Sunday, January 2, 2011

Celebrating the Past (Oyster Bay, Sauvignon Blanc)

Okay so I lied a little.  I did have every intention of posting yesterday but like much of the world I was busy nursing a hangover from the night before.  Given that most people were probably feeling as bad or worse than I was I'm sure forgiveness will be forthcoming.  Apologies to all who were looking for some lighthearted reading to wile away the hours of the day.

With apologies dealt with I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season as much as I did.  I'm sure most of us managed to pack on a few extra pounds, decrease our livers' life span by a few weeks and plunge ourselves a little further into debt, but it's worth it.  There is no other time where we get to mix relaxing, celebration and stress in a bizarre cocktail of booze and food induced exhaustion.  People have been celebrating or mourning in this fashion for millennia.  China set the drunken precedent about 10 000 years ago if not more.  The funerary rites were such that the next of kin to the deceased would fast for 7 days, on the 7th day the deceased was buried and the next of kin would would eat and drink for the two of them, this would encourage a meeting of the two so the next of kin could pass on messages to loved ones.*

Admittedly funerals and Christmas are on the opposite end of human emotion but ceremonies between celebration and mourning are much the same; we eat and drink to mask the pain or bring forth the excitement.  I'm sure the early Chinese mourners were conducting themselves much in the same way during times of celebration.

Drinking and eating to excess dates back to the origins of civilization, people were busy concerning themselves with how to get drunk before they had figured out how to farm, one theory I have heard even suggests the reason humans went from nomadic to agriculture based societies is so they would have a steady supply of grains, not to make bread as many believe but to make beer.**  So if you are feeling a little guilty about over indulging remember it's what humans do, we've been doing it since time immemorial, just remember not to celebrate every day.

Here is one of the wines I celebrated with over the Holidays...

Producer: Oyster Bay
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2010
Alc: 13%
Price: ~$20

Notes: Beautiful and powerful aroma displays green apple, grass, citrus, gooseberry, and cat pee(a good thing in sauv blanc).  Flavours are much the same, hopefully no one would describe its flavours as cat pee-esque, there is some nice pear flavour too it as well.  This wine is Awesome and I highly recommend trying it as a great example of a New Zealand Sauv Blanc.

*This little tidbit of information came from Patrick E. Mcgrovern's book Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages.

**This theory was presented to me by a prof. I had in university, it was probably 1 of 2 interesting things I learned in that class.

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