Pretty Good Plonk

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
A verbose wine review written under the affluence of inchohol

Submitted: September 26, 2007

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Submitted: September 26, 2007

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Pretty Good Plonk

 

Chateau Neuf Du Pape 1996

 

 

 

 

I had the occasion one day earlier this week to do a little shopping up the highway a few miles in Belleville, and when my errands were done, I headed to my favourite local watering hole and restaurant in that town for what in my opinion is the best Calamari and steak to be found for miles around.

Being a creature of habit, I invariably sit at the same spot at the bar, and always order the same drinks and meal. No matter how long it’s been since my last visit, the bartender seems to remember me, and unless she’s busy serving another customer when I arrive, before I get to my chosen barstool, there’s a glass of their house wine, and the day’s copy of the New York Times crossword puzzle from the Toronto Star waiting for me when I sit down.

However, this day, instead of the customary house plonk I’m usually more than content with, the bartender showed me a bottle of Chateau-Neuf-Du-Pape 1996, explaining that it would be the next day before their stocks were replenished, and enquiring if the Chateau would be a suitable substitution. I’m far from being an oenologist, or an oncologist for that matter, but be that as it may, I agreed to try a glass on the house. The bartender decanted a small amount into my glass, and I made as little a production as I could of tasting it and nodding my approval as she hovered in front of me waiting to refill my glass.

"Not bad I guess. What’s a better deal, buying three glasses or the whole bottle?", I asked.

" ‘Not bad’? This is my favourite wine in the whole world. You should be able to come up with something better than that for something so good."

The manager had been standing nearby and interjected, saying that so many of his customers preferred the Chateau to their usual house wine that came in a five gallon cardboard box and was dispensed through the same gun as their soda, tonic, and water, that he was going to be using the wine as the new house brand even if it shaved their profits a bit. He calculated that most of the extra cost would be offset by increased sales. He said that they were having a wine reviewing contest to come up with a suitable description of the new house specialty to be printed on the wine list, and the writer of the best review would be awarded a complete dinner for four people, including of course, two bottles of wine.

"Anyone who enjoys the New York Times crosswords as much as you do should be able to come up with something appropriate, so have at it."

I thought about it for a few moments as I started my second glass, hardly aware that the first one had disappeared so smoothly and effortlessly. I held a little in my mouth briefly as I pulled the crossword closer and began squinting in the dim light at the first clue. By the time the Calamari arrived, I had succeeded in filling in the answers to two crossword clues in the wrong places, but that was okay since they were the wrong words anyway.

 

 

The Calamari were excellent as usual, and having cleaned my pallet with a forth glass, I started scribbling my impressions of the wine around the borders of the long forgotten crossword, and the wrong answers I had forced to fit into the allotted spaces. My steak arrived just in time to justify enjoying it with a fifth glass, as I noticed the crossword had disappeared miraculously, and been replaced with a sheaf of blank paper.

By the time I had finished my meal, and a sixth glass, I was so totally engrossed in my review that I had to have a seventh glass to savour slowly in order to make sure that I hadn’t overlooked any of the wine’s qualities, characteristics, or personality. When I felt I couldn’t think of anything else coherent to add to the review, I passed it to the manager, and ordered the customary coffee and double Grand Marnier that has served admirably as my favourite dessert for the last forty years.

A few minutes later the manager reappeared with my review, and after conferring with the bartender for a moment announced that the contest was closed, and my review was the winner. He added that the wine that I had consumed on pursuit of the final review was on the house. I had been studiously avoiding looking at my tab as the bartender updated it and placed it discreetly in front of me with each new glass of wine. I had begun to wonder if I would have enough money for the fifty dollar cab fare back to Napanee, so that was a major relief. The next day I would be able to find someone to drive me back to Belleville to retrieve my vehicle from the safety of the restaurant parking lot.

I haven’t been back to Belleville yet to see how the final review looks on the wine list, but I’m looking forward to a fine dinner with some of my friends there when this hangover finally goes away. As near as I can recall through the haze that is slowly clearing, but which still serves as my more than moderately disabled thought processes, I wrote of the wine:

 

 

Chateau Neuf Du Pape 1996

 

It has the silky smoothness of the finest smoked French truffles with just a hint of saffron, hazelnut, and basil, that when blended with the heady aroma of myrrh, give it the ethereal quality of wild Oceana roses growing rampant on a mountain hillside in equatorial Colombia, glistening with dew in the soft diffused sunlight of a new dawn.

 

I have absolutely no idea what I was talking about. I wouldn’t know what myrrh smelled like if a ton of it fell on my head. I’m also fairly sure that Oceana roses don’t grow wild on any hillside I’ve ever been near. At close to a hundred dollars a dozen, they’re even hard to find at the florists.

Suffice it to say that it was pretty good plonk, and leave it like that.

 

sv ertl 1056


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