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My fine January wine whine

Cathie Beck //January 17, 2013//

My fine January wine whine

Cathie Beck //January 17, 2013//

Every January, I declare a moratorium on alcohol, excessive eating, sweets and anything else I’ve frantically ingested the previous two months.

I’m smack dab in the middle of January’s moratorium and, as happens when we forbid ourselves those things we lust for, the senses heighten and we go on full-alert. Smelling, sensing and simply craving take up boatloads of energy.

I’m not proud of this. I’m just saying that no matter the present activity or distraction, the mind and soul wander to days spent in a Syrah’s splendor, nights passed in the company of a lovely Pinot, and entire, entirely imaginary lives get lived out in the midst of a lovely, Sonoma Valley villa.

Just yesterday I was at a business meeting. As the client spoke of items he needed me to tend to, I inadvertently noticed the burgundy color of his shirt and how, when he gestered, the shirt rippled, which made me think of a barrel of squashed grapes, which made me think of how I was in Italy just a few short months back, drinking $300 bottles of specialty Amarone wine all day long, like it was Kool-Aid on a hot Midwestern day.

I’ve got five days till this moratorium ends as I type this. In those five days, I’ve got football games, delightful dinners at various Denver restaurants, a beau to entertain and a whole host of other events that scream BRING THE GOOD WINE.

There are 10,000 other, seemingly satisfying activities I could pour (pour! OMG, pour!) myself into: I’ve a photography project in the basement calling my name. I could go on an extra walk or run and I could read a good book. My livingroom rug needs a good scrubbing and then there’s reading to the elderly or fostering shelter animals.

But I’m not doing them. I’m thinking about how Mardi Gras isn’t that far away and nothing says Mardi Gras like a good Cabernet and a rich gumbo.

I know that there are 12-step groups for this and I live in deep admiration for 12-step groups. I just don’t participate. Judge if you must, but I’ll bet you’re judging from the sweet spot of a second glass of a spicy Zinfadel your spouse picked up on sale last week.

Some say to substitute juice for real juice and I say that’s a jack-a*# plan. I do drink an extra cup of coffee, go to bed early, eat chicken breasts and broccoli for “meals,” and generally replace my wine enjoyment by reading that Oprah’s once again gained weight.

But I’ve got one eye continually trained on the end, taking comfort in knowing that  this sentence will soon be served and before you know it, that ribeye roast will be a cracklin’ in the oven, the cornbread will be baking right up next to it, the Spanish red will be breathing, and the new Buddy Guy Live at Legends CD will be playing two notches too loud.

And I’ll give the decanter a tiny swirl and tenderly tip its lip to the crystal bowl and pour that Oregon’s Domaine Druin Pinot Noir with the love that should be reserved for witnessing an infant’s birth.

And you can keep judging my January whine about wine. The truth of the matter is that I won’t really give a drink. I mean a darn..

One Winning Wine Tasting

Paint & Sip

There’s something for everyone and nothing says good art like painting and pouring wine. “Paint a Masterpiece at Kingman Winery” will be held on January 23, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the winery.

Colorado artist, Anya McManis, will be teaching how to paint poppies while sipping excellent Kingman Estates wine in the winery.  A glass of wine and light snacks will be provided.  Wine bottles can be purchased at a 10% discount. Visit for further information and to purchase tickets.

Weird Wine Trivia

The age at which people can legally drink varies from country to country, continent to continent. In most of Europe the drinking age is set at 16, in Canada it is 18, Asia 20, and of course, it is 21 in the United States. The three top beer-consuming countries per capita are the Czech Republic, Ireland, and Germany; the three top consuming countries of wine are Italy, France, and Switzerland; the three top producers of beer are China, the United States, and Russia, however it should be noted that Germany has the largest number of breweries in the world with about 1,200 (USA only has about 350); and finally, the top three producers of wine are Italy, France, and Spain. On another interesting note, the top three countries with the highest tax rates on beer are Norway, Finland, and Canada.*