There used to only ever be one, solitary post but ……

THIS IS THE BORING BIT EXPLAINING THE RATIONALE: TODAY’S POST IS THE NEXT ONE DOWN.

A year ago (May 2016) when I started my daily rant about stuff ( an excuse to invent random reasons to get drunk) – my idea was to celebrate the Zen like qualities of wine. It’s a drink of the moment. It’s something to stop time when time goes too slowly or too quickly.

It’s all about enjoying the here and now.  And I wanted the site to reflect that – to post something funny, moving or just me going on about some stuff and then delete it the next day. All of that is gone; move on. This, after all is the ethos of fine wine and fine company. We all fuck up, we all occasionally get it magically right. And then the sun sets and rises and off we go again.

But, it didn’t work. Occasionally I’d get comments (from my solid readership of four) and not be able to reply. Or people would look for the link from Twitter days later and it was no more. So I’m changing it.

So, this year, I’M GOING TO LEAVE THE FUCKING POSTS ON HERE FOR EVER LIKE A NORMAL BLOG!!!!!! (It might double my readership, who knows….)

Anyway we’ll see.

But, just to be different, I’m giving the site a theme tune to be played whilst reading the posts. ‘All the wine’ by TheNational. I’ll post it at the top of all the posts. Click it, it’ll open in a different tab and then read the post. Even if what I write is shit, the song is genius.

We are, after all, festivals, parades: we are drinkers of wine.

 

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10 December. Wine: your rights. 

Today in 1948 the Human Rights Convention was signed by the United Nations. It guaranteed stuff like dignity and liberty to all and was generally thought of as ‘a good thing.’  

These were the times when – just after a world war caused by an egotistical, gobshite twat –  the world found it easy to agree on stuff like this. Sadly though,  those heady days of unnecessary luxuries like free speech and the right to think what you like are slowly disappearing as world leaders once again return to their default setting of egotistical gobshite twats who think dissent (and simple pleasures like smashing a Starbucks window with a brick) are dirty words. 

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Many (including my own dear UK government) now want to ‘revisit’ the original declaration to get rid of the controversial bits ( particularly the parts about freedom, dignity and the right to think or say what you like.) This is, of course, a nonsense and should be resisted at every opportunity – or until they lock you up for no good reason and refuse to let you speak to anyone.

But I am in favour of looking again at the  declaration as I think that in the dark shadow of WWII some stuff did get overlooked. What, for instance, about everyone’s right to drink wine and not have to be bothered by bargain basement alternatives like beer, lager or – worst of all – water! These principles were certainly close to Churchill’s heart and I can only assume he was too drunk to remember them on the day anyone asked for his list of ‘top  notch’ rights..

And, once this was enshrined in a universal act, the powers that be would find it far easier to get us minions to dance to their tune – I for one would quite happily go along with their plans if – every night at around 6PM – some official looking wine vehicle delivered a crate full of Merlot. (I’d tell them I believed the world was build by a pink marshmallow man on stilts and live in a hole if they threw in some olives.)

But anyway, it may not ( as yet) be in an official document ( and the world may currently be run by diet coke guzzling, pussy grabbing, square eyes maniacs) but right now I’m off to celebrate my right to get drunk.

All right thinking citizens of the world would be advised to do likewise. 

A quote: “Like human beings, a wine’s taste is going to depend a great deal on its origins and its upbringing.” – Linda Johnson-Bell, “Pairing Wine and Food”

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9 December: Wine and reason. 

Today in 1905 France passed the law which separated church and state and, thus,  restored a little bit of reason to the world. (Trump, a hundred years or so on though, manages to slowly shift things back to where they used to be and crank up the rhetoric on unnecessary walls and capital cities. Knobhead.)

But I’m all for separating fact and fiction and, therefore, I’m going to celebrate France’s great step forward by drinking shitloads of (non religious) wine.

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I’ve no problem per se  with religion ( honestly) except when it starts to mouth off about alcohol being evil and drinkers heading straight to Hell. You would think that in  world of war, starvation and abuse they might have better things to worry about; likewise you’d think their huge financial portfolios could be put to slightly better use than paying their bishops a small fortune. Anyway – I’m beginning to rant. The important thing to remember is that Jesus turned water into wine and Mohammed was probably only opposed to alcohol because he’d never been lucky enough to drink a really great French red.  Oh and winedrinkers are the noblest breed on earth and therefore are positively guaranteed a place in Heaven.

I’ll see you there…..

Let’s get drunk. 

A quote: “Wine makes a symphony of a good meal.” – Fernande Garvin, “The Art of French Cooking”

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8 December: the enlightened world of wine. 

8th December is Bodhi Day. It commemorates the day that Buddha got fat, went vegetarian and attained enlightenment. (Historically these things may have happened in a different order; this is not a history site suitable for quoting in school.)  

He suddenly realised – in an instance – that he’d lived before and that he (and everyone else) was trapped in a perpetual circle of rebirth caused by suffering. (Or something like that – I’m strictly a Wikipedia / when it suits me style Buddhist.)

