I hope some of you learned from the reader letter last week [hyperlink to Week Ten post] and checked your attics! You never know how much wine sits above you, waiting to be uncorked and decanted—on someone else’s dime!
Dear Sommelier Ferdinand,
I have a delicious wine cocktail I had to tell you about! It’s a Appellation Cooler, and I think it’s breathtaking how the basil vermouth provides a savory layer underneath the sweet, dry white wine! Have you ever tried making one of these? -Mariana
Mariana, thank you for writing in. But, I need you sit down for this. Have you heard the rumors about how sausage is made? The mixing together of discarded cow parts—packed into its own meat product? Well, that’s exactly what a cocktail is: the mixing together of various liquid refuse into something sweet or bitter. Essentially, you’re burying your daily pill in a mound of sugar to make it go down easier.
And to even consider mixing wine with mixers, liquors—what have you—is a distressing thought. Get it out of your head, Mariana! In fact, don’t ever think put those two words together, ever again—that alone is dangerous enough.
Similarly, it’s in humanity’s best interest to throw away the garnishes. A cucumber slice besides a glass of wine is palatable, but a cucumber slice inside a glass of wine… that is sacrilege. In fact, even less superstitious than “sacrilege”—it is simply a waste of wine. I stress this, perhaps more emphatically than anything expressed on this column: save the wine!
Imagine preserving wine for months, years… taking the hour to assiduously decant… only to mix with vermouth, which was mass-produced in some plastic barrel a five hundred miles away, then marketed with tacky, American South-themed commercials? I shan’t push you further, Mariana, because you have good intentions, after all. Let’s talk alternatives.
Instead, why not save the cocktail ingredients for the next Ladies’ Night? Throw the cucumber slices on a pita with some hummus, or maybe in a vegetable salad. And let the wine occupy its own glass. Treat it like the delicacy it is! That would make your dear Sommelier very happy indeed.
-Sommelier Ferdinand. 9.8.21