Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 163

On Politics
The Cincinnati Enquirer hosted a foreign reporter for 10 days regarding the election. During his time here, he attended local speeches by President Obama, Mitt Romney, and the First Lady. The article he wrote following the election is an interesting perspective. Because of where the reporter’s home and given the election results, the comments are also interesting.

Meanwhile, those suffering from Election Distraught Syndrome are signing petitions to get their state to secede, which is the conservative equivalent of a losing liberal saying they are moving to Canada. I’m still waiting on the person to exercise their promise of saying they were moving out of the country if Barack Obama won in 2008. Of course, the people do forget they have the individual right to secede, which means move AND denounce your citizenship.

On a similar theme, here’s an article about 6 bizarre election reactions.

Last week I wondered if winners would shy away from declaring mandates. Two days later, I read this quote from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): We Republicans in the House and Senate think we have a voter mandate not to raise taxes. (Source)

Interesting, but to no surprise, Congressional Republican firm stance on no tax increases for the rich, which (to me) means they prefer to raise taxes on everyone. Although they are in a pickle, which could mean “It’s time to play Kick the Can.”

I like these words from conservative columnist Peggy Noonan: The Republicans worked hard but were less clear-eyed in their survey of the field. America has changed and is changing, culturally, ethnically—we all know this. Republican candidates and professionals will have to put aside their pride, lose their assumptions, and in the future work harder, better, go broader and deeper. (Source)

Gov. Romney’s recent account about blaming his loss serves as good evidence to support Peggy Noonan’s statement. Cheers to some as Gov. Jindal (R-LA) for  saying something sensible.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Needy Nation Breaks Down after First Full Week without being Pandered to by Politicians
  • Report: Majority of Americans Now Eating One Consecutive Meal a Day
  • 5-year-old Girl Feels like She Just Wasted Whole Carousel Ride Waving to Dad
  • Nation Horrified to Learn about War in Afghanistan While Reading Up on Petreaus Sex Scandal
  • Kim Jong-Un Named The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2012

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
Thanksgiving is next week in America. My wine recommendations for the Thanksgiving meal are Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer because the flavors from green beans, sweet potatoes, and cranberries screw up wine pairings for this feast.

Cheers to my alma mater for making The Onion this week.

For those noticing the nested dolls in the first St. Petersburg post, this one made me laugh – plus, it could be a potential holiday gift for the hard-to-buy-for person in your life.

Thank you Viveka for this award!

There will be a Saturday Morning Classic Cartoon post this weekend.

More Ginger Ale Reviews
Thomas Kemper Ginger Ale: Smooth; ginger tasting not overpowering, but enough to linger; not spicy; creamy quality with a hint of vanilla to me; honey is an ingredient – I like it!

Blenheim Ginger Ale: With the initial taste, I thought sweetness with low ginger. The ginger taste is delayed and with a touch of spice – and lingered. Another good one!

Here’s a touch of jazz to send you into the weekend. Well, handbells and chimes jazz with a light touch of drums. Believe it or not, it works! Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Thanksgiving for Pinot

It’s a hard grape to grow. As you know. Right? It’s, uh, it’s thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It’s, you know, it’s not a survivor like cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it’s neglected. No, pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And, in fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand pinot’s potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. (Jack explaining pinot noir to Maya in Sideways)

Pinot noir is one of the world’s great grapes for wine. It’s seductive, and subtle – yet difficult and temperamental. It is the classy lady at the ball who catches your eye, which doesn’t reveal the complex person behind the first glance.

Pinot noir is red, but not dark like other red wines. Pinot noir is flavorful, but not overpowering. Pinot noir is difficult to grow because its best locations require the odd combination of cool temperatures and a long growing season. It is fussy about the soil, slope, and climate, but ironically, once successful on the vine, winemakers find transitioning the grape into a wonderful wine as easy. The wine is an interesting blend of fruit and earth tones. While it does not pack a punch of puckering tannin, the charm is in its complexity and cerebral nature.

While growers cultivate pinot noir throughout the world, its geography remains limited because of its preferred conditions. Pinot noir is the grand grape of Burgundy (France), with interesting is the same parallel as another place where pinot is king – Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Pinot noirs from both of these regions tend to be earthier than the silky nature of those in California.

California regions doing well with pinot noir include Russian River Valley (Sonoma), Carneros (southern Sonoma and Napa), Anderson Valley (Mendocino), Santa Lucia Highlands (Monterrey), and Santa Rita Hills (Santa Barbara). The setting for Sideways was in the Santa Barbara wine region.

Pinot noir is a versatile food wine. It’s very good for pre-dinner and appetizers, yet goes well with main food as chicken, fish, and pork. To me, pinot noir is an excellent wine for Thanksgiving dinner.

In general, pinot noir wine is not cheap. For anyone wanting to spend more than $20, talk to knowledgeable staff at a wine department. Since Wine Spectator (not long ago) featured California pinot noir, here are their bargains, plus a few others from me.

Wine Spectator Values (Score and Price)
Saintsbury Garnet (Carneros) 88 ($20)
Siduri (Sonoma) 88 ($20
Villa Mt Eden (Sonoma Coast) 88 ($20)
Hitching Post (Santa Barbara Hometown) 87 ($20)
Kenwood (Russian River) 87 ($16)

Others
Heron (Sonoma) 87 ($16)
Acacia (California) 86 ($15
Heron (California) 85 ($14)
Castle Rock (Carneros) 84 ($14)
Cupcake (Carneros) 84 ($14)

AFA Additions
A to Z (Oregon) 90 ($20)
Mark West (California) $10, Santa Lucia Highlands $13
Angeline (California) $12
Castle Rock (several: Mendocino, Monterey, and Willamette) $12
Pepperwood Grove (California) $7
There are good values from New Zealand, so take a flyer or ask your wine merchant