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I wish I liked wine January 10, 2008

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.
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‘I wish I liked wine’, I’ve often thought to myself, as I sup on some claret of varying vintage or other, most often recoiling in horror as the sourness hits the appropriate taste bud.

I can safely say that I have only on a few occasions had a glass of wine that I liked and am wondering why this might be.  It is hardly the case, I ponder, that over the 15 odd years of my legal drinking life, I’ve never had the “right” wine ??  Can it ?

I mean, its not as if I know completely nothing about wine – in my former incarnation as a New Yawk Cidy bartender I was told to attend a wine tasting course being run by one of the most prominent Long Island sommelier.  So there I was, along with the other bartenders about to sample the tones of Autumn that the guy was fawning over when I get hauled out (not literally) to come stack boxes.  Seems the course was €100 a head and because I was surely only there for a short while, I wasn’t worth the money.

That’s kind of like what I feel like about wine.  Not worth all the hassle !

So that’s where you kind people come in – I am obviously wrong about the Exlir of the Gods, so let’s educate together !

Tell me a wine to buy (within reason) and what to eat it with and what I should be tasting – I mean do people really pick out tastes of blackberry and elm bark ?  I think I’d like to love wine … so any recommendations greatly received.

My liver will thank you !

A Young Lad in America #4 December 10, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in A Young Lad in America.
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Part 4 – Long Island

We pick up the story as the “tourist thing” has been done, I haven’t been murdered by the radio seller and I set out for a summer of debauchery on Long Island …

Our destination was Montauk, right out on the eastern tip of Long Island – at least it was the destination of some of our party. I still had a couple of days to fill and those greenbacks were burning a hole in my pocket ! I had a job prearranged at a country club which I estimated was “close enough” to Montauk but which in reality was actually closer to Washington DC (almost !) …

Having wound our way through Grand Central Station and caught the LIRR – the Long Island Rail Road – we set out for the end of the island and passed through towns with some great names like Mineola, Babylon, Hicksville and passed close enough to the legendary golf course Shinnecock Hills – nobody but me seemed impressed with the facts that I reeled off about the great things that had happened there.

Montauk didn’t strike me as anything more than the end of the island where New Yorkers came to holiday and drink beer on the beaches … I much preferred the Hamptons but never, I’m afraid, made it to any of those fabulous parties seen so regularly nowadays on reality TV. The only real experience I had in Montauk was my first American diner experience, served by the typical waitress in short pink skirt, hair in a bun and chewing gum as she poured watery coffee for us.

I ordered eggs done some special way or other and was quickly asked “Howdeeya wannem kid ? In their shells ?” I quickly realised that she wanted to know what way I liked my eggs cooked ! I suppose the fact that in Ireland the only way you get eggs is fried, wouldn’t have had much impact on her. I also remember having to shell out $50 dollars for a motel room when one of the “friends” I went with said, right before bedtime, that in fact I couldn’t stay in his house and I could make my own way, thank you, bye now, door closed – all in one action ! Ronjoe’s was the name of it and it was a dump as far as I remember … next morning I set out all alone for Garden Ciddy City with all I had in the world in a worn rucksack with a teddy bear good luck charm hanging out of one of the zips !

I certainly wasn’t in Kansas anymore … [sic]