I sat there with Sally. We sat there, we two. And I said, “O’ how I wish we had something to do!”

Too wet to eat out, and too cold to grill in. So we sat in the house. But slothfulness was a sin. Yet all we could do was to Sit! Sit! Sit! Sit! And we did not like it. Not one little bit.

And then my head had a thought — how that thought made us jump. We called all our friends. We said, “Look! Don’t be a lump. I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny. But great wine is not far, so let’s pool all our money. Let’s sample the bottles, known as notorious, and mesmerize our palates with everything glorious.”

On the Table: Caring for kitchen knives, the undervalued yet ubiquitous tool of the food world

Our friends yelled together, “That thought is the tops!” and off they all went to various bottle shops. Combing the aisles, the cellars, the shelves, they squirreled wine back in boxes of twelves.

Then Sally and I did not know where to start. The blind tasting of wines was near lore and dark art. Blindfold ourselves and cast about blithely? As if oenophiles were mere rank-and-file missing nuances lively? Nay, my compatriots. Cloak bottle and label, then arrange them in rows along this coffee table. Make identifiers scant as we seek objectivity, we will play this game out as we bolster proclivity. Our little grey cells we will summon with glee, pour out the first and then guess, “Chablis?”

We’ll don thinking caps and consult terroir maps. We’ll summon all knowledge, sip and surmised, each wine will be assessed then unveiled in surprise.

The first bottle, flavors tight, seemingly less than melodious, but time cast its spell proving hasty judgments erroneous. A Bordeaux was revealed hailing from that famed left bank. We were all in agreement, we’d quaff it down a gangplank.

The next was of earth, stone, and of soil. Division it fomented with much to embroil. Was is Italian or French, perhaps even German? (As some would far too hastily determine.) Then out popped a Priorate, ripe from north Spain, for which amorous loyalty surely won’t wane.

On the Table: Vermouth, that unfamiliar gem of a drink

The rule all along had been 30-plus dollars, each bottle superlative, fit for wine scholars. We insisted to rise above any rut of mundane, from $10 cabs we wished to abstain.

This tasting marched on, bottles three, four, five, six. Various vintages revealed, proffering unique magic tricks. The GSM was classically hailing from Rhône, a French region of which has been penned many a tome.

Our evening then climaxed with two standout wines, rising above all stereotypical confines.

An exemplary Barolo, ripe with age, vintage ‘10, and the Châteauneuf-du-Pape we’d open again … and again … and again.

On the Table: Vermouths, part two: What and how to drink

What fun had been had. Many lessons were learned. Thirty-plus dollar wine must be given its turn. It had all been alluring yet the evening was maturing. Finally, the moon had broken through. We’d found something to do.

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