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Among many, many other reasons, I love both France and Italy for their abundance of really cheap, really excellent house wine… a little bit of something lovely served in a charming carafe. Why, I ask you, why can we not have good, affordable house wines in the States?! Interrobang for emphatic rhetoric. Part of the issue, I fear, may be that there doesn’t exist here the same culture of drinking wine at every meal. Lack of demand, in other words. It’s very sad. (I have another theory, in addition, which is that the word for wine in both French and Italian is much easier than the word for, “Um, excuse me, but do you have any tap water, because I really don’t want to pay 4 Euro for a bottle?” ) Interestingly, the words for ordering coffee are also easier than the words for water, or at least more fun, as indicated by my favorite order: Due cappuccini, per favore. The words alone are like clouds of whole milk foam in my mouth. Mm. Anyway, I ordered a house wine last weekend during a trip up to the magnificent Redwood National Park and was sorely disappointed. Although in a small town, this was a nice-ish place, with homemade pasta and all that, but my glass of house red tasted like Manischevitz mixed with cough syrup. Earlier in the day, I had licked a bit of redwood tree, just to see, you know, how it tasted. (My friend Josh said that bears like to chew on the trees because the sap is so sweet, so how could I not give it a try?) Well, to this Sarah Bearah, it tasted like soggy bark, and YET, that redwood was still preferable to the house red. I actually didn’t ask the bartender where the wine was from and then I had this feeling like maybe he was testing me to see if I’d actually notice how bad it was and say something. If it was a test, I failed: drank the whole thing. I never like to make a fuss. Plus, my generous hosts had paid for the glass and I certainly didn’t want to make them feel awkward. So I’m just saying that if we could work a little harder on the great house wine issue in America, we could all avoid such incidents. And go see the redwoods, by the way, because they’re incredible. But leave the tasting to the bears.
Is there anything more fun than complaining about the weather? Well, yes, but it’s still pretty fun. Especially when you live in Northern California and have had rainy day after rainy day (which follows, of course, drought upon drought—another thing to complain about). The toes of my boots are wet, my hair is frizzy, and my poor little herb garden is drowning. And YET, people (!), I’m still in the mood for sparkling wine. Yes, hot cider, and cappuccini, and hot chocolate, and tea, but also sparkling wine, which would probably soothe and uplift my spirits better than all of those steamy hot beverages. When I close my eyes, I can almost feel the bubbles trickling down through my chest like a liquid harp. Gosh, what is it about this blog that turns me into such a cheeseball? Might as well embrace it:
Ode to Sparkling Wine on a Rainy Day
We both know, don’t we, my dear
That sparkle does not say it all
Like sunlight’s rays you pierce my day
Warming the world from inside my mouth
And trickle down like liquid gold
To my feet, now tingling with warmth
Conquering the numbness of January’s edge
I have no offering for you today
No oysters, no strawberries, no fried treats
Just a sopping wet soul
For you to dry with your liquid heat.
While the State of the Union address is still fresh in our minds, I’d just like to point out that, despite being “red,” Je Suis Wine is truly a nonpartisan beverage, enjoyable to Republicans and Democrats, alike. Indeed, the purple hues of the wine signify its unifying powers and ability to transcend petty differences to unite the nation in wine-loving bliss. Much like Michelle Obama’s purple Isaac Mizrahi dress. I would further like to point out that the State of the Union address would probably be more fun to watch should all of our fair congresspersons down a few glasses of Je Suis Wine before assembling. Or maybe just the Supreme Court justices. They’re looking a little stiff. And next year, I’d like to see some bolder fashion choices on the men. Perhaps a little John Galliano would get those health reform bills through?
The first post of 2010. It’s hard to come up with something appropriately momentous to write. Although, to be honest, New Year’s rarely feels like a milestone or turning point or even a good time for reflection to me. I prefer Yom Kippur or my birthday for such things, or even Chinese New Year (which happens to fall near my birthday, and, for reasons unbeknownst to moi, my Chinese horoscope tends to be pretty accurate). But geez, 2010, that’s still pretty cool. I have a lovely feeling about this one. I already know that it’ll be full of great wine… Wonder what else the year has in store.
The auction is open. Let’s start it off strong! Bid here.
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(Please do note the shipping restrictions at the bottom of the listing. Wish ’twere not the case, but we can’t send bottles to everyone.)