Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thankfulness VI

This post is for grown ups.

No, there's nothing ugly or obscene here, but it's just that I'm quite sure it will be pretty boring for kids.

I was looking back at the previous posts in this series, and the Pizza Post (now that would be a delivery system!) had me thinking about Italian cuisine.

That had me thinking about parmesan reggiano, prosciutto, garlic, olive oil, lemon, balsamic vinegar, crusty breads...

... and wine.

I suppose it's compulsory to preface any review or appreciation of wine with 'I am not an alcoholic wino and I am not suggesting anyone should become one'.

Besides, we're in a pub, after all; virtual or not, a pub's perfectly fitting place to discuss wine.

Tynan's Bridge House Bar, Kilkenny City, Ireland

I was never a drinker (stop snickering back there!) in my youth. I never got into the big beer and vodka fests I used to hear about from my fellow teens and college-age friends. Certainly I have never been a big liquor user.

And I have found that unless you are yourself drunk, drunk people are boring at best, deadly at worst, and always annoying.

But there's something about the acquired taste and inimitable flavor of fine wines that transcends any of that hassle.

I mean, anything that is born and raised in such bright beauty as this --

-- and nurtured to await our enjoyment in dark, beautiful places like these --

-- to end up looking as warm and gorgeous as this --

-- can't be anything but good for the soul, no matter how much or little of it you taste.

Wine is ancient, storied, celebrated.

It is as much a part of the Story of Humankind as love, war and money.

Sure, if you have too much it will turn you into this --

-- and that's not a good thing. But that can happen with anything that has alcohol, so you can't blame drunkenness on wine alone.

You have to watch it, yes indeedy.

But paired with some slivered parmesan reggiano, shaved dark chocolate and a drop of balsamic vinegar, a hearty red or a cool white wine can change the way you look at how you enjoy your life, and if you've really enjoyed it enough. It's not about being wasted, it's about not wasting the truly good things made available to us on this incredible planet.

You don't need to get drunk on it to see that wine brings to mind myriad simple pleasures that we tend to forget in the hustle and bustle. It can calm, relax and fortify the soul.

That's a fine thing to do for us.

Here at the Skull & Pumpkin, I am very thankful for wine.

Next round's on the house, so long as it's red or white and came from grapes.

A toast... Dumdumshrekpop!