you know I really hate waiting to drink wine. But decanting isn’t BS; it really works, and BORSAO was a gratifying example of what happens when you do wait. Now if we could only teach V to wait for stuff.

*I swear I didn’t know that was going to come up when I googled it.

 

SANTA CRUZ DE ALPERA VERDEJO (2011)—Wins against TP

My Fellow Inebriates,

The other day at Save-On Foods we were accosted by a six-foot-tall woman wearing a strange pink-and-white checkered dress.

“Would you like to feel my dress?” she asked. “It’s made of toilet paper.”

cashmere TP dress 1

It was made of toilet paper. In fact, every year Cashmere invites Canadian designers to compete in a TP dress design competition that draws publicity to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Cashmere donates 25 cents per package of its limited-edition pink TP, and our kids unspool it profligately into the toilet because they love it so much.

cashmere TP dress 3

As soon as we saw the TP-clad woman in Save-On, I just knew P and V would go Project Runway on me, and in no time I, Scary, Blackie, and Fluffy would be modeling their TP creations. Indeed, Mum put some Cashmere in the shopping cart. But she quickly kiboshed any fashion notions. “This is for WIPING BUMS,” she said.

"THIS IS FOR WIPING BUMS."

“THIS IS FOR WIPING BUMS.”

This was a relief, especially since it represents a considerable savings. P and especially V would be absolutely wanton with this Cashmere. I reckon they could go through ten dollars’ worth dressing us bears in bumwipe. And now they won’t, which means we’ve saved $10 for wine.

santa cruz verdejoIf you’re not following my math, it must be because you’re way ahead and have already unscrewed the top from a bottle of SANTA CRUZ DE ALPERA WHITE WINE EXTRACTED FROM VERDEJO GRAPES (2011). If you count pennies like we do at LBHQ, you’ll have to deny your children a couple of packages of Cashmere toilet paper and redeem your empties, because it’s $12.98, which is just cheap enough to be suspicious.

In the glass it’s an unassuming light straw color and gives off a light floral scent. First sips highlight tartness and citrus notes—refreshing if not particularly distinctive. There is a slight effervescence and some herbaceous chords chiming in—licorice perhaps, and meadow fruit. The mouthfeel is light, the acidity moderate. All in all, a nice summer wine at a good price.

Would we buy it again? Well, not if Mum caves in and spends all our money on toilet paper for our little designers. But she probably won’t, because she’s pretty good at being mean.

A neighborhood mirage

Just to illustrate the mismatch between my stated aim of achieving drunken oblivion by the earliest hour possible daily and our family’s ongoing attempts at normal domesticity, today we went for a neighborhood stroll. The goal? Not to eventuate at a pub, but to snap pictures of every single flower we encountered.

We did this INSTEAD of staying inside and getting hammered.

This was rabidly wholesome, if anyone’s asking.

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As you may have gathered, this was a freaking long walk. Enough to make a drunken bear desperate. And then…

THEN, my fellow inebriates…

We came upon this:

It was a wine tree.

It was a wine tree.

Beribboned and festive, there the wine tree stood. My friends, I do not know how this tree managed to sprout wine bottles. Suffice to say it was a miracle. We approached tentatively.

It was beautiful.

It was beautiful.

Just as magically, near the wine tree there was a wine bush.

Just as magically, near the wine tree there was a wine bush.

And a wine hedge.

And a wine hedge.

I was overwhelmed. This was a vision of religious proportions, people. Was it an illusion?

It was. Those bottles were empty—every single one of them. The neighbors had strung them for the 50th birthday party of “M,” whoever that might be. But where are the contents?

“Why don’t we know these neighbors?” I asked my dad. “Why are you guys so antisocial?”

We need to get to know neighbors like these. Then we could wish “M” a happy birthday. AND find out what’s happened to the contents of the bottles.