I had the weirdest dream last night. It went on and on and was very detailed. I dreamt that my friends Jennifer and John were getting married. Fine, one would say, except that they got married three years ago and I was at their wedding. My favorite part was that (in the dream) they had hired a sand sculpting company to create a massive tableau in the garden outside the room where the ceremony was being performed. Oh, and the wine. Ellen and I were drinking a French wine, Chateau Tal_ _ _ _ _ _ - the second label actually. I know there is a Chateau Talbot in Bordeaux, France, whose second label is called "Connetables de Talbot", but I thought it was a different name. Anyway, John came and gave us a bottle of the FIRST label Chateau Tal_ _ _ _ _ _ wine, which we really liked [surprise, surprise], and Ellen poured it into these odd beakers instead of the wine glasses because we had to go somewhere. It was all very odd, especially since I could remember so much about it.
Speaking of wine, I received a Page-A-Day Wine Calendar for Christmas, and today's page talks about the Bonny Doon Vineyard in California. They have a wine called "Le Cigare Volant" named after an eminently sensible law in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France, that prohibits flying saucers (Cigare Volant) from landing in the region's vineyards. No kidding.
Of course, French law also states that between the hours of 8AM and 8PM, 70% of the music on the radio must be by French composers. How absurd! In Pennsylvania, we have much more reasonable laws like these set up by the Farmer's Anti-Automobile society:
1. "Automobiles travelling on country roads at night must send up a rocket every mile, then wait ten minutes for the road to clear."
2. "If a driver sees a team of horses, he is to pull to one side of the road and cover his machine with a tarpaulin or dust cover that has been painted to blend into the scenery."
3. "In the event that a horse refuses to pass a car on the road, the owner must take his car apart and conceal the parts in the bushes.
He may not assemble the auto until the animal is out of sight."
Now presumably they do not go out of their way to enforce these laws, unlike the liquor laws. State law allows Pennsylvanians to buy wine in the state only at businesses with liquor licenses and at state-owned liquor stores and it is illegal to ship or transport alcohol across the state lines.
WARNING: WINE WHINE BEGINS HERE.
This concept is, ummm, irritating to me, having grown up in Southern California where even the local grocery stores have a better selection that the State Stores here. There are terrific wine stores right across the river in New Jersey and down in Delaware, and it is illegal to buy alcohol there and bring it home. And those wonderful small wineries my friends and I have visited out in Napa and Somona Vallies? Forgetaboudit!
You see, this is a vast left-wing conspiracy by the State and the Wholesale Distributors to maintain their monopoly and the money they make from it. I am told that the State of Pennsylvania is the largest single buyer of wine and spirits in the world. This may be true, but based on the selection to be found even in the so-called "showcase" Wine and Spirits Shops ("Shoppes"), Pennsylvanians apparently have a huge demand for PLONK. Now as to the pricing, quality of storage and level of service, well, let's not go there.
But in December, the State House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow State residents to buy wine over the Internet.
[Aha! At last we're getting somewhere.] "Residents will be able to buy a product from a Web site and then they will ship it to the State Liquor Control Board, which will have it directed to a State Store of their choice."
[Hmmm. This sounds rather complicated. Why would they do it this way?]
"Residents who buy over the Internet must pay the 18 percent Johnstown flat tax imposed on alcohol along with the 6 percent state sales tax."
[Ah. Now I get it.]
Twenty-four percent in taxes. Holy grape juice, Batman. So, here is my new link, Free The Grapes, an organization whose mission is to ensure consumer choice in fine wine.
Oh, I never did tell you what was in the box that Goldilocks The Mummer delivered last week, did I? Hmmm . . . it was from Santa Rosa, California, it had a specially designed styrofoam insert to hold the twelve bottles of. . .
~ ~ ~
Quote du jour:
"Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine,
so that I may wet my mind
and say something clever."
-- Aristophanes (448BC - 385BC)
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