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But nevertheless, as winedrinkers we have a duty to celebrate these moments of life altering realisation that change everything. And today then is a day to open the wine and chant something that sounds a bit Buddhist. (In fact, play fast and loose with the vaguely Eastern Religious connection and put some George Harrison on as you get drunk. One fairytale deity is much like another after all.)

But – back to moments of life altering realisation – we’ve all had them – the Buddha chose to have his about metaphysical style stuff whereas I choose to have mine on the wine aisle working out whether to buy the one that’s on offer, the one that’s two for £9 or the one with a nice label. 

And then – just as it did for the Buddha – I sensed the end to suffering. Fuck it – buy wine box and have done. Cheaper, fresher and more opportunity to get drunk. All the gods bless the foil sealed miracle of Cardbordeaux. 

Result! (And tonight is my staff night out so the opportunities for drunkenness abound. )

A quote: “A mind of the calibre of mine cannot derive it’s nutriment from cows” George Bernard Shaw.

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7 December: fire, wine and the devil. 

Here’s a great reason to drink some wine – today, at the stroke of 6 PM in Guatemala, begins La Quema del Diablo or The Burning Of The Devil.

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Effigies of the devil are torched in the street to signify burning away all past evils and laying out a cleansed landscape for the days ahead. Very poetic. A bit like Christmas with an edge – which sounds preferable to just a boring run of the mill Christmas. Adding fire and the devil to things  always seems to make them better. Adding wine increases the fun even more.

This then is just the type of event that should be fuelled by wine and friendships and much general frivolity; it’s exactly what grapes should be fermented for. And it’s just the kind of thing I like to get involved in.

So tonight I’m drinking a thick, rich red and burning a group effigy of ‘The Management’ to stand in for The Devil and reliving some of this year’s past evils just for fun. You should too. 

A quote:  Vito Corleone: I like to drink wine more than I used to.

Michael Corleone: It’s good for ya, Pop.

Vito Corleone: Anyway I’m drinkin’ more.
(The Godfather)

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6 December: close encounters of the drunken kind.

Today in 2006 Nasa released photos from Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars. Now I love science but, on this occasion, I hope they’re wrong – I sincerely hope that the liquid is wine.

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This, of course, would be fantastic because – whilst Hollywood and popular media bang on and on about the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe (which is an interesting prospect) – imagine the magnified wonder of  real drinkable wine elsewhere in the Universe. No longer would we be restricted to earthly wines but could reach out much further – maybe Martian Drunkenness will be different from Earthly Drunkenness? Maybe alien vines drop their fruit into lush rivers that then perculate at just the right temperature to make intergalactic alcohol? Waterfalls of the stuff, oceans …..

The possibilities would be endless.

Maybe Plutonium wine won’t even make you drunk? (Give that one a miss then.)

A quote: Wine is something we intercept between juice and vinegar.
– Charles Massoud, Paumanok Vineyards

 

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5 December: nut rage, universal justice and wine. 

Today,  2014: Nut rage incident at JFK.

Korean Air Vice president Heather Cho, having been dissatisfied with the way a flight attendant served her nuts on the plane, ordered the aircraft to taxi back to the airports gate before takeoff. And (in general boss mode) acted like a jumped up dickhead towards the cabin crew issuing orders and accusations left, right and centre.

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Following the tried and tested jumped up boss template, she tried to humiliate and punish members of the cabin crew and even dismissed one whilst still on the plane as it taxied back. All this because little Miss Spoilt Princess wanted her nuts served on a plate – not in a bag.

Dickhead. The good news is that she got sent to jail for endangering aviation safety and the crew members were reinstated. The universe sometimes sides with the little guy! 

A result for Justice and the normal front line worker. Well worth drinking a bottle of wine to celebrate. Maybe eat some nuts straight out of the bag.

A quote: “If wine tells truth, – and so have said the wise, –
It makes me laugh to think how brandy lies!” – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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4 December: disappearing in an ocean of wine. 

Today in 1872 the Marie Celeste was found drifting aimlessly through a vast ocean. And, although people talk about it being this huge, unsolved mystery, I know that aimless drifting feeling all too well – it’s the glorious feeling of having had just a bit too much to drink and of slowly finding your way home. And it’s not the stuff of horror movies – it’s ace!

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My theory then is that the crew – fed up with some tosspot of a Captain – threw him overboard, got slowly drunk and then swam to new lives on distant shores unaware (as drunks are) of the danger they were in. Normally of course, being unaware in such circumstances leads to disaster but, with the amazing talisman of drunkenness, it generally leads to simply wobbling about a bit miraculously finding your way narrowly avoiding every mishap. 

 It follows then that they all made it to shore in one piee and to fantastic futures – once they’d navigated the annoying next day hangover and crumpled sleep in clothing.

I’ll be drinking to their memory tonight (plus maybe eating seafood) and then slowly pottering off to bed with an ever so slight case of blurred vision and warmth. #drunk.

