If you’ve ever wanted to introduce a misbehaving corkscrew to the business end of a firearm (I think anyone who’s ever snapped a cork in half when opening a bottle can identify with this feeling), then you’re not actually too far off from one of that tool’s original uses.
That corkscrews may have derived from implements used to pull unspent musket material from rile barrels is just one of the fascinating tidbits I picked up in researching my latest piece for PUBLIX Grape Magazine, titled “The Art of the Corkscrew,” which is appearing in their Spring 2014 issue.
Yes, Spring. Yes, really. I know that most of you who are, like me, on the East Coast (or are reading this from the northern Midwest U.S.) have probably, after this hellish Winter season, ceased believing in the memory of Spring, and chalked its flowers, rain showers, and warm, Sunny days up to a vague, pre-ice-age fantasy. But I can assure you that it has, in fact, actually and for-real arrived. Sort of. I think.
Anyway, if you’re in the PUBLIX sphere of shopping, you can pick up a printed copy of the issue for free (or subscribe for delivery), and get your geek hat on to learn a few surprising things about one of the world’s only tools that’s essentially designed to open one and only one product (a fact that, in and of itself, puts the wine world into a kind of odd, anachronistic light, doesn’t it?), along with all kinds of other interesting wine-and-drinks-and-food-related content. My article also includes a guide to the most common corkscrew types, along with hints on how to best use them (which you, of course, don’t need, because you’re a way-cool bad-ass who’s never, ever, not-even-once ripped a cork in half when trying to open a bottle of vino… yeah… right…).
Technically there was a holiday this month, but I could not bring myself to hazard conjuring up some long-shot wine pairing for St. Patrick’s Day in March.
Just… uhm… No. No way.
Anything along that vein is (being kind here) a desperate stretch. I mean, look, why would you even do that? What’s wrong with beer? [ A: the last time I checked, nothing. ] I’m actually the worst person to ask about the subject anyway, because St. Patrick’s Day happens to be my actual birthday. So for me, that “holiday” wine pairing usually falls squarely into the category of “whatever the f*ck I feel like drinking, no mater what food is being poured, and preferably something bubbly and expensive.” But then, with my daughter’s birthday falling less than a week later than mine, these days at 1WD central we more or less give my birthday a passing wave hello/goodbye. “Happy birthday honey. Ok, so, did you order the dolphin place-mats yet for all of the kids coming to Lorelai’s party?”
Despite the daughter birthday madness, and the inevitable hangover resulting from the amount of alcohol one has to imbibe just to survive hosting a dozen 5- and 6-year-old children for a birthday shindig, I managed a few non-St.-Patrick’s-Day tidbits for the Wine.Answers.com gig in March (they are paying for the stuff, after all!).
And, I did celebrate the birthday in serious style, vinous-wise, as you’ll witness from the inset pic. More on all of that below…
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Picture this: It’s a gorgeous and sunny day in South Africa, and I’ve just finished giving the keynote address at the 2013 Nederburg Wine Auction. I’m drinking Cape bubbly and grazing for food, and mingling with interesting people from all over the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, I’m exchanging business cards with all of these folks – winemakers, media, buyers. Then the inevitable question comes (after the equally inevitable oohing and ahhing over my way-cool tiny moo.com business cards, I mean):
Them: “So… what do you do? In ‘real life,’ I mean? ”
Me: “You’re looking at it!”
I have to accept this as inevitable and totally understandable, since so few people can actually make any money whatsoever independently in the wine biz. How are you able to ditch your IT career? …
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