Day 279

We were introduced to wine today. I thought for sure there would be a cartoon of someone being wittily or comically introduced to wine that I could put here, but Google says not. I did however go on a lovely 10-minute sidetrack to reacquaint myself with Gaping Void’s cartoons, starting with this one:

Anyway, back to the wine. I am a total wine newbie. I used to drink wine until my mid-20’s, until I realized that the blinding headaches I experienced the morning after were not hangovers after all, but migraines triggered by wine.

My intake of beer and tequila took a sharp upswing after that. But I digress.

Apparently one of the (many) changes women can experience at this age is a change in the triggers, frequency and duration of migraines. I haven’t had a migraine in years (although I did use it on occasion at my old job when I needed an attitude adjustment day, sshhh), and have tested the wine-drinking waters, and it looks like I’m ready to dive in.

It was a small sample today, two Chardonnays and two GSM (Grenache Syrah Mourvedre). Kristina led us through a brief tasting of the unoaked and oaked chardonnays, and then of the Canadian and Australian GSM.


Quick introduction

All I can say after trying these four is that I have a ways to go to understand wine, but at this point I’d really rather have a beer. Neither the whites and reds tasted today made my taste buds do a happy dance. But it’s early days yet.

History class followed in the afternoon, all about beer and exploration. Vikings, explorers, settlers; all came travelling to the new world and all brought some kind of beer with them. It was interesting seeing the differences between the English puritanical settlers vs the Dutch ones as show through art, histories and stories. There was even a recipe or two, one from Catharine Parr Traill:

This excellent, and, I might add, indispensable article for every settler’s house, is a valuable substitute for ale or beer-yeast, and is made in the following simply manner:

  • Take two double handfuls of hops, boil in a gallon of soft water, if you can get it, till the hops sink to the bottom of the vessel;
  • make ready a batter formed by stirring a dessert-plate full of flour and cold water till smooth and pretty thick together;
  • strain the hop-liquor while scalding hot into the vessel where your batter is mixed ready; let one person pour the hop-liquor while the other keeps stirring the batter.
  • When cooled down to a gentle warmth, so that you can bear the finger well in it, add a cup or basinful of the former barm, or a bit a leaven, to set it to work;
  • let the barm stand till it has worked well, then bottle and cork it.

Seems simple enough.

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