Here’s to new lives and the wonder of wine.

A quote: “Do you remember any great poet that ever illustrated the higher fields of humanity that did not dignify the use of wine from Homer on down?” – James A. McDougall

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3 December: a very fine mess begins with one sip. 

Today in 1927 saw Putting Pants on Phillips released at the movies. It’s title probably means very little to you but, the partnership it began, most certainly will. Because that movie saw the first pairing of  Laurel with Hardy. And that, as we know, influenced comedy (and movie picture comedy) for years to come.

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It’s strange isn’t it how great things can often start out without any fanfare and then, over time, change into something culture defining. Take wine – my first ever drink was a bottle of (very) cheap red that I won – bizarrely – at a gay bar in a Northern industrial town. As we moved on, the bottle got smuggled past doorman after doorman until it finally worked its way into a nightclub and – about 1:30 am when funds were low – it got hacked open in a corner with a key and drunk from a plastic glass.

I woke up the next day with a banging headache (in some slapstick fine mess) and the very seed of an idea that this “wine” stuff had more to offer. And the rest is history.

And now, finally, we’re here – I sit down every day to think of some inane reason to drink wine to make it look that it’s about more than just getting drunk – as if it’s about commemorating history and culture and heroes.

But here’s the Laurel and Hardy style misunderstanding: actually none of this is true,  none of these things have the slightest whiff of credance. Because it IS actually JUST ABOUT GETTING DRUNK!!!!

And tonight, to commemorate comedy gold, I’m aiming to embrace another fine mess celebrating, not only the comedy partnership of Stan and Ollie but of Wine and Life. One without the other is diminished, one without the other is unthinkable – just days and days of pushing a massive piano up a huge existential flight of stairs not quite knowing why.

But, with wine (and olives and maybe a song by The National that mentions alcohol) it all becomes great! 

A quote: “Sauvignon blanc bangs you in the mouth – like an old peasant with his wooden shoe … The sauvignon is the whipper-snapper. It’s not solid enough. It’s violent, it’s sharp, it bites, it cries, it’s like a ferocious dog you keep on a leash.” – Troisgros

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2 December: give thanks to the pourers of wine. 

There’s some crazy ‘Official Days’ around and today is one of them – today is Bartender Appreciation Day. The idea is to reward whoever serves you a comforting glass of vino at the end of a long hard day with some positive word of encouragement or reward. And – if you drink in the same place every night – then it’s an admirable concept. But the thing is I’m a Yorkshireman and, being a Yorkshireman, I’m mean. And, at the end of a serious day’s drinking I can’t be bothered to shell out money to have to get home from the bar. Walking – note the words ‘serious day’s drinking’ – is not a viable option. Plus I often can’t be bothered to sit in a bar with tosspots in the first place.

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So, I drink at home.

And I drink vast and luscious amounts of red wine. And I pour them all myself whilst watching art house films ( and occasionally stuff with visually appealing Hollywood starlets who, in actual fact, would be really boring at a party) alongside my drinking partner – Mrs Drink Wine Today (who is good at a party.) 

And so it appears that this day is, almost by default,  actually A Day For The Celebration And Appreciation Of Me (King of Wine Drinkers.)

And I shall take this god given opportunity to reward myself with even more wine than usual. It’s already shaping up to be a good day. 

“To buy very good wine nowadays requires only money. To serve it to your guests is a sign of fatigue.” – William F. Buckley

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1 December: drink what thou wilt (as long as it’s wine.) 

I like eccentrics – even slightly evil ones (in fact probably especially evil ones)- and you can’t get more of an eccentric ‘Anti Hero’ than Good Old Aleister Crowley – the self styled Wickedest Man in the World. Magician, mountaineer, mystic, intellectual, poet and general one off, he scandalized society with his antics at the beginning of the 20th Century before dying, as mystical party people often do, as a drug addled recluse in a bed and breakfast in Hastings on this very day in 1947.

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He consumed lots of drugs, spread lots of misinformation and – quite probably – drank quite a bit of wine. He had a liking for mumbo jumbo, Satan and crazy ceremonial robes – I mean really what’s not to like – far better this than always chasing the truth, ranting on about Easter (or Ramadan) and dressing in plaid. A bit of occultish theatrical prancing around improves most situations after all and its a skill that’s sadly lapsing out of fashion.

Why not use the anniversary of his shuffling off this mortal coil as an excuse to draw a magical circle on the floor and curse someone in middle management? Keep shouting out Crowley’s famous  “Do what thou wilt for that is the whole of the law” quote if anyone approaches and asks for  any workplace guidance and mumble stuff about Hades.  And, once you’re sent home (as you hopefully will be) why not create some wacky ritual to act out as you drink the blood red elixir of wine into your glass? 

So ‘do what thou wilt’ to commemorate the wonders of getting drunk for any old random pseudo historical reason, say something a bit profound about Baphomet and then eat something slightly raw. .

A quote: “The best way to learn about wine is by drinking.” Alexis Lichine.

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