NGW: Chateau Savariaud Bordeaux Supérieur 2009   7 comments

I dislike bullies.  It seems my dad likes them less than I do.

When I was younger he told the story of a bully he had to deal with in his days in the army while serving in Korea.  At 5 foot 6 inches and 140 lbs., tanned from the Puerto Rican sun and with a Spanish accent, he must have stood out as an easy mark to his rather tall, husky, fair-haired Irish-American nemesis.  The repeated indignities served up by this fair-skinned lad included the usual stupid guy stuff– tripping, practical jokes, etc.  This got my dad to his tipping point.  Having reached his limit, and in order to confront this idiot, he had to stand on a foot locker just to be able to get eyeball-to-eyeball with him. 

Before I go on, let me say that my dad, despite his love of boxing and the episode I am about to share, is not a violent guy.  He NEVER administered corporal punishment to me.  Not once.  I find that odd.  Especially, given the era in which I was born.  But in our house, discipline was left completely in my mom’s hands.  And she, born into a family of farmers, thought nothing of making us dance to the crack of a leather belt.  While she never hit me in the face (she always emphasised that point), on the few occasions that she did strike, she almost always managed to leave me with welts on my legs– even as I tried to lift both legs up in the air at the same time to avoid the blows destined for my calves and thighs!  “No, Mami!  No!”  Those were the days… I love that woman, and seeing how frail she is today, makes me long for a time when she was strong enough to make me dance.  Not that I want to dance again– the memories are enough.  And it seems, the leather belt was preferred by other families as well.  Ms. R tells me that in her house, her dad’s belt even had a name– Catalina.  “Catalina is gonna make you dance,” he would say.  These days, Catalina would get you a quick call to the Social Services department with charges of child abuse.  Back then, it was just good parenting.  I’m not so sure we weren’t better off back then.

But back to the David & Goliath moment: Things did not look so good for my dad.  If you were the sort to make wagers, the smart money was on O’What’s-His-Name.  I’m not sure of the dialogue exchanged between these two antagonists, though I can imagine that the Irish lad must have been thinking what a good time he was about to have cracking my old man’s noggin open like a walnut.  So my dad did the only thing he could do– he struck first– breaking the poor bastard’s nose.  What no one knew was that he had put his metal cigarette lighter in the palm of his right hand giving that first punch a little extra “Was-that-a-lead-pipe-he-just-hit-me-with?” oomph.  With nose bloodied and tumbling to the floor like a giant sequoia, the Celt looked up to see Dad (filled with rage and frustration) pouncing on him like a rabid dog.  He gave this poor fellow a few more pops till he was pulled off by some spectators.  Unsurprisingly, this fellow never messed with him again.  Grudging respect they call it.

But assault of a fellow soldier is a crime– even in the military– and subject to court-martial.  A few days later, my dad was summoned into his commanding officer’s office to explain his actions.  My dad is a big fan of General MacArthur’s– and modeled his military bearing after that gentleman.  As he tells it, he went to his CO’s office in full dress uniform– an interesting tactic– but one that sent a clear message:  That he was a soldier first and understood the gravity of the situation.  He entered the office, gave his crispest salute and stood erect, statuesque, granite-like at attention.  Dad knows how to make an impression.  After inquiring into what happened, the CO offered Dad the choice of court-martial (with potential jail time and dishonorable discharge) or just a quick 2-step straight to dishonorable discharge.  Dad opted for court-martial under military law.  Being dismissed from the meeting, he gave his CO another starched salute, turned heel and marched perfectly out of the office.  That was the last that Dad ever heard of the matter from his superiors.  I think the CO, considering the two participants and other factors, probably took a boys-will-be-boys approach and was perhaps also hoping that this was the last he would hear about this matter.  

Like I said, my dad is not a violent guy.  And like the most interesting man in the world– “He’s a lover, not fighter.  But he’s also a fighter, so don’t get any ideas.”

And, like my dad, today’s wine may look like a lightweight, but don’t let the looks fool you. 

Chateau Savariaud Bordeaux Supérieur 2009Chateau Savariaud Bordeaux Supérieur 2009 ($12).  59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec.  So light-colored that I did not expect much in terms of the concentration of this wine.  At first, this had a touch of braised fennel on the nose; then a woodsy character emerged with hints of barnyard as it opened.  Whilst there was a fairly comprehensive restraint in the fruit, what emerged reminded me of black plum flesh mixed with almost bitter chocolate.  Finishing with grippy tannins and a medium length stoney quality.  I might have liked this even better had it shown just a tad more concentration and just slightly more ripe fruit.  Rated **

My boy in the photo at the top of this page doesn’t have a guilty bone in his body.  Neither should you.  No-Guilt Wednesday (NGW) is not about compromising on quality.  It’s all about drinking good wine that does not break the bank ($15 or less), eating good food and of course, it’s about sharing with the ones you love.

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Posted April 24, 2012 by Sybarite Sauvage in No-Guilt Wednesday

7 responses to “NGW: Chateau Savariaud Bordeaux Supérieur 2009

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  1. Okay, I’m a regular now, so what?
    Everything you said about your father and mami struck a nerve, especially that belt.
    Love the story, General MacArthur (Americans voted for the wrong guy in the most pivotal history of America since Abraham Lincoln), love family with all the faults (I’m glad that the authorities didn’t take you away and give you to some pedophile), and I love your wine descriptors.
    If you haven’t seen http://dragontattoofilm.com/about-5/the-girl-who-played-with-fire/ there’s a boxer who has an episode not unlike your father’s.

    • Pedophile? What are you writing, autobiography? ;-))

      Now I’m not going to turn this into a political blog– while politics are somewhat interesting to me, they do not really excite me. Inspirational people do. MacArthur was certainly one of those folks. Dad understood the power that comes from the emulation of the the great ones. But I am not as smart as him.

      BTW, I clicked on the link you provided and wasn’t really sure what you were referring to.

  2. It is amazing how much good wine there is in the $12-20 category! Especially from Alsace, Loire, Languedoc-Roussillon, if you have a French palate (and of course Greece, Spain, Italy, etc.)
    Love the story and the pictures, too! Cheers!

    • If I have not said it before, I think your blog is the Queen’s knees. I don’t know what the hell that really means, but it just came out, so Let’s just let it flow.

      I am pleased that you are checking this crazy blog of mine.

      And, yes, I am constantly finding great buys in the sub-$20 range. The wines are out there, you just need to look for them.

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