Archive for October 2012

GFW: La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial 2001   6 comments

Why do you the devil?

As we close in on election day here in the U.S. I believe that the one thing we could use more of in our society is tolerance.  But I find myself in a quandary since I cannot tolerate the intolerant.  I don’t begrudge others the right to express their intolerance.  I just don’t want to see it, hear it, feel it.  So this posting is a bit like therapy for me– address this acerbating thing head on.

It seems inevitable that we should look to pigeonhole each other to see if you are like me and therefore, likeable to me.  Republican,  Pro-Choicer, Democrat, Hetero, Whig, Libertine, Tory, Federalist,  Homo, Right-to-Lifer, Prude, Socialist, Religious Fundamentalist, Arrogant Bastard, Intellectual Snob.  I like some of these values– others, not so much.  But I don’t exclude you because you are fowl and not fish.  And I certainly won’t condemn you to hell for your choices/preferences.

How did I get onto this?  I came across this pic a month or two a ago.  At that time, I found it merely amusing and that was that.  Then it popped up in my archives and well, here you go—  

By my count, and ignoring those crazy apostrophes, at one time or another I have either belonged to, or been accused of being a member of, 21 of the 38 categories listed above.  By the way, does anybody out there know what “BAHI’S”, “EMO’S” OR “P.K’S” are?  Make that 21 of 35 somewhat comprehensible categories.  Can anyone top that number?  Is my number anything to be proud of?  I guess my ticket is punched for that one way trip to Hell. 

When I started with NGW (No Guilt Wednesday) a year and a half ago the idea was to show that one did not have to spend like the



(that I might be) to drink good juice.  Along the way, we found some fantastic values and a few duds.   But on the whole, I think we have shown that there is some good juice out there that is available at decent prices.  But now it is time for a change in approach. 

NGW is being relaunched as GFW (Guilt Free Wine).  My little guy and I are going to expand our horizons a bit and you will see some more expensive wines showing up here.  We may spend a few more dollars on these wines, but there’s no reason to feel guilty about that, is there?

La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial 2001 ($34).  When I came across this in the wine shop, I immediately grabbed it.  The Reserva Especial on the label is a departure from the typical Spanish classifications of (in ascending order) Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva.  The amount of barrel and bottle aging for each of these categories is strictly regulated by Spanish law.  The Reserva Especial designation is one that the producer reserves for its best vintages (this is the third time that the designation has been used).  The professional reviewers love this wine.  Me?  Not so much.  In the final analysis it does have a fair amount of complexity but the omnipresent American oak and a little too much acidity held me back from being as effusive as those other guys.  I may not agree with them in this instance but that’s what makes the world go round… Rated **1/2

Posted October 21, 2012 by Sybarite Sauvage in Food-Wine-Love

Radio Silence   10 comments

Three weeks and I have had nothing to say?  Well, not really. 

I have been with Ms. R as she starts Chemotherapy after recovering from surgery.  Her breast Cancer came back. 

And while I have had lots of thoughts about myriad subjects, there is nothing I can write that seems more important than this.  Nothing, no event, no wine, more insistent than those 2 C-words. 

She is a Luminescence in my life.  Yet the nights are dark and chill and the mornings darker still.  There is a shadow that has stretched across our path.  Still she manages to glow.  She exudes warmth.  I can not comprehend how she does it.  It is beyond me in every way.  But I have also seen her in her weaker moments.  When the darkness hidden within exacts its price. 

We have known about the cancer since mid-summer.  But it is now, in the Autumn, as the leaves are starting their annual crayola swoon that we are bringing the fight home.  Nausea.  Exhaustion.  Waves of both.  Sometimes alternating.  Sometimes simultaneous.   I wish I could take it on for her, take it away from her, shield her, sacrifice myself for her.  That would be so much easier.  

But I cannot.  I can only bear helpless witness and offer whatever comfort I can muster.

Yet the situation is not helpless.  I know that we will survive.  Stronger than before. 

She is better equipped than me to field this difficult play.  She has a strength of faith.  Where I am underwhelmed by myths.  She has an unyielding ability to find the best in difficult situations.  She is not having breast surgery.  She’s getting new “boobies” (her word).  Is she delusional?  No, just pathologically optimistic.  I am the cynic.  And she draws power from the love of friends and family.   I prefer a more stoic approach.  Yes she is my better half.

I ask myself, why her?  There is no answer.  That leaves me feeling very unsatisfied.  So I come back here.  To this place where words may help me to understand.  Where I can be visible, yet undetectable.  Where I can confess my doubts.  Yes there is doubt within me.  But there is also certainty that comes from her. 

This is a pot hole in the road.  The bridge is not out.

Posted October 11, 2012 by Sybarite Sauvage in Food-Wine-Love