Christmas in the Rearview Mirror
It is the Best of Times, It is the Versed of Times

Magnetic Field Blend, or, Crushed by the Wheels of Industry

I am always saving links to items that catch my fancy, in the hope that they will eventually find their way into a post.  As the year runs down, I want to clear out my aging 2005 link inventory to make room for all of the new and exciting incoming 2006 links, so today I offer this miscellany of items relating to food and [mostly] drink.  Less tipsy compilations will follow in the countdown to Twenty-Ought-Six.

  • The Guardian's "Bad Science" columnist Ben Goldacre reports from the frontiers of winology -- in this instance, winology is to oenology as astrology is to astronomy -- on the dubious benefits of magnetizing your wine.  [Link via Arts & Letters Daily.]
    • This story reminds me of the wacky, New Age-y "pyramid power" craze of the late '70's, during which Vic Bergeron, founder and namesake of the Trader Vic's Polynesian restaurants, became enamored of the idea that wine would age in a superior fashion if stored in pyramid-shaped cellars.  He installed the pointy contraptions at several of his restaurant locations.  It seems not to have worked out, as you will find no evidence of the practice today.  Perhaps if he had magnetized the pyramids . . . .
  • Tom Wark rightly sings the praises of the Kir Royale .  If you don't already know what it is, you need to click through and find out.  The Kir Royale is a most elegant cocktail that happens also to be a particular favorite of the two most important women in my life: my wife and my mother.  (No wonder, then, that the latter thinks that the former is a very fine daughter-in-law.)  Involving as it does Champagne or other sparkling wine, a Kir Royale is an excellent choice for sipping during New Year's Eve celebrations.
  • Wine_and_fire_1 One of the biggest stories in California winemaking over the past few months has been the fallout from the colossal warehouse fire in Vallejo that ruined or destroyed as many as half a million cases of wine belonging to Napa and Sonoma County vintners large and small.  I took a look at the insurance problems being faced by those wine makers on my other weblog just before Christmas.   (That post includes links to Tom Wark's excellent coverage of the fire and aftermath, including exclusive photos of the scene.)

More recently, Bob Sargent's Specialty Insurance Blog has raised the obvious follow-up question: if the insurance isn't in place to cover this loss, is there a potential claim for negligence against the brokers who placed the policies?  Any way you look at it, where there's fire, there's not just smoke, but lawyers.

  • At TCS Daily, Professor Bainbridge continues his campaign against The Scourge of Corked Wines, with this somewhat political slant:

I like old things.  Old ideas.  Old books.  Old wines.  I guess that's part of the reason I'm a conservative.  Yet, the intelligent conservative combines a disposition to preserve with an ability to reform.  And so we come to the question of closures for wine.

More corkage from the good Professor on his wine weblog, here.  My own commentary from this past August on non-cork closures is here.

  • Finally, in a bibulous literary vein, 3quarksdaily provides a link to a TLS consideration of Omar Khayyam and of Edward Fitzgerald's 'translation' of his Rubaiyat, aka "Omar Khayyam's Bible for drunkards."
    • The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam are not, of course, to be confused with Khayyam's Ruby Yacht, discovered by Bullwinkle J. Moose on the shores of Lake Veronica.

Comments

david giacalone

I always thought Cur Royale had something to do with Bainbridge's mutts. This weblog is a font of knowledge.

However, I can't understand why you've featured Mr. Nast's Flirtatious daughter, but not Marilyn Merlot. Where is you sense of priorities?

Enjoy the waning Old Year, George.

George Wallace

Thanks, David, for baptizing yourself in my font, or for drinking up wisdom from my fount in the forest.

Poor Norma Jean. Is it somehow un-American to confess that the appeal of Marilyn remains to me a mystery? As for merlot, it's doing fine without my help.

Bubbly, that's the ticket. Happy New Year.

Cowtown Pattie

Fool, have you seen this?

And, how can you slight Bridgette Bordeaux?


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