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…

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?

HEITLINGER SMOOTH LEAF PINOT BLANC (2011)—falls short of distracting you from your very worst fears

My Fellow Inebriates,

Last night Fluffy tried to smother me with his fur. This was after my dad tried to smother both of us by falling asleep on the couch with us under him. When he got up, Fluffy stayed lodged on top of me—i.e., he tried to finish me off.

I’d been expecting Fluffy to escalate his sinister behavior so if anything this seemed overdue. Fluffy used to train his mind powers on our townhouse, causing weird creaks and bangs despite the newness of the structure. But the new LBHQ is old, and old houses are supposed to make noises. So when this place started creaking and crashing, I couldn’t be sure it was Fluffy or if the house was just doing its thing.

After all, for all I knew, Fluffy was no longer possessed. The movers could very well have shaken Granny out of him when they put him on the truck, or perhaps she’d remained attached to the townhouse. Maybe her dead spirit had been sleeping when the movers came and she missed the boat/truck.

I wanted to believe these things. But OMG, when this house goes thump, it goes THUMP—how could it be anything other than Fluffy?

I didn’t want to ask my mum again if she thought her dead mother was hanging out in Fluffy; it didn’t seem sensitive. So I asked my dad. I wanted to know if he could detect a paranormal other under his ass while he watched movies on the couch.


“Well, how about me under your ass while you watch movies on the couch? How about that, Dad??”

Clearly my dad has no psychic powers. For someone with the dog-hearing he has for stereo systems, his sixth sense is nonexistent. How could anyone watch an entire movie with two bears wedged under his can, one bear of which presumably has the power to leave the shell called Fluffy and travel right up his rectum? Last night my dad was playing with fire. He was lucky Fluffy tried to kill me instead of him (or maybe Fluffy just wasn’t interested in exploring my dad’s bowels).

I realized last night that Fluffy is at least as evil as Martha Stewart—maybe more so, because he’s never made Bing Cherry Mojitos.

I survived Fluffy’s assault only because I can hold my breath really well—some might say seven years and counting. But last night was an eye opener. Not only is my dad oblivious to the evil around him, but his ass sometimes compounds the evil. No question my dad is generally oblivious.

Case in point: Pinot Blanc. This is a pet varietal that Mum and I tend to break out when Dad goes on a business trip. But at Thanksgiving we had it in the house just in case our guests might like it, and my dad got curious about it. Now, we’ve had some kick-ass PBs before, and we were hoping this would be another. HEITLINGER SMOOTH LEAF (2011) retails for $17.99 at our government booze store where it’s been promoted lately as a staff pick and turkey-dinner match. Assuming my mother’s turkey dinner ended up tasting like turkey, it seemed like a good bet.

German PBs can go either sweet or dry, and HEITLINGER lands on the off-dry mark. The nose is orchardy and citrus with hints of a not-very-influential pineapple having been in the room. On the palate the mouthfeel is reasonably weighty with moderate acidity. The wine lingers on the back palate with a slightly confusing play of flavors, summing up simply and rather forgettably.

If you’re partial to food and you like socializing, HEITLINGER won’t distract you from either. This feature shouldn’t be underestimated, as there’s nothing worse than regaling your captive Thanksgiving dinner audience with one of your best stories, only to have someone break into your narrative to exclaim how freaking awesome the wine is. This won’t happen with HEITLINGER. While not reticent with its display of bright yellow fruit, neither is it wearing a Carmen Miranda get-up. It won’t upstage you, your meal, or that story about your prostate exam.

If, on the other hand, you eschew solid foods like yours truly…well, you might want to add some interest to this wine. You could read a book while sipping, or practice doing a sexy dance. You could think about freaky paranormal happenings or compare Martha Stewart’s evilness with that of other household members. And if your house is free of creepy things like Fluffy, she will certainly win.

Oh, Martha, I can’t believe you’re really evil.