Now before you go all "oh ho!" and "yeah, right!" at me, let me 'splain something:
I hate red wine. I dislike wine in general, along with almost anything else which has a significant amount of alcohol in it. I think I am mildly allergic to wine - very often when I have tried some, the hinges of my jaw will ache for an hour or two. Past research has told me that some sulfur compound used in many wineries may cause this. I should look it up again. Sulfite. I am also an alcohol lightweight. One glass of wine in half an hour can put me to sleep. Two in an hour certainly will, if I last that long.
I make no moral judgment here. It's mostly genetics, I think, coupled with the fact that my parents only broke out the wine for religious ceremonies and the hard stuff when we had bad colds. My dad would sometimes have a sip of wishniak or slivovitz because he liked the taste, but it was expensive and he did not enjoy getting drunk. I've only been drunk once, and it was not the most fun night of my life.
Back to the story. On my way home from work and some other shopping, I went to BevMo to see what they had in a nice Burgundy. Nothing. Nada. Apparently nobody makes burgundy anymore. Shiraz, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet, red table wine, but no Burgundy.It was quite daunting trying to find something there, they were having a "buy one, get the next for 5 cents" sale, but you had to buy two of the same wine. After navigating a maze of display boxes, I found the racks at the back. The giant signs on the displays has educated me that some clown named Wilfred Wong has rated a lot of red wines, and when the rating is >80 BevMo puts it on the price tag.
Once upon a time when I first moved to the Bay Area I would drive to Napa Valley this time of year and take a bunch of winery tours. Back then the wine was free. I may hate drinking wine, but I love the smell of the concentrated grape juice in the cellars. It was fun to take small tastes and listen to the experts talk about things like nose and fruity and their many other imaginary friends. One of those trips, a brand new winery had opened, St. Jean. They had the best tour, which included a modest picnic lunch, and the place was a gorgeous mansion with a huge lawn open to the public. I bought a bottle of their fumé blanc, which I was able to tolerate, and it also made a great chicken marinade. So when I decided on a Cabernet at BevMo, I looked for St. Jean. The 2008 was rated 86 points, which was nice, and the price was a reasonable $13.99. As I was reaching for it, I saw next to it Chateau Ste Michelle, which sounded familiar. It was rated 93 points, the highest I had seen so far, and was on sale for $9.99. Zing! Looking at the label I saw why it was familiar -the wine from Washington State's Columbia Valley, but the Chateau itself is in Woodinville, near a bike trail I used to ride when I worked at Microsoft.
While I was at it, I also picked up a bottle of something called Vigilance, which had a rating of 92 and was on sale for $11.99, $6 off regular.
I had the wine, I needed cheese. BevMo is across the parking lot from The Milk Pail, and they happened to have my favorite Lingot d'argental cheese in stock.
Dinner was once again part of the "defrost or die" project, one of three ziplock pouches of home made beef stew from so long ago I forgot I had them. Good choice for red wine, I think.
So, I had about 1/3 of a glass of Ste. Michelle with dinner, sipping it a little at a time. The stuff had so much tannin in it you could probably used the inside of my mouth as a wallet. It did not sting like red wines I've tried in the past, it felt like pouring alcoholic velvet on my tongue. The fanciful label says its complexity and suppleness comes from aging in small oak barrels, and yes, it did taste a bit like wood. After dinner I had the rest of the glass with slices of this amazing cheese, which took away most of the wine's aftertaste.
It was not as bad as taking medicine. I think I will try to keep this up for the next week, and see if there is any improvement in my Hgl levels and sleeping.