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.

 

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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.

VINA ESMERALDA TORRES (2011)—Yummy wine, but it can’t get you drunk enough

Miss P left this sitting on a chair in the living room this morning.

P picture

Totally freaky, right? Only two things immediately occurred to me as more frightening:

  • Fluffy Bear (currently on hiatus from paranormal activities, but he may just be gathering up steam)
  • Being forced to eat asparagus (a recent study supports the long-suspected notion that it cures hangovers—but wouldn’t you rather have a hangover?)

So what the hell is going on with this picture? For quite a while P has been drawing females with flat heads, giant puckery lips, and grim expressions. Perhaps it’s a developmental phase; one of Dad’s colleagues says his own daughters are drawing flat-headed, big-lipped evil princesses too. Whatever the reason, such images are totally scary and therefore good reason to drink a bottle of wine.

Global Image Projects S.L.Beckoning from the fridge: VINA ESMERALDA TORRES (2011). Billed by our favorite booze-shop consultant as “the best turkey wine” he’s had in the last 20 years, this Spanish offering retails for $13.99 and consists of Moscatel d’Alexandrie (85%) and Gewurztraminer (15%). I am too drunk to put the little diacritics on those varietals, but you know what I mean. Nor do I care whether this wine pairs with turkey, which gets served maybe once or twice a year at LBHQ and invariably demands the sacrifice of a full bottle of sparkling wine to the cooking process—a sickening travesty compounded by the asparagus that may or may not accompany the cooked bird.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ackkkk!!

At 11.5% alcohol, VINA ESMERALDA isn’t really up to the brain-cell bludgeoning required to erase scary images, bear-directed trauma at the hands of young children, or terrifying paranormal episodes. It won’t erase shit—you really can drink the whole bottle without incident. And you should. Delicate floral aromas waft from the glass as the wine glass starts to sweat, releasing some spice and tropical fruit as it warms slightly. This is a gentle and refreshing wine with almost a hint of effervescence—nothing obnoxious, though, just a suggestion. Off-dry and easy-drinking, VINA ESMERALDA is virtually impossible to keep in your glass.

Needless to say, our bottle is all gone, and sobriety is around the corner again. And OMFG, my fellow inebriates, this freaky picture is still here, staring at me.

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