Remember when El Nino destroyed our Christmas Spirit with a Floridian December? Yeah, me neither, after this past week’s insane snowstorm, fondly nicknamed “Snowzilla”.
When the news broke that we would all be consumed by an imminent death blizzard, my first thought was obviously “Do I have enough wine?”. Common sense answer: Yes, 8 bottles int he wine fridge. My answer: NOPE. Needless to say we began our winter incarceration with at least a case of wine. Power still on? WINE. Shovel snow for hours? SPARKLING WINE AH SO REFRESHING. Binge watching HBO from your bed? BRING THAT DECANTER ON OVER. Still sore from clearing monster amounts of snow from our driveway, I’ll attempt to share a few moments from this “weather event” that involved screen time and wine drinking. #adultinginthesnow
DAY 1:FRIDAY The lines at the liquor stores were quite impressive. I just chuckled to myself as I already completed my wine supply earlier in the week when merely the suggestion of snow lingered in the air. You may take a moment to mock me for looking around a wine store for 20 minutes without buying anything. Yes, I’m a nerd. I wanted to walk up and down the massive line of people, quietly whispering “Mmmmm do you think you got enough Bud Light there? TRY THIS CRÉMANT D’ALSACE BITCHES” and then smack the beer out of their hands and run away. #fantasy. After securing my remaining essentials (read: chocolate, coffee, bacon, “cheese” spread made of cashews for $5.99. I hate myself.), I headed home amidst a gentle flurry of tiny snowflakes, thinking ahh yes, how nice…and then Nature said “I hate you, Maryland.” My husband took it upon himself to pick up some Redbox movies just in case Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and On Demand couldn’t supply us with enough viewing material. He selected Mad Max: Fury Road for us on Friday night, thus the saga began. Not sure what to think of this movie…like, I know it was good but literally it consisted of a road raging car chase where everyone yelled in British accents, intermittently spliced with screen time of a fat guy with nipple rings. Note: the “wives” were all frickin models. Where did they come from in the apocalypse? I enjoyed myself with a little Cava. I know I talk about Cava constantly, but it really is quite important. Almost as important as the guitar player in Mad Max. We took a drink every time he came on screen. This guy is like “I went to Berklee for guitar performance and now I’m chained to this truck.”.
I mean, he probably scored the only music gig left on Earth post nukes or whatever happened. I remember commenting to Nick, “At least someone cares about the arts in this weird-ass desert situation.”. We enjoyed some NV 1+1=3 Cava (yes, that’s the name…I know the math is wrong. It’s only $12 though!!) These sparkles were intense and lively in the glass, but presented some surprisingly deep aromas of almond, lemon peel, and grapefruit rind for an awesome price.
Friday, Round 2: Lest you think Friday ended with a car chase, fear not…it was only 6pm. THE NIGHT IS YOUNG. As big M. Night Shyamalan fans, we recently received The Visit on DVD, and were waiting for an opportunity to present itself. Being trapped in the house in a snow storm seemed perfect for a movie about two crazy old people trapping their grandchildren on a Pennsylvania farm secluded from the rest of civilization. It’s delightfully dark and twisty with a dash of comic relief.
Props to M. Night for finally redeeming himself for The Happening (really loved the music in that one though, tbh.). My parents were actually game to watch something scary, def not the norm for my mom. The film features a plethora of satisfyingly entertaining scenes of classic horror tropes e.g. sundowning insane old ladies wielding knives, maniacal laughter, and the newer “found footage” trend.
Needless to say, more wine required. I popped a bottle of my newest obsession, Valpolicella Ripasso. What is that, you say? I’ll tell you…it’s a baby Amarone. Still lost? Ok, all you need to know is that Amarone is Italian wine royalty and costs more that you’re probably willing to spend for a normal, albeit snowy, night. Made from dried grapes in near Verona, Amarone smells like dessicated raisins caramelized with figs and dark chocolate. BUT NOT SWEET, PEOPLE. It’s hella delicious and will change your life, so when I realized it had a baby cousin I WAS WOKE. Valpolicella Ripasso can satisfy my craving as it’s made with some of the dried skins from the grapes left over from Amarone. See Wine Folly map below for an awesome breakdown. Tiers 2-4 are your best bet. I picked up a 2013 Remo Farina Valpolicella Ripasso in Charlotte a couple weeks ago, and it did not disappoint-especially after sitting in the decanter for 30 minutes. Leathery, with notes of slow cooked plum and cherry jam, it went fantastically with my mom’s “everything in the fridge” chili. Win win win. #deepdarkies (watch the movie and you’ll understand…then get creeped.)
