Tips and Whine from the Vine

Perhaps wine is an unusual subject for me to tackle; since the sum total of my 3 decades of imbibing would probably fill a 10 oz glass; but it so happens that everyone I correspond with regularly has been mentioning the heart healthful benefits of the fermented fruit from the vine.  While all my correspondents are in favor of the healthful benefits, it so happens that none of us are particularly enamored of the taste. I quote my SIL: “Oh, got some red from Italy.  Sterilized the drain with it–just plain
battery acid.  I don’t know, I just don’t think I will ever like wine…”  On the heals of her comment came a response from a cousin in the North West who tries to take a little wine for heart health but has never liked the taste of it. I myself always thought wine could do with a lot more sugar. My standard response is that I like about
2 ounces of rosé with a two inch wedge of cheesecake.  That’s good for my heart, isn’t it?  Last week another SIL sent me a bottle of homemade, vintage 2007; a product of her new hobby and wine-making kit (she grew the grapes herself). Upon uncorking, I was disappointed to find that it didn’t fit in the sweet comforts category any more than the others. A couple of days later I was chatting about all the foregoing wine experiences with an acquaintance of over thirty years who just happens to own a vineyard on the Western slope of Colorado. She passed on some expert wine lore learned from a veteran vintner: Men, it is said, usually prefer red wine because they tend to sip it to the sides of the tongue where it registers sweeter.  Women usually find white wines to be sweeter and thus prefer them.  This is because white is sweeter when sipped through the middle (across the tongue) as is the habit of women.  Simple, but, it makes sense.  Apparently my bites of cheesecake cause the red or rose wine to make a detour to the sides.   So here is my advice:Ladies, slosh that wine around in your mouth like a man.SJO and DMH, quaff that wine with little less manners and a bit of a redneck attitude and you may enjoy it more.

Labor Day

Andrea 2
Originally uploaded by sarahgrace

Labor Day
Happy 19th Birthday, Andrea! You were born on Labor Day in more ways than one.
Unlike your older brother’s narrative which begins, “Mama played the organ at church on the night I was born….” Yours begins with a family Labor Day picnic and two goals regarding your birth: 1) We would make it to the hospital; 2) Your father would be present; both to drive us to the hospital and to attend your birth. Our goals for your impending arrival were made challenging by the fact that we lived 20 minutes from the hospital. “Not to worry,” said the OB, “I am 5 minutes away and I will meet you here.” “Famous last words,” retorted the expectant mother, “I was only five minutes away when Kev was born and the OB was 5 minutes the other direction. Neither of us made it to the hospital.” Goal number two was also challenging. At the beginning of the fiscal year the office manager at the radio station where your father was employed issued an ultimatum, “No days off without two weeks prior notice!” Properly cowed, we sat down and figured as near as possible your arrival date. Let’s see, older brother was three weeks early. Maternal tradition says girl babies are earlier than boy babies. We don’t know whether this baby is a girl or boy. Bingo, we will begin vacation one month prior to due date. Uh, its only a two week vacation, what if the baby is over-due? The radio station staff laughed us to scorn (but made no flexible changes in policy). Radio personalities must be on the air regardless of holiday, but your father’s vacation began that Monday. So, that is how it came about that your dad and I got to attend Labor Day picnic together with my extended family. It was a wonderful outdoor affair with fried chicken and the traditional water fight (sans the pregnant lady) and I did plenty of joking with aunts and family members about how apropos it would be to give birth on labor day. After dusk we picked up the trash, packed up our left over salads and returned to our respective homes. As I climbed into bed around 9:00 PM my water broke. We were on our feet and in the car instantly. Walking in the emergency room door I confronted the receptionist and said, “My water broke, the contractions started in the car and I have babies fast, please admit me immediately.” You were born at 11:05 PM.
Oh, yes, the radio station announced it to the whole listening world the next morning around 6:00 AM. Love you bunches! Always have and always will.