Archive for 'Rants, Tirades and Jeremiads'

A Holiday Garland

To one and all although time be fleeting, To you each bring I this Christmas greeting: Of drinkers books I proffer a bevy, Some light as air are, yet others heavy. These holiday burdens that freight my shelves Lie heaped by eager squads of vinous elves. Come, ease you my bookcase’s weary groan By transferring […]

How to Write About Wine for the Slicks: A Beginner’s Guide

Thirsty Reader often asks ‘How can I become a wine writer for the slick magazines? Or the blogs, websites and e-zines? What certifications, arcane courses, secret passwords and weighty degrees do I need to enter the sacred grove? How many years spend in monk-like poring over holy scrolls?’ Fool, he! To think that I would […]

Books Do Furnish a Room

. . . and minds, too—but in declining numbers these days. Anecdotal evidence comes from the housing market. Real-estate agents and ‘stagers’—the people who dress up empty houses so they look lived-in and buyable—think books are dowdy and old-fashioned. Bookshelves are always small; they display mostly arty knickknacks and tchotchkes, with maybe a few books […]

Banners Yet Rave

What’s the intersection at which wine and spirits meet cupcakes and Kinder Eggs, Buckyball magnets and Mayor Bloomberg’s Tit Squad? Read on. If You Know What’s Good for You! is a favorite maternal warning, and it just won’t go away. ‘I’m all grown up now,’ says Thirsty Reader, ‘as are you—able to drink, smoke, vote […]

January Clearance and Rant

Having been good-for-goodness’-sake for the whole of the Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa-Festivus season, I feel entitled to a little bad behavior on the subject of gifts. Each year truly ridiculous gifts have been pressed upon me by members of the He Likes Wine, So I’ll Get Him a Wine Thingy crowd, who are victimized by evil retail clerks […]

Booked for the New Year

Shakespeare is always an inspiration to me, and a passage from one of his history plays seems apropos just now: For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings; How some have been deposed; some slain in war, Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed; […]

Mum’s the Word

Royal wedding? Big deal, were we not able to smuggle in a Gin and Tonic for necessary relief. All in good time, of course, Thirsty Reader. Compose your mind in patience. Come the 29th the Prince and the Commoner will be wed, and in a mood of unaccustomed generosity I pledge to forgive all related […]

Farrago and Foolery

  ‘There is no problem so difficult that a do-gooder can’t make it worse.’—Col. Pesto It is but seldom that we have recourse to the pensieri of Italian field-grade military officers, but there it is, to become relevant in due course. For the nonce, just clap eyes on the following e-mail, sent me in my […]

Capsule History

Speaking of useless appendages—we were, weren’t we?—one that I love to hate is the capsule. It’s al-ways in the way, Thirsty Reader. It’s useless. It’s not even a reliable guide because so many producers use white or silver on their red wine as well as white, while others use green or blue for everything. I […]

Super Bowl Wine

Lucky you, Thirsty Reader: this is the last day for an entire year that you’ll be threatened with an-other What Wine for the Super Bowl? article. There have been dozens already published this sea-son alone, and I encourage you to ignore all of them. Some are clearly written out of desperation (those will be the […]