Tag Archives: wine humor

10 (mostly) wine-related activities to keep you busy while you’re at home

wine

So what do we want to do next? Bake bread or install Linux on your old laptop?

Because when there’s a crisis, the Wine Curmudgeon is here to help

March 21 update: Thanks for all the emails and kind words about this post. It has been one of the best read on the blog since this thing started. I’ll work on a virtual tasting and let you know whether we can do it. My only regret? No one has asked me to help them install Linux.

1. Try a wine you’ve never tried before. How difficult can it be, when you can’t buy toilet paper, to push your cart over to the supermarket Great Wall of Wine and pick out a $10 bottle?

2. Look for every corkscrew in the house and get rid of the ones you don’t want. How many corkscrews do you use? And do you really need this one?

3. Never, ever use the phrases “social distancing” or “sheltering in place.” This thing is bad enough; do we need to butcher the English language in the process?

4. Try a wine and food pairing you’ve never tried before. Chardonnay and frozen chicken pot pie? Tempranillo and quesadillas made with all the leftovers in the meat drawer in the fridge?

5. Install Linux on an old computer. You’ll be stunned at how easy it is. Really. I’ll even help if you want.

6. Hold a virtual tasting. I did that this week with my pal Jay Bileti, who lives in southern Arizona. We turned on Skype, opened two New World syrahs, and talked about the wines. That they weren’t even the same wines didn’t matter. The point was to taste and talk about wine, and it was tremendous fun. In fact, the more I think about it, there’s probably a way to do a virtual tasting through the blog, so that regular visitors can participate. If there’s enough interest, I will figure something out.

7. Bake bread. This is even even easier than installing Linux. This recipe is as basic as it gets – mix, knead, let rise, and bake. And don’t worry if you don’t have a stand mixer; you can use a food processor with a bread blade or mix by hand.

8. Finish the damned novel. (Yes, I know that doesn’t apply to most of us, but the thing has been sitting in a folder on my computer longer than I care to admit.)

9. Order from wine.com. The on-line retailer has been a long-time supporter of the blog, but that’s not the reason why I’m including it here. This is a chance to see if on-line wine sales make economic sense for you.

10. Keep a list of every despicable PR pitch you’ve received since this mess started, tying the pandemic into whatever foolishness they normally pitch. Sadly, there have been dozens. Then make sure to never, ever use those PR people in the future.

Art: “LEGO Minifigure Enjoying Wine” by Pest15 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 

 

Wine judge showdown: Bruce Lee scores one for Drink Local

Don’t tell Bruce Lee that Drink Local doesn’t deserve a gold medal

Judge enough wine competitions, and you eventually run into the judge whose idea of being open minded is to give a sauvignon blanc a gold medal. Many don’t even bother to taste regional wine — they just mark it off because it’s Drink Local. Or, as a judge at a major U.S. competition once told me: “Only chardonnay, cabernet, and pinot noir get gold medals — just so you’ll know not to waste your time.”

Enter Bruce Lee, who has no time for this kind of foolishness. This blog post is dedicated to every judge I sat with during my career who would benefit from this kind of discussion.

The scene is from one of the first — and still one of the greatest — martial arts movies, 1973’s “Enter the Dragon.” Almost everything that has followed, whether Jackie Chan, the Hong Kong style, or even Disney, starts with “Enter the Dragon.” My apologies to Lee, as well as to everyone else associated with this incredible effort. Who knew John Saxon was a kung fu expert?

A tip o’ the WC’s fedora to KAABA on YouTube, where I found the original scene. And all silliness like this owes a debt to WineParody, whose Robert Parker epic is the standard by which these efforts are judged.

Make sure you turn captions on when you watch the video; you can make the captions bigger or change their color by clicking on the settings gear on the lower right.

More wine and film parodies:
Robin Hood
Casablanca
Shaft

Welcome to Sherwood: Robin Hood takes on the wine tariffs

“I’ll organize revolt. I’ll protest your tariffs everywhere I can. I’ll do everything in my power. … “

When wine drinkers are in crisis, it’s time to buckle some swash. Hence, Errol Flynn in the classic 1938 version of The Adventures of Robin Hood (and eat your heart our, Kevin Costner). Robin will lead our revolt against the wine tariffs (helped with a little editing magic).

My apologies to Flynn, Claude Rains as Prince John, and to director Michael Curtiz. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Would that my editing skills were better and more sophisticated; then we would be watching one of film’s classic sword fights, featuring Flynn and Basil Rathbone. In fact, if anyone watching this can dub voices, send me an email and we’ll figure out the next great Wine Curmudgeon video extravaganza.

A tip o’ the WC’s fedora to Jotun Obsidianeyes on YouTube, where I found the original scene. And all foolishness like this owes a debt to WineParody, whose Robert Parker epic is the standard by which these efforts are judged.

Make sure you turn captions on when you watch the video; you can make the captions bigger or change their color by clicking on the settings gear on the lower right.

More wine and film parodies:
Casablanca
Shaft
Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Do-it-yourself New Year’s wine resolutions 2020

wine resolutions 2020The Wine Curmudgeon’s Do-it-yourself New Year’s wine resolutions 2020 — the seventh annual. Because we need all the laughs we can get given high prices, crummy wine, and the tariff.