DAY 2: SATURDAY Awoke to 2+ feet of snow, with more on the way. Shit. But also, whatever, I have my supplies. After a leisurely morning pretending to be on vacation in Aspen, reality hit when I went outside to shovel with my brother. We slaved for hours, snow beating down, struggling to stay ahead and make the eventual total-dig-out suck less on Sunday.
We kept quoting Braveheart…I don’t know, we were cold and somehow likened ourselves the William Wallace’s of the driveway. I welcomed the shoveling, as it made me feel better about sitting around drinking and watching movies the rest of the weekend. (Minus the extremely sore muscles because obviously I don’t work out enough.) I came inside needing serious refreshment. I started drinking Kombucha, but then remembered being stuck in an effing snow storm. Sparkling wine became the appropriate choice. This time, Gruet Brut Rosé-you may remember this as a pairing for Hocus Pocus back on Hallowine. Turns out it also pairs well with Chelsea Handler’s documentary series on Netflix, which btw is hilarious and surprisingly insightful, keeping us entertained for the rest of the afternoon. Instead of watching movies Saturday night, we opted for some interpersonal interaction with my family (we live in the garage if you hadn’t figured that out yet #compoundlyfe) that included fighting about politics and Cards Against Humanity. Obvs wine too.
I opted to “bring out the big guns” aka a bottle over $30 with a 2012 Canvasback Cabernet from Washington State.
Hailing from Red Mountain, a top wine producing region in the state, this cab is worth the price with dark roasted coffee aromas paired with red fruit and a touch of vanilla. The tannins mellowed out after a few minutes in the glass, fueling my wits during CAH. My Grandma still won, that wench. Paired with meatloaf and tomato soup, we really did something here.
DAY 3:SUNDAY Omg are we still stuck in this house…this day consisted of shoveling snow #4life and trying to justify the amount of wine consumed during the last 48 hours. I couldn’t believe it, but we cleared the ENTIRE driveway. It didn’t really matter because our street remained impassable…for the next two days. I took the day off drinking and only had two gin spritzers while watching Meet the Parents, possibly my dad’s favorite comedy. Paleo cookies for dinner. What is my life?
DAYS 4&5: MONDAY/TUESDAY Srsly where is the plow….haaaalp. I made Nick go for a “snow walk” to check the state of the neighborhood where we encountered some teenage girls literally attempting to shovel the snow pack that was the road. Like, what are you doing wenches- that is futile. It was a good work out though since we had to high knee it through most of the untouched streets. Follow the doom trudge, Nick introduced me to The Leftovers on HBO. OMG we watched all 20 hours Monday and Tuesday. The premise revolves around a “Sudden Departure” of 2% of the world’s population with no particular pattern or reason, leaving a sort of “dark passenger” in the world.
No one is left unscathed. Sounds dreary. PSA: It is. But it’s also amazingly addictive and well written. Bonus-all white wearing, cigarette smoking, cult. Everyone loves a good cult storyline. The music will get you too. Piano and cello ripping my soul apart. Like what is life. GIVE ME MORE HBO.
We drank several wines with this over the course of two days. I experienced my first Lagrein, also from Northern Italy but closer to the Austrian border, near the Dolomite Mountains. This wine really needed some time in the decanter, so I let it ride on my nightstand for about 20 minutes.
Because we were watching from the bed. Snow on the ground=bed TV acceptable. After a little air, I got aromas of sweet black raspberry and cinnamon, yet some sturdily rustic tannin on the palate. I will admit, I did not have this with food. Shameful. But then we had a 2008 La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva with a marinated pork loin…fanciness restored.
Rioja reeks of dill, and this one did not disappoint. Dill and strawberry jam on the nose, ripe summer cherries and vanilla in the mouth. Everything La Rioja Alta produces is fabulous, so if you see it, BUY. MUY DELICIOSO. This one retails for less than $20. So worth it for the quality, especially when you’re being torn apart by Justin Theroux never catching a freaking break.
DAY 6:WEDNESDAY And then, the plow came, and there was much rejoicing. Husband still got a snow day though because we live in Maryland.
Stay tuned for an Alan Rickman memorial special in the near future. RIP Snape.