|Still life with bottle, carafe, bread and wine by Claude Monet|
My husband makes wine, from a kit and we have found some of his concoctions to be better than the bought variety. We only buy the best quality kits now and we have had quite a few guests who think they are connoisseurs but thought our wine was purchased from the liquor store.
Last summer I was very lucky to visit Paris for a couple of days. My husband and I had a very memorable and romantic time sightseeing and enjoying fine food and wine in the little cafés that line the streets. On our anniversary we wanted to go to a particular little bistro around the corner from our hotel. Sangria was the special aperitif for the evening so I enjoyed it's fruity flavour before our excellent meal arrived. With the meal we shared a bottle of the House red which was paired perfectly for our food. (Sorry I don't remember what it was called). When we were done we strolled down the avenue hand in hand looking for another place to have a night cap. Since it was rather chilly out (unusual for July!) I wanted to sit inside the restaurant this time. Our waiter showed us a table and a menu. I noticed something unusual on the drink menu which interested me: "vin chaud". The english translation is: warm wine, otherwise known as Mulled Wine. Since I had been drinking red wine all evening, and I was quite chilled, this sounded very good to me. But when I ordered it, the waiter was incredulous. "Vin chaud!" he exclaimed. "Vin chaud?"
"Oui." I insisted, "Vin Chaud." and pointed to it on the menu. He asked me again to be sure. I said, "Il fait froid ce soir." (It is cold this evening.) With a look of disdain, he turned from me and proceeded to have a longwinded conversation with someone in the kitchen. The french words were flying so fast I could hardly understand more than Vin Chaud back and forth in various intonations. From what I could gather the person in the kitchen was verifying the fact that he could fill the order but the waiter still persisted in making a big deal about it. My husband and I exchanged looks of dismay. Was it really such a "faux pas" to order a drink 'out of season'? I guess in Paris, the customer is not "always right", at least with this waiter! Finally I got my vin chaud and it was just perfect! A perfect end to a perfect meal on a perfect day (with only one imperfection -- that supercilious waiter)! As a parting shot he asked me if we were from Allemagne. He thought we were German! Was it my french accent? I laughed and said, "Non, nous sommes du Canada." Maybe it was my imagination but I thought he looked a bit chagrinned. After all, for Canadians to complain about the cold it must be pretty darn chilly! We are known world wide for cavorting in shorts while others are still swathed in their woollens! And I am particularly hot blooded -- not to mention the odd hot flash! :D
I would dearly love to go on a wine tasting tour of Europe, or California -- or even British Columbia or the Niagara region of Ontario! But we are too far away and our holiday times do not coincide with the wine harvest.
Wine is bottled poetry.-- Robert Louis Stevenson
Ah yes! We know what you're thinking!
(As Paul in Between the Sheets)
A DRINKING SONG
Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.
I am a huge fan of Elton John and I have always loved this song
from the Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player album (1972)
Elderberry Wine / Elton John
I didn't actually know that John Denver performed this next song. It was written by Randy Sparks of the New Christy Minstrels in 1964 and was a huge hit. I remember it being sung quite often on many variety shows throughout my childhood. My favourite memory of it being performed was by a duet of teenagers for our local Festival of the Arts.
Today / John Denver
Phylly's Top 5 Reasons to drink wine (No pressure)
- Because it tastes good.
- Because it makes your food taste even better.
- Because it is fun to make toasts! Cheers!
- Because it might be good for you. (Red wine -- but not too much).
- Because I said so.*
* #5 doesn't apply in this case. (I reserve this reason for other instances -- like when I have grandchildren someday. I always thought it was a lame reason until I had children. Then suddenly one day it made perfect sense to me. It is a very useful tool in childrearing to be used wisely!) ;)
There's nothing quite like Dean Martin
singing a drinking song!
Little Ol' Wine Drinker Me / Dean Martin
I am extremely happy that I remembered this tune. It has stayed in my memory since I first heard it as a young girl. It made me a fan of Canadian singer /songwriter Gene MacLellan even more so than his more famous song Snowbird. If you'd like to hear his version (which is quite nice) click here. Otherwise here is the singer he wrote it for to perform it.
Biding my Time / Gene MacLellan (sung by Anne Murray)
Although I am very fond of UB40's upbeat reggae version of this song I feel the need to give the nod to the composer of this song and his properly heartbreaking performance.
Red Red Wine / Neil Diamond
Here's a more modern song with a wine theme.
This Swedish band has become a new fave for me. I can't believe I hadn't heard of them before!
I Need Some Fine Wine / The Cardigans
This individual is even more complex than the wine!
|As the not to be trusted John Mulligan in Moving On|
My blogger friend Maria Grazia likes to watch movies while she catches up on her ironing.
She wrote a great review for this movie not long ago on her blog Fly High! (click here)
A Walk in the Clouds (1995)
I only just heard about this movie while finding clips for this post. Then what do I find in a sale rack at a local variety store, but this DVD! What a find! This is a very enjoyable movie based on a true story about how the world discovered Californian wine. It is always fun to cheer for the underdog and this feel-good movie really evokes the look and spirit of the 1970s. Of course I remember back when North American wine was pretty sad stuff (particularly Canadian wines), but look how far we have come! Apparently all thanks to one special event back in 1976. Who knew?
Bottle Shock (2008)
He looks like he's enjoying this particular vintage. Could it be Merlot?
|as Harry Kennedy in The Vicar of Dilbley's last Christmas special|
Here is a very funny and as well as poignant movie about wine tasting, relationships and learning to believe in yourself. Paul Giamatti's character does a lot of raving about the Pinot Noir grape which apparently made this type of wine much more popular than it was before. He also rants against Merlot, but that won't stop me from enjoying a good Merlot now and then!
Why not try some white wine for a change?
|Lucas North in series 7.5 Spooks / MI-5|
Now I'll admit I am cheating here, as I haven't actually seen this movie...yet! But from what I have seen of the reviews and the clips I am sure it will be one of my faves soon. I just couldn't resist showing you this clip.
French Kiss (2003)
Now here is a very enjoyable movie I haven't seen for many years! CBC used to play excellent latenight movies especially during the summer months, so that must be why I have seen this one more than once. It stars Anthony Quinn as Bombolini, the village drunkard in WWII Italy. Just before the Nazis are set to ransack the town's wine cellars, Bombolini becomes a hero for initiating a plan to hide their precious bottles from discovery. The following clip is a bit long but well worth a watch if you haven't seen this great movie which won 2 Oscars.
The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)
Thank goodness I was reminded of this great video by Avalon Medieval! It combines the narration from the Robin Hood audiobook The Seige with clips from series 3 Robin Hood. Here we have Robin and Gisborne having a conversation while imbibing quite a bit of vino!
Is your goblet more than half-empty yet? Maybe it's still half-full? Depends on how you look at it, eh?
If that song or sentiment made you sad click here for some wine jokes!And now I think of my life as vintage wine from fine old kegs,From the brim to the dregs, it poured sweet and clear,It was a very good year.