Alibi V.17 No.13 • March 27-April 2, 2008 

Hooch

The Wino Connoisseur

Nice jugs

Carlo Rossi and one of his good friends
Carlo Rossi and one of his good friends
Michael Procopio of www.kqed.org

In the world of wine, namely easy to transport wines, one has many options. Popularly, a simple brown bag enrobing a slender vessel has been the drinker-on-the-go’s preference. Discretion coupled with portability has long been the aim of this particular class of imbibers. But there are several drawbacks to this method. Namely, the size. There’s just not enough juice in those compact bottles to make a full revolution around the trash barrel fire.

Fortunately, several enterprising vintners have packaged their potables in generous jugs. Jugs certainly provide a consumer with needed quantity, but the egalitarian size calls for suitable pairings.

Many things must be considered when pairing deceptively simple wines with proper companions. Cost, of course, must be factored in, as well as availability. Never fear: I, Cletus Oswald Smythe III, have taken this challenge seriously and drawn on my wealth of experience to answer this rather daunting query.

A day’s accumulation of grime and regret truly draws out and exposes this juice’s soul.

When sipping from the ample opening of a flagon of Livingston White Zinfandel, there is no better bond than the one forged by Liggett cigarettes. The ethereal turpentine bouquet of the wine is exponentially enhanced by the acrid heavy-metal-wrought smoke inhaled from these honest-to-god cancer sticks. Gulp, pass and puff, dear friend.

A bold burgundy from Carlo Rossi demands an equally assertive sidekick. A lingering finish that smacks of cough syrup and ethanol and swamps the palette with an overwhelming array of laboratory-created flavors needs to be mellowed and disguised. Ranch-flavored Corn Nuts not only complement with strong artificial seasonings, but their rough texture aids in scraping the wine from taste buds.

Gallo Chardonnay presents a difficult case when it comes to proper pairings. Its lovely Liquid Smoke quality can find no equal in cigarettes or food. To bring out the hidden complexities of this seemingly single-minded sauce, it would behoove the drinker to alternate swigs with morsels of his own shoe, specifically the sole. A day’s accumulation of grime and regret truly draws out and exposes this juice’s soul.

This evening, as you gather close together your nearest and dearest at a city park or deserted parking lot, consider also bringing together the appropriate accompaniment with your crutch of choice. Cheers!