Thursday, February 3, 2011


One eye on the weather report, I riffed through my closet for a pair of long pants and an over sized sweat shirt. As I was getting dressed in the bedroom, I glanced toward the bed that sits square in front of the one window in the room. Was that snow? I hurried to the side of the bed and parted the curtain just a bit more. Almost snow. Sleet. Not as pretty but I was excited anyway.

I hurried out to the car and started it, cranked the thermostat to 78 and got back inside the house. I see no advantage to climbing into a cold car for the 3 minutes it takes to get to Walmart. It makes more sense to waste 3.00 of gas?

Rain turning to ice has been forecast and I want some bacon and eggs stocked. A few more items were necessary and a couple bottles of wine later, I was headed to Joy's house to remove a built in microwave that was ready for the bone yard. A few days ago Joy called all frantic about the garbage disposal that had ate a bud vase, a microwave that had died, an armoire that in the process of being moved from one room to another had toppled over and the mirror and door were damaged. Adding the dead clothes dryer to the list of things that were falling apart, she was depressed. Being as money challenged as the rest of the population lately, she was overwhelmed and unable to pay for repairs.

I told her I would be over and see what I could do.

No Allen wrench was attached to the garbage disposal to unlock it so I asked for a broom. Doing the ole broom trick of sticking it in the disposal blades and spinning them counterclockwise, cause the broken glass to dislodge. I stuck a vacuum cleaner hose in the disposal to suck up all the glass fragments, hit the reset button and it whirled to life. One problem fixed and I was off to take measurements of the armoire door for the new mirror it would need. The next project was the microwave. The problem was they didn't know how to remove it. I returned today with some tools and a step ladder. Unbolting it from the cupboard above, we carefully pulled it out and dumped it into the huge garbage can. I need a special screw driver to remove the plate that held it on the wall. I'll make another trip back in the next few days and hopefully finish the job of removing that plate and installing a shelf for the new microwave. A used clothes dryer should be delivered this month by her brother in law.

I cautioned her to have a little patience. I do understand how she feels as she watches appliances fail and she is unable to keep her house up to the standards she once enjoyed.

I'll donate a little time to save her sanity. Only good Karma should return to me? That's my plan anyway.

Before heading over to play handy woman, I stood in between the shelves of wine and gazed in confusion at the wide selection offered.

I'm on a mission. A self taught lesson in wines. I was amazed at what I didn't know or maybe I should say, amazed at all there was to learn about wine. Light, dark, dry and sweet, the choices are staggering. Add to that the temperatures to store, the air to add or not add and when to do this. I've learned a little about the grapes used and the amount of time the skins are used to flavor the wine. The longer the skin is allowed to ferment the more tannin in the wine and the less sweet it will be.  Then there is the countries and their wine specialties.

Decanting the wine and which ones require decanting, allowing the wine to breath to allow the aromas to escape all add to whether the wine will be a pleasant experience.

Then there is the right wine for the right foods to learn. From light to dark is the rule of thumb. The meal starts with light foods. Appetizers and salads are usually served with the lighter wines and as the meal gets heavier with the entree of beef or fish, the wine gets heavier and leans to the reds. Desserts move to the sweeter brandies.

I'm fascinated.

Right now I'm busy sampling. Zinfandel's to Rose to Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, I'm letting my taste buds determine my likes.

In fairness to the tasting, I am storing it as instructed and bringing it to the temperature that best brings out each wines flavor.

Today as I stood in the aisle making my selection, I watched as the customers would make their selection. A man dressed in a work jacket, jeans and boots knew exactly what he wanted. Another walked by me and I watched as he selected from one side of the aisle a sweet and then a heavier red from the opposite side. I questioned him on what he was selecting. I was curious about the vineyards/brands. He has his favorites. 

At last an explanation for the wine glasses and their sizes. I noted one day while looking at wine glasses, some were labeled for "red wine" and others for white. What? Now a special goblet? Why? Ah, I've learned that the red wines need more surface area for air to release their aroma. There we go with that aroma thing again. That's how important it is to the taste. Now I know why, when watching an experienced wine taster, they swirl the wine in the glass, inhale and then sip. Air, aroma and taste. Ta Da!

I bought a Pinot Noir by Smoking Loon 2008. (Ya gotta love that Smoking Loon name)  a light red recommended by the man that had just arrived.

I know that most people in this country are not raised on wine with meals. It's a bit intimidating for a lot of people to select a wine while dining out and there are those that think of someone that swirls the wine in their glass, inhaling it's aroma as pretentious. Not so. It's part of the wine experience. The aroma enhances the taste and this aroma is acquired by the wine breathing and being the right temperature when served.

The men that were sure of their selections were not what most would imagine when envisioning a fancier of wine. These men were the most casual of dressers and their selections were sure. No French accent or cravat, these men just enjoyed wine.

I’m nice and warm inside on this cold night. The ice storm is headed this way and I’m tasting a new wine for me. I’m learning about my own taste in wine.

1 comment:

  1. I have some things I need repaired I hope they can make it till July!!!!


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