Monday, October 8, 2012

the whites of your eyes

I don't drink, so I rarely find myself in a liquor store. That may be why I felt so lost in Fox's Wine and Beer as I stared at walls and walls of alcohol, trying to remember what the movies taught me about the difference between Merlot and Chardonnay. I wanted to make Beef Bourguinon and the recipe was insistent that normal grocery store cooking wine would not suffice. Instead, one must use a quality Pinot noir for a flavor base. Guess what. I couldn't find a single bottle that said "Pinot noir, best used in Beef Bourguinon, buy me now". Heck, I couldn't even find a bottle that said "Pinot noir". I read labels that said things like "Earthy undertones" which made me think of worms and "nutty aroma" which made me think of the Nutty Professor which made me think of Eddie Murphy which made me think of the movie 1,000 words which I recently watched on an airplane and is two hours of my life I will never get back and it was while I was in this black hole of confusion and regret that a store clerk asked if I needed any help. In one breath I blurted "I don't drink but I'm cooking and I need a Pinot noir and I don't know what that is please help me." He handed me a bottle and before he could present any other choices I paid and left.

I thought that was the end of my alcohol inadequacies for the day, but then it came time to add the wine to the beef and I had no idea how to open the bottle. Because we don't drink we don't own a corkscrew, and, as it turns out, they don't mess around with corking bottles. Those suckers are in there tight, and a corkscrew is absolutely necessary in accessing the Pinot noir needed for the Beef Bourguinon which was shaping up to be the most high maintenance meal ever. I was about to break the bottle open on the counter when stephen intervened. He googled my dilemma, watched a youtube video, then proceeded to use a wire hanger and a paring knife to uncork the stupid bottle. Fifteen minutes, a nearly injured husband and a massacred cork later, the wine met the meat.  

The point of this cautionary tale, because I know you were wondering, is that if you find yourself in need of a dinner party host, someone who knows fancy beverages and how to open them, do not call me. And as for the Buorguinon, next time I'm using Diet Coke.


  1. I had the exact same experience a couple weeks ago. I've been trying to learn how to cook with wine, and I had to follow a guy around the store while he told me the ins and outs of different wines...good times.


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