Today, as I often do on days when I have managed to stay inside my grocery budget, I peered in at the state liquor store, where one can find — with some exercise of discrimination — the cream of the Virginia state wine industry. (The vintage ranges from the sublime to the farcical; there are far too many plantations in this Commonwealth of faux-genteel antebellum hangover where you can pay $22 a bottle for thin potations full of dubious alkaloids which I could have bettered in my junior year — and did — with a crock of Welch’s grape juice and spit.) On lucky days, I have had some pleasant surprises.

There was a Cabernet Blanc, an intriguing, transparently shell-pink hue, from the Barboursville vineyards enthusiastically recommended by my friend and retired fellow blogger Zeus. Zeus and I agree on almost everything except politics and I often wonder if that is only an error of inflection, but I could not get past the back label of this bottle, which told me that the wine was a pale warm color “remindful [sic] of a Virginia sunset” and that it was “Wonderful for all occasion” [likewise sic].

I realize that one does not require profound literacy first and foremost of one’s vintner, but I just couldn’t march it up to the register.

I bought some Fernet Branca.


14 thoughts on “Remindfulness

    • My Albino Ex, a onetime campus cop and self-styled “broomer” of street winos, had a specialized knowledge of the various intoxicants popular with this demographic. He explained to me about Night Train Express and Mad Dog 20/20 as well as malt liquors like Steel Reserve. The striking thing about Mad Dog when you see it on the grocery shelf (as close as a mere mortal dares get to the stuff) is the radioactive, luminous, not-found-in-nature color of the product.

      Intrigued, for a scene in the JB novels involving an affable homeless street drunk, I did a bit of research here, though I ended up going with old tried and true Colt .45. (I remember when that was not a niche brew, and had commercials on prime time TV…)

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