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I will admit to a subtle perversion. I like wine. I drink some daily. Unless I drink a little beer. I mean, who drinks wine with pizza? Or barbecued ribs? So sometimes I drink a little beer. But mostly it's wine.

Now, if you're going to drink wine, inevitably, you're going to have to buy it. Believe me, the drinking is more pleasurable than the buying. The problem with buying it is, there are shelves and shelves and more shelves of the stuff, and you actually are familiar with maybe one bottle of every ten displayed. So, what does one do if he doesn't want to drink the same schlock every night?

One takes a chance with every unknown purchase, but that's simply how you must do it. And usually it's OK. Almost never is it a wonderful, ecstatic, shocking, sublime new discovery. But, it's usually OK.

Occasionally, I'll take a chance. I just did, a day or so ago. I saw some wine listed online, and bought it. I was beguiled by the advertising verbiage. Mostly in life, after living 70 some years, I don't get seduced by pretty words. That's something for callow youth to learn for themselves and I'm decidedly past that point. But, this looked good, and I needed to buy some wine anyway, the price was reasonable, and...

Well, I bought some. Four bottles. And now we come to the point of this written peroration, if I can skew the language bit. Heaven knows, I do that often enough anyway.

"Come to the damned point, already!" I can hear in the background. And not all that faintly, either. All right, I will.

I bough the wine and FedEx brought it today. I had to be over 20 and sober to receive it. FedEx rules. I must have passed because he relinquished the wine, and I didn't even have to breathe into a tiny tube or recite the alphabet backwards. I opened the package. Four bottles. Plus, a blurb. And that's the crux. That's what I want to share with you. This is what came with the wine.

4 Bottles of 2009 Toothsteinn The Red

Fuel for the Fire...of Imagination!

Hours of adventure await you and your party in the Grimy Wayvern Wine-Hall. In the darkly purpled shadow lurks an intriguing character.

The freebooting mercenary Blackpepper...the alluring temptress-witch Deherryi...the cutthroat half-elf assassin twins Ceedarr and Van'Illa...

This richly flavored source material brings a complex, multilayered world of fantasy to life, one sip at a time. The only limit is your imagination - and your bladder.

A very racy style, with bright raspberry, kirsch, and mulled strawberry noted lined with lots of chalk and earth. Bergamot and cherry pit notes enter the finish, with rguit slowly filling in at the end.

All grapes were crushed and destemmed into two-ton fermenters and punched down by hand daily. Pressing was carried out at dryness. Clean racked wine was placed in 100% French oak barrels, 30% of which were new and 70% 2nd year French Oak. The wine remained in barrel for 24 months

There we have it. I'm not sure if I should drink it or ship it off to Middle Earth. People here know I'm not an aficionado of fantasy, and these half-elves worry me. Also talk of assassins. And I am carefully protective of my bladder. In addition, I have no knowledge of rguit, but it sounds vaguely like an all-purpose cleaner/car wax.

But you have to admit, anyone who can write like that, and stomp grapes too, is probably worth taking a chance with. He at least has a creative imagination, and we can all relate to that. So, I'll take a sip. After all, we only live once.


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Coming from a family that killed itself drinking alcohol in various forms, I have to admit to being curious as to cole's findings.

In other words, Please tell us what you thought of the wine!

If it is any good at all, I expect Cole's next story will be very spirited with full-bodied characters being examined, and a newly developed exotic taste for fantastic adventures, as he drains the last vestige of elfin fluids.

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Here's a rather elfin young dancer from American Ballet Theater whom I offer as inspiration for a story written under the influence of this magical Middle Earth wine, perhaps including dancing sprites and leaping lizards. (oh, that was Little Orphan Annie. I'm mixing my metaphors and allusions--and maybe illusions). I think I'll quit before someone wonders if I've been tasting a bit of the vino myself!


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I used to think my dad and my uncle might be two of the biggest wine bores south of the Mason-Dixon. We live in one of those states where you cannot order wines to be delivered by FedEx, so if you want a good one you got to go to the source, unless you want package store plunk. You know you got a drinking/spending problem when you devote an entire room in your house to storing expensive wines.

I know all about plunk. Where I come from you grow up knowing the difference between good wine and alcoholic grape juice. No, you do not have to spend a small fortune to enjoy good wine, but it sure cannot hurt.

Here in the USA, the easiest way to find a good wine is ask someone, and taste... taste... taste. When you find one, or five you like, do not worry about what others say about it... just enjoy!

I found this little excerpt in Forbes (one of those magazines dads find interesting) from K.K. Bell:

You Might be a Wine Snob if:

  • You have no idea what anyone else thinks about the wines at the end of a wine dinner.
  • You believe using improper glassware to be a criminal offense and would never consider drinking wine from a tumbler.
  • You find everyone else’s opinions on wine to be insufferably boring.
  • You prefer not to socialize with people who drink beer or other ‘pedestrian’ beverages.
  • You never ask questions about the wine, because you know it all anyway.
  • Your spouse disappears when you start talking about wine.
  • Your dog disappears when you start taking about wine.
  • You have no friends, only wine bottles.

You Might be a Wine Geek if:

  • You select a wine in a restaurant because you’ve never heard of it before.
  • You know the difference between silt, clay and loam.
  • You read wine blogs (thank you).
  • You examine wine closures because they are fascinating.
  • You have more questions at the end of a wine dinner.
  • Your wine retailer is a personal friend.
  • You have friends, lots of ‘em, because you are always opening and sharing unusual new wines.
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Hey, I just got it yesterday! I already had a bottle of something else open and had to drink that first, and so haven't opened any of these yet. I shall give you a review when appropriate. Probably Saturday or Sunday.

Jacobs Creek wines showed up on American shores I'd guess about 5 years ago, and many restaurants carried them because they were decent and low priced, allowing the restaurants to mark them up by a factor of three, as they usually do. I've drunk their Cab, and I imagine their Shiraz is a close cousin to that. Haven't had any in several years now.

Anyone who'd add sugar to a good red should be taken out behind the barn and horsewhipped.


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Anyone who'd add sugar to a good red should be taken out behind the barn and horsewhipped.


How about this then, Cole?

1 750 ml bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja reds, Zinfandel, Shiraz)

1 Lemon cut into wedges

1 Orange cut into wedges

2 Tbsp sugar

1 Shot brandy

2 Cups ginger ale or club soda


Pour wine in the pitcher and squeeze the juice wedges from the lemon and orange into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges (leaving out seeds if possible) and add sugar and brandy. Chill overnight. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving.

Sangria, Yum

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