Solons and Colons

“…Part of the problem is the hot wine phenomena, which lives on, particularly in the US. Malbec is a product of the high plateau sunshine, and can easily attain 15 degrees alcohol and a sugar content that would make Mrs. Claus add them to her shortbread.
In recent years, the current government decided to tax such awful stuff – well sort of. Not all of it of course. Just some we notice is over 14.5 per cent. Think of it as a random tax on Argentinian wine lovers. Hurrah for Big Brother. Next time you buy wine in Alberta hoist a bottle to Brad and the other the solons running Wally World. Your tax dollars are not going to work in Saskatchewan, but darned if our government isn’t full of the nicest guys anywhere.”
StarPhoenix, Wine column March 18, 2017

As regular readers will know I have a problem with table wine that runs over 15 per cent ABV. Dessert wine or cocktails, sure. (Both are drunk in smaller quantities than a typical 150 ml. glass of table wine.)

In any event I have been asked repeatedly what a ‘solon’ is. So here’s a quick definition.

Solon, n., Law maker, giver of wisdom. Pr. Rhymes with “colon” Like your colon, a solon is also often stuffed with shit, and given to making burbling noises signifying nothing, other than the presence of a bad smell.

ex. The Premier of Saskatchewan is a large and friendly solon, given to thoughtful rejection of sensible liquor sales regimes, and tax systems because he’s just so damn wise none of us understand.

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CTV Noon and Eggnog

As I said on the air, I can’t convince some people to make their own eggnog from scratch. If you’re going to play around with the commercial stuff the two best liquors to use are dark rum (or substitute brown liquor of choice) and Kahulua. The Kahlua will add the vanilla and sugar. The rum the booze. I use them pretty much 1:1

If you want to try to make a real eggnog, it takes all of about 3 minutes, and a one-litre plastic container.

Here are all the recipes. You can adjust the sugar and sweetness to suit yourself. As you can see I use 1/3 of the sugar, and skim milk and it still tastes fine. And the Kinsmen of P.A., doubters to a man endorse this recipe.

The Christmas Passion Eggnog, all versions

And if you didn’t get a look at the beers I brought on, here they are.
Bullrush Barley wine (Mano’s on 22nd)
Innis & Gun Bourbon cask (widely available)
Momus Dark from Italy (Coop)
Heartstopper Christmas Stout (Paddockwood)

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Wine Stain Removal

wine-stainHow do you take out red wine stains?

This is a question that comes up all the time, and I like most people am just an amateur with experience. I decided to do the logical thing and ask a fabrics person, Ms. Arlene Skull who knows everything there is to know about dying and fabric. (Okay maybe not everything, but more than enough to satisfy my needs. She’s got a degree in fabric science from university.)

Here is her official response.

“Spray with oxiclean and rub in. Let sit. Rinse. If not successful, make a paste with the [oxiclean] powder and rub in and let sit. Wash. Don’t put in dryer unless stain is gone as the dryer sets the stain.

Repeat as necessary.

The most important thing is “speed” – dilute fast. Then proceed.”

I assume OxiClean is available outside N. America. If not, you need to find a similar product.

In Stately Dr. Booze Manor, the carpets I am reasonably sure are acrylic fibre and pretty stain resistant. I use a Bissell spot stain remover with the recommended detergent. I used to use the Little Green Machine before this machine and it was great, so when it started wheezing, I bought this one.

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Sloe Gin Rickey & a Negroni

For those listening to John Gormley live on June 7th Here are the two drinks I served him.negroni and haskap gin rickey

Haskap Gin Rickey
50 mls LB Distillery Haskap Gin
1/2 Lime, juiced
Club Soda to taste

30 ml Sweet Vermouth
30 ml Campari
30 ml Black Fox Wooded Gin

Serve over ice with an orange slice. (I used a slice of Meyer lemon for the drink I made John.)

The other three drinks I served were:
– Dusty Boots Hard Root Beer (Available at the SLGA and elsewhere)
– Sleeman’s Railside Session Ale
– NZ PURE Lager

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Rise Up Against the Tyranny of the Stem!

For years now we’ve been dealing with the hegemony of Riedel stemware in the market. In general it has been a good idea, because it has made people more aware of subtle details. At least it did at first. However with Appellations and companies commissioning the design of stemware to compliment their particular drink, what we are now dealing with is a sort of forced Corporate group-taste.

When all is said and done, stemware serves the same purpose of a good brassiere: it displays the contents to advantage. (This makes Riedel the Victoria Secret of stemware.) However you should never forget that somewhere far away, somebody is deciding what exactly you should be tasting.

Several years ago I took to tasting everything from ISO tasting glasses. They have become over time my preferred drinking vessels despite my enormous inventory of stems. However I still do the photo shoots in the “proper” stem for fear of some newbie wino having a snit fit over my glass. (I do vary this rule for purposes of photogenicity.) Today I was reviewing a rather nice Rioja Crianza, Altos by Torres. Theoretically you should drink Rioja from a big bowled glass, which indeed is what I used as the prop glass.

Stems for Modernity

Stems for Modernity

I had been making my notes using the ISO glass, but as I’d filled the big bowl Riedel I took it back to my desk. The taste difference was remarkable to say the least. The big cab/shiraz bowl emphasized the viscosity, the oak flavours (vanillin, caramel etc.) and minimized acidity and fruit.

Out of curiousity I put another splash back in my ISO glass for an A/B comparison and, no my memory is not geriatric yet. I promptly repeated the experiment with a rose I had on hand (Gamay/Pinot Noir 80/20) in both. Again the difference was remarkable. I may start tasting my whites from the big bowl and keep the reds in the ISO glasses.

This is an experiment everyone should carry out for themselves.

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