At last! Now that Lent is long over and we’re deep into Easter season, it’s time to re-enter the bright atmosphere of Planet Wine! I introduced the one and only That Strangest of Wine Guides not long ago (go here to check out Issue #1), and and it is a fact that since then national wine sales have increased significantly compared to the same time a year before!! Is there a causal relationship between increased wine sales and That Strangest of Wine Guides? Do you even need to ask?! Regardless, I have some swell new wine recommendations for you, so please: read on!
Price: Less than $10, but not so inexpensive that you worry it will taste like Hawaiian Punch
A Moscato is a type of grape, and Beringer evidently has access to large numbers of them. Their Moscato wine is cheap ($5.99 a bottle in my neck of the woods) and very nice—refreshing, not too sweet, and teeming with antioxidant flavonoids. Plus, it’s just tastes happy. Yes, that’s right, I’m officially labeling it a “happy” wine. Thank you to Jen G. for her recommendation—salud!
Ahhhhhhhh, box wines. They were were confusing to us all, at first, because of their external shape, which was, by anyone’s standards, not bottle-shaped. It seemed alien and strange—as if we’d given up steak and broccoli spears for freeze-dried astronaut food. And, on top of that, my first box wines were Franzia and Black Box—and I did not like them. Apologies to everybody who likes them—I just don’t. But then, my friend Annie Mitchell of Sacred Heart Radio fame and a contributing author to my lovely wife’s wildly successful tome, Style, Sex and Substance , brought over….pause for dramatic effect….the Bota Box. Bota Box’s Shiraz is like Elvis on velvet, but without the Elvis, meaning it’s like velvet, or ‘velvety,’ which is a word I sometimes hear wine critics use, but seems weird since I would never drink velvet. But I would drink Bota Box’s Shiraz, again and again! And I can, too, since box wines last forever. They’re a little more expensive, but there’s a LOT of wine in them thangs (3 liters for about $20-25). And it’s always fresh; the tap system prevents air from getting in. So, the last glass is exactly as good as the first one. Amazing. If you’ve been putting off box wines (and I don’t blame you) give the Bota Box a try. In fact, I now use the term “bota box” to mean “anything cool or good.” As in: “I just watched a Buster Keaton film I had never seen before, and it was so bota box.”
Kind: Pinot noir
I’ve tried several Pinot noirs, but I just can’t get into them. The reason is because they can’t decide what they want to be. “We’re dry and dark like a Cabernet! Oh, but also we’re sweet and light!” There are just too many inherent contradictions in a Pinot noir. It’s not a Catholic wine—it offends reason, and offers a false vision of spiritual fulfillment. Go ahead: say I’m going too far. I stand by my words.
BONUS: That Strangest of Cigar Reviews!!! My father-in-law came into town a few nights ago and, as is our tradition, we spent some time having a couple of drinks, talking religion, and smoking cigars. We used to smoke just cheap stuff, like Perfectos, which are fine, but not long ago he brought over some rare stuff from faraway Mexico. That was a game-changer. On this most recent visit he brought a couple of Carlos Toraños—and be sure you make full use of that tilde over the “n”, because it makes it sound a lot cooler when you say the name. Outstanding cigar. Comes in a glass beaker, wrapped in cedar bark. Goes well with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Within 30 minutes of lighting up I was able to establish two legitimate points of contact between Catholicism and Sufism and give my father-in-law a concise explanation of Pope Benedict XVI’s Deus Caritas Est. Muy bueno, Senor Toraños.
That’s all for now, everybody. Until next time: here’s to you!