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It’s been almost 30 sleeps since the last installment of Wine or Whine, my monthly pretentious wine review thing. Cripes, how did I make it? Whether it was braving the icy and dicey steps of Quebec City or fighting through crowds of hipsters in New York City or braving the long lonely Interstate 87 back to Montreal again, there were all sorts of obstacles to overcome before returning to the comforts of home life and a home-cooked dinner.
The wine under consideration for this Wine or Whine is called Les Palombieres. It comes from the Gascony region of France.
This wine almost jumped off the shelf at me – and not just because it cost a cool $11.10 (from SAQ). It’s because when I looked at the label illustration of a bunch of pigeons flying out of a tree I was suddenly transported back about 20 years to my misspent youth. In Gascony, nonetheless (south-west of Bordeaux) and in a palombiere. What is a palombiere? It’s a camouflaged hut in the woods from which you shoot pigeons. (I say you and not me because I wouldn’t do anything so beastly as to shoot a pigeon.)
Anyway, at the time, I was sort of inspired to protect the birds of the world and so was my young cousin. So when we happened across this palombiere in the woods not far from his home, we did what any self-respecting animal rights activist would do.
We visited awesome and irrevocable destruction on that evil hunting lodge. We tore apart the walls, we kicked down a door, and we smashed things – many things: glasses, plates, cups – and we also took special pains to rip up the pages of the hunter’s private stash of porno magazines… When we were about halfway done, we went back home for lunch. Appetites satiated, we returned for another frenzied attack on the palombiere. But sadly for us, we had made the mistake of bringing along the family dog. So after a spectacularly loud smashing of something or another – a smash that surely brought an end to the siesta of the entire valley – we suddenly realized that the locals had caught wind of our misdeeds and were out in hot pursuit. We dashed into the dense thicket of the woods and hid for what felt like an eternity. We hardly dared breathe. It was a like a Hardy Boys’ adventure.
Except all our heroics were for naught, because as I said, we had a dog in tow; a dog who did not move his furry butt quite as fast as we did. The dog was successfully identified by our pursuers, and the result was that we, too, were identified. And boy, were we in trouble!
Wine or Whine?
So after that very long and fairly irrelevant story about a palombiere, we get now to the important part. Is this wine any good?
Well, the vintage we drank was a 2008, and I think 2008 was a happy year all around, no? I mean, we still thought Obama would save America from self-immolation at that point. Har de har! Anyway, for as long as we still have the remnants of a civilization to live in, I hope that civilization will continue to produce great deals such as Les Palombieres. It’s a robust, no-nonsense, honest-to-goodness red wine, and easily stood up to the meal (a delightful Indian curry made by Monika; thanks again!). It left me feeling like a man who has worked a full day’s work and has had his just reward at the end of it.
This week I had the pleasure of spending four days in our province’s capital city, Quebec. It was delightful. Quebec City is arguably the prettiest city in Canada. I especially like walking down from the splendours of the old city and getting up close to the St-Lawrence in the lower city, which is every bit as historic as the upper town.
As of March 1, I will be working full-time in communications at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of McGill. I am delighted to join their team and will endeavor to live up to the incredible reputation McGill has enjoyed lo these hundreds of years, well, I think about 180, actually. This is probably the last I write about the job because it’s a policy of mine to not mix blogging and business, unless, of course, it’s to write enthusiastic reviews of Porte Parole plays.
In my free time I will continue to do whatever I can to support Porte Parole, a theatre company whose mandate I profoundly believe in.
2010 really is off to a wonderful start so far.
I don’t have much enlightening to say about the iPad. But Hugh McGuire over here does. A great blog post, and the comments that follow are equally enlightening. Me, I just watch as another gadget that I can’t afford is released onto the market, joining the company of numerous other products sporting the ubiquitous “i” including the iPhone, the iPod, the iTouch. Sigh.
What I do own, chiefly because it was a business write-off, is a Fujitsu laptop with an “e” key that my cat broke off three months ago. Banchi, you little rogue! My Fujitsu is the computer I use for the Interweb. I also have an IBM Thinkpad from the year 2001, which does not have the Interweb, but it does have a functional keyboard. A very handy thing for a writer!
Steve Jobs is pretty much a celebrity. Isn’t he? It’s perhaps fair to say that anyone with something expensive to sell probably fits the modern-day definition of a celebrity.
If asked what is my favourite word, I would probably say Yak. It makes my girlfriend laugh whenever I say it. In one’s repertoire, it pays to have a few trademark words to throw around that easily accomplish one’s humour goals.
Not surprisingly, Yak rhymes with Mac. Mere coincidence? I think not! Words ending in AK-sounds clearly contain great power. I am convinced of it. As an aside, the iMac is the kind of computer I will own day own. I am committed to realizing this dream.