Frank had ridden through the night. The moon was lucent, the terrain rocky and an antagonising posse of some of the hardest lawmen in the West were after him. Upon their chests shone the stars of the law; on Frank's a death's head adorned by grape clusters and crossed with venencias, emblematic of the League of Outlaw Sommeliers. Frank, better known as the Cornas Kid, was the fastest corkscrew in the West.
To say that we're in the midst of an epidemic is no overstatement. The dreaded “cork taint", anathema when present in wine, has found its way into our fruits and vegetables. And while it's estimated that somewhere between 2 and 5% of wines sealed by natural cork closures are "corked", my a posteriori evidence would suggest that the percentage in fresh produce dwarfs this figure.
During my reckless youth, the acts of bowling and drinking often coincided amongst my friends and I. We bemusedly noticed that our bowling skills improved with modest imbibing, but rapidly diminished with the onset of inebriation. To my memory, this was as far as the analysis ever went, it never occurring to us that the mastery of the game could in essence be achieved through the meticulous, almost mathematical, engagement with alcohol. In all honesty, this idea might have become manifest, but on most evenings reaching execrable levels of drunkenness was more important than an impressive bowling score.
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…
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.