Bitch on the Blog

February 12, 2012

Open House

Filed under: Communication,Happiness — bitchontheblog @ 14:37
Tags: , , , , ,

I am not a Madam. Thus rarely pimping anyone’s ride.

Phil over at is throwing a party. He is a most generous host. Not only does he encourage stream of consciousness of your thoughts (euphemism for failing to make an ass of yourself) you may drink as much as you like, you can partake in his fare, and you will find him in the wine cellar when he needs a breather from his guests’ high spirits. Don’t bring your own bottle since his fine choice will by far outstrip your taste, only showing you up for either a Bull’s blood drinking cheapskate, a Jaegermeister, or a bloody show off who throws money at a bottle without understanding what the label says. By way of damage limitation just bring a vat of salt in case you spill your white Merlot. And Phil, whatever you do, don’t let yourself be cornered by the good Magpie himself on the virtues of temperature/ice/cork vs screw top.

Being virtual the gamberoni will not go off, the bread not stale and the formaggio won’t walk or melt.  Pazzaz is what we need. Where are all you shrinking violets? Plucking your eyebrows in anticipation of Valentine’s day? Go to Philissimo, let it all hang out, try not to find the broom cupboard unless you can afford a DNA test, don’t all avoid Totsy just because her accent will make you swoon. Neither all latch onto the crowd’s Alpha males because their muscle can hold the drink. Leave it to me and I will share the bounty.

Not even one Bellini down, I am so tempted to say something funny yet terribly unkind as one is only allowed in the haze of fog and fumes. Pity. Another loss to mankind, less for me to blush over tomorrow morning. Oh, Sweethearts, some of you don’t know how much I’d love to play with you. Some things best left to imagination. God, don’t tell me Edison has come back to haunt me.

See you there. Providing I can get myself out of the trailer.

Remind me to let you into mind blowing interior design solution to that which bugs us all. It’s so simple, so stylish, if only I were mercenary I’d patent it.

Ciao, cheers,




  1. Thank you madame! Not that kind of madam, but a lady in the finest sense of the word…

    Comment by Phil — February 12, 2012 @ 15:38 | Reply

  2. Proper Little Madam… 😉

    Proper Little Madams was a female close harmony group back in the 1980s…… and the singular was what my parents would call my sister when she threw a tantrum.

    As for White Merlot: If it as execrable as White Zinfandel I have tasted one might do well to dispose of it some how. I wonder where it originated? Obviously a region which wanted to cash in on the popularity of “blush” or pink wines…. Southern France? Languedoc? Rousillon? Maybe they would do a better job of White Merlot than the Californians do of White Zinfandel. BTW Zinfandel produces some of the greatest red wines of California, if not the greatest.

    Sorry, but you touched a raw nerve.

    Your claim that Phil’s choice would far outstrip my taste seems like a challenge: 😉

    Try Ornellaia 2003 for a kick off!

    As for corks and screw tops…horses for courses.

    Comment by magpie11 — February 12, 2012 @ 19:43 | Reply

    • Magpie,

      I’m not sure how I got dragged into this challenge, especially since I am an infrequent buyer of wines. I have little need to buy as I am an enthusiastic hobbyist, and make plenty – about 175 to 200 liters total each year, split into 23 liter vessels (those pesky Americans still using gallons as measure) of various grape juices from California, Italy, and in the Spring season, Chile. Most are reds and because of the smaller finishing vessels, I can make varietals of Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel, and San Giovese every year. I’ve used the Zinfandel to blend with Cabernet occasionally, with pretty good effect. The whites I make in smaller quantities – typically 25 or at most 50 liters per year, as I prefer the reds, and those varietals are usually Chardonnay, or Savignon Blanc. Occasionally, I will make a Riesling or a Pinot Grigio, for my friends who like a lighter, less dry wine. As a result, with 200 to 240 bottles a year (yes, I bottle each year), even after gifting a whole bunch, I don’t spend a lot of time shopping for store-bought wines. I would imagine you are far better suited at making recommendations from that selection. If I do buy, I limit most my selections to Chilean vineyards and a number of Californian brands.

