Monthly Archives: December 2011

Photo Blog

These are my favorite #wine #photos (a little twitterspeak for you tweeters) of the past 2 years since I began PulltheCork.

Rosé de Provence on the beach in Antibes

Fino Sherry with Almonds in my Brother in Spain's terrace

Basket outside the cheese shop (fromagerie) in France

Espresso in Spain - my other love

Spend a lot

This Christmas I think that a paradigm shift is overdue. Bottom line –  people need to recontextualize, literally think outside the box, and spend a lot of money ad nauseam this Christmas.

I recommend either a case of absurdly large bottles of Chianti for $99 or a normal sized bottle of Dom Perignon with the gift pack crystal stemware at $240 for everyone on your extended shopping list.

Alternately, a modestly priced French red wine would make a nice gift – there are 200 of this Côtes du Rhône  available in Guelph alone. After all, modest is the new extravagant.

LES CELETTES 2009                                VINTAGES 235010 | $ 13.95


I’ve been at parties where someone has asked  “Can you open this bottle of champagne for me“. What I would like to do is turn around and yell “Anyone have a sword?” It’s a play on my “Sure I can juggle – anyone have 3 chain saws with them” joke.

This video – sabering champagne – is just another thing my wife won’t let me do at home. Maybe it’s the disclaimer at the beginning of the video.

Do not attempt this yourself… blah blah blah …  enacted by professionals … yada yada yada … mishandling may result in severe injury or death … It’s just this sort of fear mongering that takes the fun out of your trip to the Emergency department. 

Hello my name is Shiraz Bordeaux

You may have read that I recently went online and changed my name to Shiraz Bordeaux.   Shiraz is a tough, strong, manly wine and the Aussies do it well.  I like it because it’s not subtle.  “I’m not going to hit you kid. I’m not going to hit you … like hell I’m not going to hit you”.

Bordeaux is all classy, European, and sophisitcated. It’s usually very expensive and quite snobby. I wish I could afford more of it. Iwouldn’t mind dressing all expensive and snobby once in a while too.

So for my way of thinking – the name Shiraz Bordeaux is a  cross somewhere between John Wayne’s tough guy image and James Bond’s (Sean Connery) sauviness.

I like to think I’m like both those guys.  I’m not – but I like to think that.

Picking the perfect party wines

We attended the first Christmas party of the year – the hosts denied it was a Christmas party but really, it’s December for pity’s sake. It felt all Christmas-y to me.  I was very impressed with the wine selection.  Hosts C&J claimed to have just purchased whatever was on sale on the end aisles at the wine store. I have my suspicions that they knew exactly what they were doing. Either way, this is a good recipe for selecting party wines. Or you can buy inexpensive bottles with cute animals on the label – that might go over well too.

Start with bubbly - "Tiny bubbles in the wine" and all that - Prosecco from Italy is much cheaper than Champagne from France

Côtes du Rhône is the backbone of your selections - who can argue with French red?

A second Côtes du Rhône makes it look like you really know what you are doing

There are sure to be Italians at any party - don't risk offending them - have a "vino rustico" on hand

American Zinfandel is an intersting alternative to an all-European lineup- "He must know what he's doing serving Zinfandel at a party"

Beckham – “Beer is good for you”

This is turning into a David Beckham blog – we can learn so much from him. See David celebrating with beer instead of “champagne”.  He’s trying to teach his LA Galaxy teammates that beer is good for them.

"Here's to my health mates"


Study: Beer Is Good For You

Reduces Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease Significantly

November 18, 2011|BY WILLIAM WEIR,, The Hartford Courant
We always hear about how moderate wine-drinking is good for you. What about beer?Turns out beer is good for you, too, a new study tells us — maybe even better than wine. In moderation.The researchers found that beer reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 42 percent; the wine study they compared it to had shown a risk reduction of 31 percent.Portions, though, play a big part. Maximum health benefits come from drinking a little more than 1 pint per day of beer with a 5 percent alcohol content.The next question is: Why would this be? The researchers don’t know how much of a role the alcohol plays vs. other ingredients. Many of the wine-is-good-for-you studies tout the presences of resveratrol, a chemical found in grapes.

Beer doesn’t have resveratrol, the researchers say, but it does have other polyphenols that may be healthful.