As soon as I said Fluffy Bear’s paranormal activities had ceased, I knew it was a mistake. Sure, he’d been staring blankly at the wall for weeks without incident. Sure, the bumps in the night had settled into the normal noises of a 30-year-old house. But you never want to take the occult for granted.

I could kick myself for saying Granny had departed Fluffy’s body. Of course she hadn’t; the two of them must have been hibernating. Because as soon as I posted it, our television died. With one psychic zap, Fluffy annihilated our plasma, and now we have no TV.


You are so dead, LB.

Scarybear is devastated. Television is his whole life, and naturally he’s pissed at yours truly for foolishly saying Fluffy had gone dormant. Of course he hadn’t!! If anything he was saving up his telekinetic powers. Who knows—maybe it was Fluffy who broke the dishwasher in October, and he just needed to recharge so he could attack the TV.

You never want an animal like Scary mad at you, so I offered him some ERRAZURIZ ESTATE RESERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC (2012). To this he made a politically incorrect limp-wrist gesture, and then kicked my ass. Scary isn’t very enlightened.

DSCN2986Too bad for Scary. This Chilean wine is crisp and zingy with hints of tropical fruit and sharp green apple. Produced from grapes grown in the Aconcagua Valley, a region thought for many years to be unsuitably hot, ERRAZURIZ proves naysayers wrong with its elegant and substantial (13.5%) Sauvignon Blanc. In perfect character for the varietal, ERRAZURIZ would be refreshing on a hot summer day or when you’re sweating after an ass-kicking. It disappeared very quickly at LBHQ.

Would we buy it again, though? It’s light, it’s zingy…but Scary may accidentally be right about it being too airy and bright—at least in winter. It’s certainly worth noting for when the hot weather comes.

As for Fluffy, he’s getting no wine. Seriously, he likes TV. The dishwasher he may not have given a crap about, but TV?? Breaking Bad? What the hell, Fluffy?

COUNCIL’S PUNCH BOWL SAUVIGNON BLANC (2011)—S’not much better than this

My dad busted Miss P the other day for smearing her boogers on the wall.

No one had thought to tell her not to do it. But when Dad caught her in the act, all the weird grey-brown sticky patches on the walls—over the last year—made sense.

As for my mum, she must have just thought that walls do that—they develop brownish, unidentifiably adhesive streaks over time. The thought had occurred to neither of them that P would excavate one or both nostrils and deposit the treasure on the walls.

Dad had just finished painting the girls’ room pink with purple polka dots, a process he took so seriously and performed so exactingly that he had difficulty allowing anyone else to pick up a brush. His scrutiny of these walls was already intense, which enabled him to notice P’s dried slime and, if not put two and two together, at least have an Oprah-style (albeit lesser) aha moment when he finally witnessed the crime.

Needless to say, he was really grossed out.

Finding snot all over the walls, I suggested, was sufficiently traumatic to warrant opening a bottle of wine. As long as the wine wasn’t sticky or gluey or brownish like P’s old boogers.

Who knew that Nana and Papa would arrive the very next day with COUNCIL’S PUNCH BOWL (2011) from Ganton & Larsen Prospect Winery? This fresh, unoaked Sauvignon offers up lively tropical and orchard scents and hits the palate with refreshing dry crispness—like a sunny, booger-free meadow.

As you know, at LBHQ we don’t usually gravitate to light, refreshing wines with only 12% alcohol. Neither does my Nana, who bought the wine by accident. A happy accident, I say, because we needed something with light and fruity high notes to overcome the lingering effects of a household-wide realization that throughout the course of who-knows-how-many months the walls have been gradually painted with a six-year-old’s nasal drippings.

Enormous thanks to Nana for mistakenly buying this summer sipper (a steal at $13!). Needless to say, she’s been apprised of the booger situation, and no doubt when she and Papa return to Vancouver Island, where the kids stayed a couple of weeks ago, they’ll assiduously check the walls for snot trails.

There are worse things to find on the walls, of course. My mum read a scene in a novel this morning in which a severed arm was thrown against a wall four times. Snot’s not so bad. S’not so bad. But COUNCIL’S PUNCH BOWL is much better.

When it doesn’t just “taste like chicken”—making sense of a difficult wine/food-pairing problem

In my fantasy world there wouldn’t be any such thing as wine/food pairing. There wouldn’t be food. We’d all just be awash in booze. But for my friends who enjoy solids now and then, following some loose guidelines can enhance the eating/drinking experience.

  1. Start by considering the dish. Is your meal…
    • mild-tasting or intense?
    • lean or fatty?
    • acidic or creamy?
  1. Eliminate any varietals you dislike. There’s no sense purchasing a wine just to match a meal. While drinking a less-favorite wine with a well-matched meal may reveal the wine’s characteristics and increase your appreciation of it, your distaste for the vino may be insuperable. Buy a wine varietal you like.
  2. Balance the taste sensations by pairing mild with mild, acidic with acidic, and intense with intense.
  3. Choose tannic or acidic wines with high-fat foods; they cleanse the palate.

I’m worried that Hannibal Lecter might not be following these wine/food pairing guidelines. Let’s see whether Hannibal’s on the right track with his Chianti.

Not everybody knows what human meat tastes like. Chances are your local wine consultant doesn’t. Just try asking for a pairing suggestion. You’ll see hesitation in the consultant’s eyes, then fear—the fear that you’ll see through his/her bullshit answer and discern that he/she has no idea what to pair with maple-glazed human.

There’s plenty of specious information on the subject, so you have to be very careful that your wine consultant hasn’t fallen for the description circulated by promoters of the human meat substitute hufu (“contrary to popular belief, people do not taste like pork or chicken”), or that your consultant hasn’t merely sampled placenta, more akin to organ meats such as liver or kidney than, say, a human steak. No, you want an actual cannibal to advise you whether Chianti’s on the money with your human entrée.

Enter Armin Meiwes, a German man who gained fame in 2001 by killing and eating a volunteer he found through a website called the Cannibal Café. Not distinguishing between the Café’s intended satire and his own deviant appetites, Meiwes interviewed many candidates who expressed interest and then backed out, finally settling on Bernd Jürgen Brandes, whose penis he severed so the two could share it fried in garlic and butter. Meiwes gave the fully consenting Brandes a shitload of painkillers and bled him out in the bath, butchered and froze him, then spent the next ten months enjoying reduced grocery bills as he sampled Brandes every which way, even grinding up his bones to make flour.

This is a dude who would certainly know what human tasted like—at least one particular human—and he was happy to describe it in an interview:

“The flesh tastes like pork, a little bit more bitter, stronger. It tastes quite good.”

Cabernet Sauvignon—too rich and tannic; overwhelming with human’s delicate and salty flavor. When shopping, ask yourself, “What would go with pork?” and you’ll probably do fine.

So Chianti would go okay with human for supper, especially with a tomato-based sauce, but Hannibal Lecter could do better. Especially with German cuisine featuring sauerkraut and other acidic notes, I’d lean toward a Riesling or a Sauvignon Blanc. If you’re dead set on a red wine, try a nice, light Beaujolais.

It’s really tough to find a great wine consultant. My own wine store has a stellar one, and I still don’t think he’d be up to speed on human dishes. Isn’t it wonderful to have the Internet?