My Fellow Inebriates,
This week Miss P is touring a historic Fort Langley site with her class. My dad, who is joining the field trip as a “parent helper,” has the option of dressing up with her in old-time pioneer clothes. Although this leaves the house empty for us bears to party, I still get freaked out by these Fort Langley outings. Last time they went, my mum emailed me a photo of a bearskin rug.
This is how the conversation went later.
Me: Nice photo. We bears call that “bear terrorism.”
Mum: I thought it would make you laugh.
Me: Did “Silence of the Lambs” make you laugh?
Mum: Some bits of it.
Okay, so my mum is a freaking psychopath. She nevertheless has produced a useful justification for getting into the wine. I mean, what bear wouldn’t need to calm down after seeing something like that?
The wine in question is J. LOHR SEVEN OAKS CABERNET SAUVIGNON (2010). How a wine costing $22.99 entered our home is a point of dispute between my dad, who took my mother’s disappointment with a recent $11 bottle as a command to go and spend 100 percent more next time, and my mother, who has a “wish list” of $25+ wines but won’t ever buy any of them because of a pathological parsimony that, once early-onset dementia and $11 wine claim a few more of her brain cells, will probably eventuate in her cooking seagulls after they’ve choked on our garbage, and who therefore hotly disputes having had anything to do with my dad’s decision to buy the J. LOHR.
Needless to say, this dampened their enthusiasm for the bottle. Neither one made so much as a comment on its aromatic cherry notes, its glass-gripping body, or its ripe, jammy fruit swimming in vanilla-oak. It was biggish, almost lush, stopping short of hedonics however, and more or less thumbing its nose at us for parting with 23 bucks.
If anything, J. LOHR SEVEN OAKS is a consistent wine. From vintage to vintage, it holds up in its price range. It has a certain velvety smoothness that suggests fine attention and craft. On the tongue it could linger a little longer, but of course I can always just stick my paw in the glass and slurp it out of my fur. Because it’s my fur, damn it!
So I would buy it again, my fellow inebriates, but only when my mum ups the wine budget. Until then, there are plenty of decent wines that ring in under $15 and give J. LOHR a run for its money.
My mother texted some tasting notes from an undisclosed location last week:
DANZANTE PINOT GRIGIO (2012)
Medium-bodied. Noticeable but restrained tropical profile. Good weight, good structure, excellent minerality. Quite firm with a long finish. Maybe 20 bucks or so?
So here my mother was again, drinking wine without me. When I asked my dad where the hell she was, he said, “At work.” And apparently it was not bring-your-bear-to-work day. Apparently work is not bear-friendly.
What the hell kind of work could my mother be doing that involves lashings of Pinot Grigio? And can I really trust her tasting notes? Let’s check, first of all, whether she’s right about the price.
Clearly my mother’s tastebuds were influenced by whatever sort of event she was attending. (OMG, where the hell was she?) Clearly whatever posh dinner accompanied the wine made it taste like $20 instead of $17.48. And clearly she needed a bear with her to estimate this wine’s cost more accurately.
So now I wonder whether we can even trust her tasting notes.
Let’s assume, my fellow inebriates, that this wine tasted a little better to my mother than it actually was. And really, I feel better doing that, because it means I didn’t miss out on such a good drinking experience.
Next time I will stow away in her purse.
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
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.
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.