MONASTERIO DE LAS VINAS (2006)—Needs no elevator pitch

My dad is considering switching industries, which means he’s been paying some overdue attention to his business speak. It occurred to him this week that he doesn’t have an “elevator pitch.” If you don’t know what an elevator pitch* is, read on, my fellow inebriates, because everyone should have one. As I said tauntingly to my dad, even I have one:

drunken little bear

advising hedonism:

party on, people

He says this is actually a haiku, but whatever, people. My dad doesn’t have an elevator pitch at all. So today I learned how to write a proper one, because I love my dad, plus I want him to bring even more liquor money home, and a good elevator pitch will help. Herewith, the five steps to writing a good elevator pitch—in this case applied to a bottle of wine.

Monasterio de las Vinas

1. Who are you?

I’m MONASTERIO DE LAS VINAS RESERVA (2006), a Spanish blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo, and Carinena, aged 12 months in oak barrels.

2. What do you do?

I exude aromas of berry and spice while leering from the decanter in a purplish way while LB’s parents make him wait to sample me. On the palate I’m full-bodied and rich with earthy notes, firm tannins, and a long finish. I’m mature without having a musty Old World character, and you can’t really beat me for $14.95.

3. Who do you do it for?

I’d like to say I appeal to all drinkers, but I don’t think hard-core alcoholics (LB excepted) are buying me very often, as they gravitate toward massive jugs of vodka and giant boxes featuring marsupials. Basically, I’m here for everybody, but if you like to spread your $14.95 more economically, you might pass me by.

4. What do they want or need?

Most wine drinkers have no idea we have hit “peak wine,” and that global demand for  wine is outstripping supply. In other words, you might be drinking wine because everybody else is. Some wine drinkers choose wine because they think beer will make them get fat or watch hockey. Some wine drinkers follow Robert Parker, who gave me 90 points, although he probably only swished me around his gums for 30 seconds or so. Drinkers like LB are thoroughly indiscriminate, so who knows? I have no idea what people want.

5. How do they change as a result?

They often get really freaking plastered, especially if they have a bottle to themselves.

Okay, so this isn’t working out exactly as I thought it would. Maybe you need to be sentient, like we are, MFI. This last statement—and I hope you’ve been following along with your own notes for this exercise, my fellow inebriates—this last statement is supposed to be the key to YOU and what you bring to the table. If you answer the five questions, you should be able to take your answer to number five—and voila! There’s your elevator pitch.

I expect my dad will be so grateful for this that he’ll buy me another bottle.

 

*I found these five steps in a Tedx talk but then foolishly cleared my cache and couldn’t retrieve it from my history. The reason I cleared my cache is that I didn’t want my dad to know I was playing Candy Crush Saga on Facebook, especially since I’ve been dissing him for playing it. And then there was all the porn too, but whatever.

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.

 

MARQUIS DE LA TOUR—Sacrificed to a turkey

My Fellow Inebriates,

When we changed headquarters this summer, we lost the camera charger.

Dozens upon dozens of boxes have been searched, and it has not turned up.

But if we buy another one, it will turn up immediately. So we haven’t. And therefore it hasn’t turned up.

Where the hell are you?? Where did you go? Did my dad put you in his jacket pocket and then throw away the jacket? Did he insert you somewhere and forget about you? Arrrrghhhhhh!

Meanwhile the camera has lost its charge. This means no more drunken pictures or bear porn for the time being. And while it’s not such a loss in terms of yours truly, whose appearance follows an imperceptible but predictable trajectory from mangy to filthy, the kids in the house are aging, getting taller, growing their hair, losing their teeth. Undocumented.

They may well be teenagers by the time my dad breaks down and buys a new charger. He’ll arrive home with it, having surrendered the battle against Murphy’s Law and finally ponied up at the NCIX counter, only to interrupt Miss P necking on the couch with some scurrilous unworthy kid—because she will be 15 by the time he finally caves in. OMG!! We are dying without that little connector. The children are losing their recorded childhood, not to mention any documentary evidence they might one day proffer to Child Services. This is serious shit.

Surely not? Not in…in there?

It’s almost as awful as when my mum poured an entire bottle of MARQUIS DE LA TOUR over the Thanksgiving turkey. She does this every year, and I always cry when she does it. She says it “makes the gravy,” which seems to neglect the contribution of the gigantic dead bird being baptized by $12 sparkling vino.

Admittedly she did give me an infinitesimal sample before wasting the bottle. My thimbleful (NO PICTURES AVAILABLE) was pale gold with teeny moustache-tickling bubbles. The scent was delicate and pleasing if somewhat simple. On the tongue the bubbles danced with more sweetness than expected. While the flavor was crisp and clean, it nevertheless suggested melons and other fruits that appeal especially to the rapidly maturing kids (NO PICTURES AVAILABLE) who reside at LBHQ. Were one allowed to have a full glass of MARQUIS DE LA TOUR, the sipping would be easy and refreshing.

I don’t honestly think a small swallow of sparkling wine is adequate for a fair tasting, but my parents countered this argument by saying that Robert Parker regularly swishes as many as 50 wines around his gob in quick succession, rendering judgments within 30 seconds. Essentially they called me on my bitching and donated a bottle of perfectly good booze to a dead turkey. And then they said: “You’re lucky we’re not cooking a bear with an apple in its mouth.”

Hello, Child Services?