9. You'd rather drink wine than beer... but you'll find out what estate and vintage first.
To be honest, I don't have many funny anecdotes about Kumar concerning wine. Although it is an established fact that he does prefer wine any day over beer or hard liquor especially those crude indigenous varieties such as Tequila, rum, or ouzo, etc. - the stuff infamous for inducing an instantaneous stupor and subsequent hangover from _____ and back. No he doesn't care for those. He likes wine. You see, there is culture in wine.
As we've all probably learned in grade school, the human sense of taste has four components: sweetness, saltiness, acidity and bitterness. According to wine experts, when we drink wine, our taste buds are stimulated in a "unique" way. But really, doesn't this so-called phenomenon take place every time we put just about anything into our mouths to taste... after all, isn't all food & drink unique?? So whenever those snooty connoisseurs talk about detecting "floral notes" or "fruity nuances" in wine, I feel like laughing out loud or even rolling on the floor laughing in fact! Just who do they think they're kidding? I've always wondered whether all of this is real or just imagined. Are they just flattering themselves when their wine-tasting proteges obligingly agree to tasting raspberry at the top of their palates? But that's just the ever skeptical me, of course. I guess I'm just not as sophisticated as Kumar is, after all, I do come from this little-known-of tiny town in the Philippines called Buhi....
Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a good glass of wine every now and then. But I only like it for both it's calming & euphoric (woohoo!!) effect on my brain. However, don't give me too much because that just wreaks havoc on me...lol...I won't elaborate further...
So here's a little list of some of Kumar's present favorite reasonably-priced (within the $15.00-$18.00 Cnd range) wines which I will categorize by "world" either old (e.g. France, Italy, Spain, etc.) or new (e.g. California, Australia, Chile, etc.) and grape varietal, either red or white (e.g. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc, etc.) May he suggest:
- Cabernet-Sauvignon Jacob's Creek South Eastern Autralia 2008
- Shiraz Jacob's Creek Reserve South Australia 2007
- Campolieti Valpolicella Superiore Classico 2008 (Veneto, Italy) (it's a still red wine - still as distinguished from sparkling the latter containing carbon dioxide which make it effervescent and me ridiculously giddy silly :P)
- Shiraz Yellow Tail The Reserve South Eastern Australia 2007
Kumar and I are not too particular when it comes to pairing wine with food. When we're entertaining guests we just follow the general rule of thumb that, red goes with red meats and that white or rosé goes with poultry, fish and other seafood. And we'll of course offer a nice selection of both when we occasionally throw a wine and cheese party. Apparently, there are some exceptions to these rules...but we don't crack our heads over these details, and all of this pairing business gets thrown to the wind when it comes to the everyday, although wine remains Kumar's beverage of choice. We could be having pizza or even hotdogs and he will still wash it down with a Shiraz! Again, those snooty connoisseurs might insist that the vessel out of which wine is drunk is almost just as important as the wine itself, but I honestly will drink wine out of my four year old daughter Maya's plastic Dora tumbler without a moment's hesitation when Kumar's special Riedel glassware are all dirty in the sink. Hey, I'll even drink it out of a paper Dixie cup if I have to...but of course for Kumar - Mr. Metrosexual - this would be absolutely unacceptable...unthinkable...even sacrilegious!
*Here's a little factoid that I've learned while writing this post: although one might think that cork is a superior material to cap wine bottles, apparently the opposite holds true, for the porosity of the cork allows some of the wine's good qualities (including those nutty, fruity, floral or whatever notes that, I swear, continue to elude me!) to evaporate.... so it turns out that those metal screw-on caps are actually better as they provide a tighter seal and therefore one actually doesn't have to feel so bad after all for bringing bottles from gas station convenience stores to those last minute invites when you don't want to arrive empty-handed but at the same time the liquor store is unfortunately already closed. Just for your info, guys! ♥♥♥
* I am also seriously considering putting my Biology undergrad degree to good use and cross-breed and develop ala Gregor Mendel, a new variety of grape that can withstand the extreme heat and monsoon rains of the tropical climate of the Philippines after which I will try to convince Kumar maybe with some crafty subliminal persuasion if need be to retire in Buhi, where we will plant our own vineyard and make our own wine...just watch Buhi become the next wine-producing capital of the world...move over Chile, move over New Zealand!!!