We called it the “stinky store”, my sister and I. It was an early incarnation of a natural food store and I now recognize that our mother was way ahead of her time by purchasing the vast majority of our groceries there 30 years ago.
Once or twice per winter, I attempt to counter an exceptionally frigid evening with a monolithic red wine. Especially after a gelid trudge home from work or a mundane snow removal session, bombastic flavours that recount effortless ripeness or Mediterranean environs can make a great companion to a Trashmen record (Beach Boys if I’m feeling particularly deviant) or a Frankie Avalon movie. You might call this a pairing of “contrast”, and it works, but there’s another path…
Rioja, internationally considered the flagship of Spain's multitude of wine regions, is like many wine regions of the world - home to several interpretations of its famous juice. There are the truly traditional producers (such as Lopez de Heredia), alongside massive juggernauts advocating the old mantra of “Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva", and fiercely independent rebels railing against what could be called “Brand Rioja”.
As you may already know, the City of Calgary is discussing the launch of a pilot project which would allow the consumption of alcohol in designated sites within city parks. Public feedback is encouraged and you can voice your support or concerns here.
Early one morning about a week prior to Christmas, I pulled up to Metrovino with a van full wine that had just been liberated from our warehouse. With All Kindsa Girls by the Real Kids blasting from the van speakers, I began hoisting the cases up onto the loading dock - one of December’s delightfully Sisyphean acts.
The desire for revenge can be obsessive. I wonder if this has been important for survival over the course of our evolution; after all, our insatiable thirst for vengeance is still acute after millions of years of human development. Perhaps those with the capacity to avenge transgressions against them have proven to be better survivors.
Shadows flit over crimson damask like spectral ravens forlornly seeking purchase in limpid pools of blood. Despite its effulgence, my candelabra is a feeble agent against the illimitable dominion of gloom in my chamber. I say chamber, but rightfully it’s a tomb - and one whose oppressiveness acquiesces not to the influence of cheery iridescence, hyacinthine aromatics nor dulcet tones from the phonograph.