Just click on the drop-down menus and select your wine resolutions 2020 for the new year. Those who get the blog via email or RSS may need to click this link to go the blog to use the menus.

In 2020, I’ll drink:

In 2020, I’ll spend:

In 2020, the wine tariff:

In 2020, wine quality:

In 2020, wine will:

More New Year’s wine resolutions:
Do-it-yourself New Year’s wine resolutions 2019
Do-it-yourself New Year’s wine resolutions 2018
Do-it-yourself New Year’s wine resolutions 2017

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas 2019: The cheap wine version

night before christmas

Welcome to one of the blog’s newest holiday tradition: the cheap wine version of the “Night Before Christmas”

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that the Wine Curmudgeon soon would be there.

And Mamma and I were nestled all snug in our bed;
While visions of cheap wine danced in our heads;
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature keyboard without any reindeer,
Instead a bearded typist so full of high dudgeon,
I knew in a moment it must be the Wine Curmudgeon.

More rapid than eagles his cheap wines they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Tariquet! Now, Falesco! Now, McManis! Now, Pigmentum!”
“On, Bonnet! On, Bieler! On, Charles and Charles!”

“To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!”
“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
Down the chimney he came and landed on one foot;
His hat and his glasses all tarnished with soot;

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
The last thing I expected was his cranky, middle-aged self
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the wine racks, and did not lurk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his keyboard and the clatter was endless;
And I heard him exclaim, ere he typed out of sight:

“Quality cheap wine to all, and to all a good night!”

With abject apologies to whoever actually wrote the “Night Before Christmas“(as well as to Mrs. Kramsky from the seventh grade, who warned me about my poetry)

A Wine Curmudgeon Christmas Carol

“More Mega Purple. … more. … and even more!”

Scrooge’s post-modern wine Christmas Carol leaves a very bad taste in his mouth

Marley was dead. And good riddance, thought Scrooge. Marley had actually suggested making wine people could afford to drink, and marketing it to consumers who weren’t aging Baby Boomers. Who needs that? sneered Scrooge.

Not him. He was No. 9 on The Most Important and Smartest Wine Geniuses List compiled by one of the wine magazines.

Now, if he could only get rid of that damned Cratchit, his winemaker. She kept insisting on using only pinot noir in the pinot noir and cutting back on the Mega Purple. And she had even been talking using ingredient labels for the wine. Obviously, Scrooge thought, she wasn’t a team player.

Scrooge’s iPhone 11 beeped. The face of a woman appeared with the text. Spam, thought Scrooge, and he deleted it. But the face popped up again.

“Do you recognize me?” asked the face.

Scrooge deleted the text again, but the face was still there. He looked at it, and he remembered his early days at the winery. Man, they had made some great wine then, like those $8.99 California field blends. But what was the point? The wine hadn’t been smooth, so no focus group would have approved.

Scrooge put the phone down, picked up the remote, turned on his 65-inch smart TV. Another face appeared, this time a man with a red beard. “Do you recognize me?” he asked.

Scrooge changed the channel, but the face was still there. Then it faded, and Scrooge saw Cratchit in the winery. She was blending grapes, and Scrooge recognized those damned Rhone varietals she kept trying to sneak in. I told her to dump that stuff, he thought. She knows she is supposed to make merlot, and she also knows it had better be more than a little sweet. Because women don’t like dry red wine.

I guess she didn’t believe me when I told her we only wanted team players, thought Scrooge. And if you’re not a team player, you can look for a job elsewhere – even if it is Christmas and even if you need the health insurance because your son Tim is sick.

Scrooge walked into the kitchen, past the Viking Tuscany range and opened the SubZero Pro refrigerator. He wanted a glass of that fake oak, 15 percent chardonnay that his marketing director said would sell like crazy.

A third face appeared, with glasses, a hat, and a scruffy beard. “I know you recognize me,” said the face.

Scrooge blinked, and then he seemed to be in some sort of home, surrounded by several other ancient winery executives. They were telling stories about the old days, when ordinary people drank wine, and they laughed and smiled and almost cried in their happiness.

Then he was back in his kitchen, in front of the SubZero, and the bearded face was still there: “Well?” it asked.

“I’m just one man,” Scrooge said. “We have to start somewhere,” said the face. And Scrooge nodded in agreement. Maybe those Rhone varietals were a good idea after all.

A tip o’ the Curmudgeon’s fedora to Charles Dickens, who will hopefully forgive me for taking such wine-themed liberties with his story.

Halloween wine tales 2019

Halloween wine

If we can dress like this for Halloween, then the Wine Curmudgeon should be allowed to write Halloween wine parodies.

A blog tradition — the five Halloween wine tales from the middle of the decade.

These posts didn’t always get the traffic they deserved, but what does Google know about good writing, terrific parody, and making fun of the Winestream Media?

Besides, who else would be brave (or silly) enough to combine these characters with cheap wine and Halloween?

A Halloween wine tale 2017: Dr. Who
A Halloween wine tale 2016: Kolchak: The Wine Stalker
A Halloween wine tale 2015: I am Legend
A Halloween wine tale 2014: Frankenstein
A Halloween wine tale 2013: Dracula

Photo courtesy of Alisa Hemmesch, using a Creative Commons license