      So… I propose we simply spend more time enjoying the taste of the wine on our palates, and less time on the taste of the drinker.

      I’ll have to run out and find an Ornellaia, 2003, on your recommendation. If you ever find yourself Stateside, especially near Washington D.C., give me a shout and I’ll get you some of my personal stock. All this talk of wine has given me a hankering for some. Unfortunately, I’m stuck in a hotel room out of town for the next few days.


      p.s. Despite all the new buzz about screw-tops being just as good, I am an old-fashioned cork type of fellow. I’ll save the screw tops for securing liquid drain cleaners. 😉

      Comment by Phil — February 13, 2012 @ 01:19 | Reply

      • Psst! My recommendation of Ornellaia was a bit naughty…youngest magpie (who sells wines and spirits in this part of his life) bought me a bottle because the vintage he wanted was not available. He actually clubbed together with “She who thinks she must be obeyed ” aka mother in law, to purchase it. I duly placed it in the rack intending to imbibe at an appropriate time.
        Promptly forgot it and several months later decided to crack a bottle of plonk one evening. You can guess what happened.

        I found a bottle of red with a label I didn’t recognise…opened it….tried it and was knocked back a bit. Took a tasting sample to junior for his opinion. He recognised the style and asked (all innocently) what he was drinking…. I had to fetch the bottle… he kept quiet whilst I enjoyed myself. Next day he reminded me which bottle it was.

        As he said, “Better to enjoy it in all innocence than risk disappointment.” It was a great bottle…one of the best….but I would never be able to afford it.

        I enjoy wine but of late my “nose” seems to have gone west… I miss a lot. Hence my recent post.

        An ex pupil bought me a bottle of Vergelegen 2001 in exchange for some PA gear….. he’s setting up a lighting and sound hire company… another lovely bottle.

        On a tech note…do you mature your reds over oak chips before bottling?

        I remember my first bottle of Errazuriz Merlot. Impressive. As for Chilean Carmenere: We have found that it stands it’s own against Indian food….not the right phrase, but you know what I mean.

        Thanks Ursula for the chance to have this chat.

        Comment by magpie11 — February 13, 2012 @ 16:01 | Reply

        • After fermentation and filtration, I do the initial 6 month aging and clarification in 23 liter glass vessels. The sediment in the clarification process is far easier to clean and sterilize using glass vessels. I then transfer the clarified wine from the glass aging vessels to small oak barrels (20 liter size) and let it age another 6 months minimum. The oak adds a nice flavor. I’ve tried the oak chips, but feel the barrel is a better solution. I have a Chilean Carmenere aging in oak right now, should be ready to enjoy late September.

          Comment by Phil — February 13, 2012 @ 20:22 | Reply

        • Psst indeed! I just noticed a price tag of $150 for a bottle of 2003 Ornellaia! You are such a tease. At that price, I would expect the wine not only to have great taste, but to perform a nice body massage and draw my bath as well…

          I hope you really enjoyed it.

          Comment by Phil — February 14, 2012 @ 20:36 | Reply

  3. Am impressed. Would love to make my own wine, so far am only drinker of wine.

    Comment by writingfeemail — February 14, 2012 @ 00:01 | Reply

  4. I never saw this posting, so although I am adding this now,
    I did (As I know that you already know) actually frequent the
    said party, however you weren’t around at the time, indeed
    I was scoffing Pizza and drinking the Red stuff all on my own
    but I still had a good time. Now when I return I will be making
    sure that you have behaved yourself U because I know how
    naughty you are, oh yes, wicked and naughty for sure…

    How do you mean where am I going and when will I be back?
    Well hopefully sooner rather than later, but then how long is a
    piece of string? In the meantime do have a wonderful time and
    keep the party going at full strength, even if you have to join in
    with the Belly Dancing Ballet Dancers as that could prove to be
    a very good learning curve… Okay I am going, and stop that
    big grin, anyone would think that you were glad to see the back
    of me, but I know different U

    Androgoth XXx

    Comment by Androgoth — February 14, 2012 @ 23:02 | Reply

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