I’m not always the world’s cheapest husband – but sometimes I like to see if I can save a little money and see if anyone noticed.
I have my parameters around this demi-mantra. I don’t buy cheap chicken [that seems like an unnecessary health risk] and I don’t stay in cheap hotels [same reason].
But last week I tried buying the cheapest red wine possible at the LCBO and didn’t tell my wife. And in a class re-creation of a Life cereal experiment I let my wife try it first. Guess what? “She likes it! Hey Mikey!” [if you are under the age of 40 you have no idea why I just wrote that].
Seriously a decent wine for $7.45? Hooray for the Cheap Husband!
CASAL THAULERO SANGIOVESE IGT
LCBO 588996 | Price $ 7.45
Sometimes I get in the spirit of sophistication and order a martini. There are many great quotes about the Martini. Gin or Vodka is a question for another time.
“A man must defend his home, his wife, his children, and his martini.”
“He knows just how I like my martini – full of alcohol.”
”I had never tasted anything so cool and clean.” “They made me feel civilized.”
Ernest Hemingway novel Farewell to Arms.
“I never go jogging, it makes me spill my martini.”
With this in mind I visited Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers in Beamsville, ON. I had already purchased the White Rye from the LCBO but wanted to have a go at the Gin and the Eau de Vie. The Gin is a botanical lovers dream – delicate enough that I think the gin martini made with it should be straight. That’s so dry that you aren’t even allowed to think the word Vermouth while pouring it. The people at Dillon’s also have a little bit of fun on their website – PulltheCork approved fun! In their Spirit descriptors they mention Papa Hemingway, Khan [the Mongolian ruler not the Star Trek guy], Smith and Wesson, and generally entertain throughout. Their collection of bitters would make any mixologist giggle like a school girl – well maybe only if they liked making cocktails – but you get the point.
If you are driving down the QEW past Beamsville stop in and have a look – their tasting room is simply stunning. Otherwise stop in at the LCBO – the Gin is dang good.
DILLON’S GIN 22 UNFILTERED
LCBO 358556 | 750 mL bottle Price $ 39.95
DILLON’S THE WHITE RYE
LCBO 337600 | 750 mL bottle Price $ 37.95
I am currently looking for summer. I read a funny comic last week that said “The first person to complain about how hot is is this summer gets a punch in the throat”. People get a little emotional waiting this long for summer.
I started looking for summer in the Spanish aisle of the LCBO.
My brother-in-Spain says that a good Spanish Rioja tastes like a hot, dry summer. When we opened this one I got a little emotional. Maybe I miss my brother? Maybe it’s the absurdly cruel long winter that really got me? Maybe I got a piece of cork in my contact? Whatever it was, I did get a little teary at how much this wine reminded me of a hot, dry Spanish summer.
CAMPO VIEJO RIOJA TEMPRANILLO
LCBO 342006 |Price $ 14.40
Dark plum and cherry fruits with a dryness that persisted on my palate [evoking the emotional response I referred to earlier]
Just the other day I saw a man I didn’t know – at least I didn’t know that the man I was looking at was somebody that I knew. Has that ever happened to you? I guess the idiom is “putting a face to a name” and I suppose I took the long way to explain that.
One of my favourite rustic wines is the M. Chapoutier Côtes du Rhône. While reading the a wine magazine this weekend I saw a photo of a very friendly winemaker named Michel Chapoutier. “Hey, I know that guy” was my first thought – only to realize that I didn’t know that guy, I just read his name on the wine that I was drinking. Seemed odd to me that I thought I knew a guy just because I drank his wine. He seems like a nice guy.
See what I mean?
“Bonjour Michel, je m’appelle Travis” [I learned that in grade 7].
CHAPOUTIER COTES DU RHONE VILLAGES
LCBO 321539 | Price: $ 19.45
A little more than I pay for Côtes du Rhône ordinaire but worth it. Rustic, jammy, long finish. Merci Michel. Nice to finally meet you.
Few things give me greater pleasure than mentioning Albert Einstein in my blog. Here goes …
Hey Uncle Albert – fish are stupid!
This got me to thinking about stupid beer. If you are going to spend your whole life drinking cheap beer then you will live your whole life believing that it is good – and that you are a genius. If, however, you want to really be a genius then you have to try new stuff – like Muskoka Brewery’s Detour IPA. This weekend I had it on tap at Baker Street Station in Guelph and found it again in a 6-pack at the LCBO.
I think “Stop drinking stupid beer” should be on the front of the Detour IPA t-shirt. This is a big hop ale with a clean finish that is the perfect detour from winter beer drinking to clean, genius, spring beer drinking. I think Uncle Albert would approve.
And I want a kick back on the “Stop drinking stupid beer” t-shirt sales.
I’ve been a coffee lover for 20 years now. In my quest for a personal vice I’ve become an espresso lover.
While visiting a Starbucks [conveniently tucked inside a Chapters bookstore] I noticed someone else indulging in his espresso habit.
Holy hot espresso Batman …
This is not photo-shopped – the coffee cupping caped crusader apparently loves his latte!
The French have a way with words don’t they? Their word for “Organic” [Biologique - Bio for short] is way cooler than ours.
Also, some believe that the word organic implies that the other products are “inorganic” – which is of course absurd. Brother-in-Spain [a frequent commenter on this blog, relative, and birthday boy!] is still quite confused on the subject as he demonstrates on his own blog Plant Every Day. Understandable, as he has always appeared to be smarter than me – but sometimes that gets lost in translation.
Anyhoo – I decided to go Biologique on my last shopping trip to the LCBO. I found a very tasty Côtes du Rhône and a Pinot Noir from the Sud de France. I threw in a local eco-friendly Cab Franc blend from Pelee Island just to round out the triple play.
ROCHE BASTIDE AOC COTES DU RHONE ORGANIC
LCBO 360966 | Price $ 13.95 A sassy little bio – Grenache / Syrah blend that is quite smooth, not too sweet, and frankly delicious. This may be my vin biologique de l’été - lightly chilled the berry fruits are quite prominent but there is a rustic quality that makes me want to BBQ
O PINOT NOIR BY GILLES LOUVET ORGANIC
LCBO 292995 |Price $ 13.95 A lighter bio than the Roche Bastide with a bit more sour cherry – again, a great BBQ wine if the blasted polar vortex ever gives up his grip on the Northern Hemisphere.
PELEE ISLAND ECO TRAIL VQA
LCBO 612465 | Price $ 10.95 A touch sweeter than the other two – so great if you like that sort of thing. Lots of fruits and berries and a freakin’ cool frog on the label. That sold me – and the Cabernet Franc heavy blend.