Coexisting

I was enjoying a Wellington SPA on the patio at the Wooly with my good friend R.  “There’s a fly, or wasp, in your pint” I commented.  “That’s the least of my concerns” was his reply. And he proceeded to keep the not-so-little insect in his drink.

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“What a good attitude”, i thought to myself. Why squabble over something as innocuous as an insect that just wants some slightly hoppy pale ale today. We can certainly coexist. This little bee is certainly not ruining my day in any respect – maybe we can just get along.  R gets his pint and the wasp gets his fermented sugar.

A couple of days later i found myself in 20 degree weather sitting on the OX patio. There wasn’t much space but 4 women were very nice and allowed me to share their table. I assured them that i was there to read and have a pint and wouldn’t bother them. They allowed me to coexist in their space in that little oasis in downtown Guelph. That’s when this happened.

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Yes, a black fly in my “chardonnay” [Alannis], or rather Royal City dry hopped IPA.  My first instinct was to remove the little pest.  Then i remember the kindness of others. My friend R allowing the wasp to stay, my new writer friends allowing me to sit with them in the sunshine.  Monsieur la mouche [french] wasn’t really bothering anyone. Earlier in the week my daughter M and i had the “killing one fly doesn’t change the world for the better so why not let him live” conversation. So i let him coexist.  If i’ve learned anything from M, R, and my new patio friends at OX, it’s that maybe we can all get along and that makes for a better world.

IMG_9815Maybe you find that a little uncomfortable to think about drinking a pint with a fly in it – but i decided to coexist and it felt good.  Try it yourself sometime this week.

PS – i realize that it looks like i was writing about coexisting and friends and learning stuff from my daughter, but i did recommend two excellent patio beer that you might want to try. See what i did there?


First in Space

Sometimes a man [which I’m] needs to do something noteworthy and daring – to bleed to know he’s alive.  And since my bridge jumping days are over this is what i came up with.

I’ve done my part to get spring kickstarted by being the first person on two different patios in Guelph already. Some people are comparing it to Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind – admittedly it’s not “some people”, it’s only me. Yet the servers at both establishments were suitably impressed. So this blog post is really a guide to being first in space [opening patios] after a ridiculously cold [i.e. nobody believes in global warming anymore] winter.

OX was the first up in early March. I picked OX because it’s sheltered from the wind and a bit of an oasis in downtown Guelph. My adventure opening the patio at the Wooly came later.

  • Step 1 – bring a blanket, metal chairs are cold on the bum. Bring a friend so that you can both convince yourself this was a good idea when you get numb.
  • Step 2- walk up to the bar and order a stout or brown ale, something that has roasted malts.  An hoppy IPA will do if you can’t find a brown ale suitable to your tastes.
  • Step 3 – walk through the bar, open the patio door like you know what you’re doing, and set up camp. Beer in the snow, blanket protecting your gluteals
  • Step 4 – be a little smug

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IMG_9292One small step for man …


Nobody’s here

So I’m blogging today from Van Gogh’s Ear. Watching El Classico – watching Barca score early as Luis Suarez [the player who regularly bites other players ] is falling and rolling like he’s been shot.  So yeah , typical futbol.  Cristiano Ronaldo gets booed each time he touches the ball – I don’t think that’s very nice, I don’t personally boo people because I don’t think it’s nice.

But nobody’s here – and out of the 5 people here I’m the only one drinking beer? Where even am I?

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The white thing is the TV – the brown thing my Tankhouse Ale [$5.75].  Is everyone taking  a crazy pill except me? Don’t  beer and soccer go together?

So by my count  there’s 1 carafe of wine [barça fan] and 5 glasses of water.  Maybe they know something I don’t know? Maybe I’m smarter than they are? Either way I’m booing  them during halftime.

 

 


At the car wash 

I bet myself that I could write an entire blog post using my phone while sitting at the car wash.

Yes, I’m sitting for 30mins in line because it’s finally warm out and I want a clean car.  It’s actually a stupid privileged world problem – who needs a clean car? I’m even driving a Jeep, which I think is supposed to be dirty. I still don’t understand the Jeep thing.

Another thing I don’t understand is this.

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My daughter, M, thinks that instant coffee will be the next big hipster thing. Like Pabst Blue Ribbon beer [previous post here] – everyone knows it isn’t good but we drink it anyways because it’s cool and ironic.  So I made myself a cup.

How was it? If you’re thinking of trying this at home … don’t.

Hey there you go – I entertained myself and maybe brother-in -Spain, wrote about something to drink, and was inspired by my muse M to write.  I call it the blogging natural hat trick.

Seriously, don’t drink this stuff.

Still waiting for a clean Jeep


Irish or Scottish?

“Here’s to your health” is a good traditional toast while raising a glass amongst friends and family. Recently i have been drawn to such a toast with either a whiskey or a whisky. “What’s the difference” you say? “Did you misspell that?”.  People new to partaking in a “dram” of the spirit made from mashed grains may not even know that the Irish version is called Whiskey [with an e] and the Scottish version, more commonly known as Scotch, is Whisky [no e].

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More importantly to the point.  A friend of mine, Professor R we can call him [University prof] recently found this article.  10 Health Benefits of Whiskey.

I have at home  the very good BushMills Black Bush [$37 LCBO#: 61374] and the delightfully smooth Auchentoshan Three Wood Scotch Whisky [$80 LCBO#: 720532] – which is only opened when my daughter M is in town. Maybe it’s the DNA speaking, or maybe it’s just a freakin’ good scotch, but we both love it.  I think I like it because it’s aged initially in bourbon casks and then finished in Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks. Bourbon and then Spanish Sherry – I like both those things.

Back to Professor R. Now I call him “Professor R, the Enabler”. Thanks for the encouragement. Here’s to my health.

 


Bob’s Book

Wednesday I went to a book launch by local author, and Guelph celebrity in his own right, Bob Desautels – who most of us know as the owner of The Wooly [or the Woolwich Arrow as nobody calls it], or as I call it, “The Home Court”, as it is the closest pub to my house.  As usual I’m already not talking about what meant to talk about – Bob’s book.  I went to the launch, got a copy of Bob’s book, got it signed,  then sold it on eBay two hours later for a profit.  First edition? Author’s signature? eBay gold!

WineSense is the name of Bob’s first book. Subtitled “the three keys to understanding wine” it reads like a series of lecture notes on the topic of wine. Lecture notes interspersed with witty anecdotes and clever quotes.  I appreciated it both as an educator and somebody who knows just enough about wine to consider myself interesting in a wine conversation [I can hear brother-in-Spain shouting, “interesting to who?”].

Three weeks ago my daughter, wife, and I were sampling ales at the Wooly when Bob came over very excited to have had the first books delivered to him that very day. He brought one over like a new grandchild and gave us an introduction.  I have been anticipating getting a copy ever since.

Three favourite quotes for from the introduction of WineSense …

  • The one indisputable thing about wine is that it will cheer you up [agreed Bob, unless it’s mulled wine – i’ve got nothing good to say about mulled wine]
  • Wine just helps to bring people closer together [true, i pack 50 people in a space designed to seat 8 at my Beaujolais Nouveau party]
  • Champagne is known to be the only drink or food that a person who is seasick can digest without vomiting [after my bout with the flu I wish I’d know that 5 days ago]

I think you can learn a lot about the authors intentions from the introduction. Bob is unpretentious, knowledgeable, and his  good guy-ness comes through.  It’s an easy read and a great course in wine education.  Well done Bob.  You can order the book from Friesen Press, but don’t – buying at the Wooly seems only proper.

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From the Friesen website …

Wine is a muse for poets and ordinary folks alike, a great seducer and lifelong friend to many. It’s integral to some of the finest cultures on earth. But as simple and lovely as wine may be, the wine world can be intimidating. Many so-called experts perpetuate an elitist approach to wine, with their explanations so jargon-filled that the wine gets lost in the analysis.

WineSense cuts through the jargon and complexities wine can present. In this common-sense guide, Bob Desautels offers straightforward information on types of wine, tasting, wine history, grape varieties, approaches to winemaking, and more. His Three Keys to Understanding Wine allow the everyday wine enthusiast and the beginner to truly grasp the subject while increasing their appreciation of wine.

The ultimate purpose of this book is to teach you how to find good and consistent styles of wine that suit your palate. You’ll be able to look beyond the safe choices and search for local wines that have the best qualities of your international favourites. With a deeper understanding of wine, you’ll gain true WineSense, offering you a newfound confidence in choosing the right wine for the right time.

 


Chicken Wine

Kids say the darnedest things. Even when they are 31 years old.  My girl, M, keeps referring to La Vieille Ferme as the “chicken wine”.

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Now there’s several things cute [or darnedest] about that …

1. It’s a Rooster – well technically i guess a rooster is a chicken so maybe she’s right on that one

2. The name La Vieille Ferme is actually right there on the bottle – however, the drawing of the chickens is probably more interesting than meaningless french words  – so i’ll concede that one to her too

3. She admitted to me that it was open for a week and still tasted good – I’ve never had a bottle of wine stay unfinished for a week so i have to give her that one on self-control alone . Also, she was using the vacuum suctiony thingy i bought her just for that purpose [see post on Weinfrischhalter Geschenskset] so good for you M for listening to your dad.

4. If she’s already right on 3 counts then who’s to argue about it still tasting good.

Also, i think she’s smarter than me and i love her so i’m inclined to agree with whatever she’s talking about – especially when she likes one of my favourite wines.

 

From the LCBO website …

La Vieille Ferme Cotes Du Ventoux AOC  LCBO#: 263640

Medium violet/ruby colour; red cherry aromas with blackberry and floral notes; dry with perfumed raspberry character and a touch spice; medium finish with light tannins.

WAS $11.90 NOW $10.90

 


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