Twist And Shout

Seeing as the winter is almost over (yeah!) I can remember as a teenager getting in the last ice skating of the year, weather permitting, and the song Twist and Shout by Chubby Checker would be blaring from the public address system on the town pond. I danced better on skates then than I do now on the dance floor. Although at my age, slow dancing is the norm when I do get on the dance floor that is. Then of course later in the afternoon or early evening while we were still skating the version of Twist and Shout recorded by The Beatles would have us dancing and skating even more intense than earlier in the day.

Which brings me to a story when I was in my early teens and we were having the Christmas Eve celebration at my parents house when we would purchase a gift that would cost somewhere between 25-75 cents and it couldn’t be a penny more or a penny less. And those were strict rules, tax included. Our gift swap rules were simple. Everyone who brought a gift received a number drawn from a hat. You chose a gift on the table and if you were the first one then you had to open and keep the gift – luck of the draw. Then whoever was the number 2 person to pick would chose a gift on the table and had a choice to make – they could either take your gift and give you the one they chose or they could keep it (they could not open the gift unless they were going to keep it). So, they blindly had to make a decision to grab your gift from you or they took a chance and opened the gift they chose which they had to keep. Think of all the possibilities when you have around thirty people playing this. It gets to be a lot of fun real quick.

Are you confused yet? I think I am (and I used to play this), oh well.

On with the story. As luck would have it on this particular Christmas Eve I had the second to last pick and I chose one of two gifts left and opened the “Story Book Lifesavers Package” – remember those? Oh, what a gift. Lo and behold, my Uncle Tony had the last gift on the table and he decided that the lifesavers would be his choice of gifts. Well, the consolation was that I got to open another gift. But the agony was that I opened the gift my Uncle Tony brought and he new what was in the package which is why he decided not to open it – are you ready for this? I opened – and got to keep – a pair of girl’s ice skates pom-poms that attached to the top of the skates. Now, can you imagine me putting these on top of my hockey skates??? Although we joke about this whenever we remember when we’re together it is part of those good memories we had growing up.

What about you, any good memorable stories?

Anyway this post is about a bunch of other twist top wine bottles that in my mind are pretty good (don’t tell me I’m warming up to screw tops $#@&?*^%).

Twisted 2008 Old Vine Zinfandel. I bought this on a whim and just liked the name of the wine and I figured what the heck! Upon opening the wine I experienced a jolt of blackberries like in a jam, very pleasing along with cherry, anise, and grated nutmeg greeted the schnozzola snifter. The wine, once tasted, reminded me of chocolate covered cherries and ripe plums wrapped around your taste buds which ended in a very nice nutmeg mouth feel and a jammy finish. My wife said: “Ohhh, I really like this”. For a screw top and a winery I’ve never heard of, this is a very decent Zinfandel even Mike’s Cellar Emporium would stock (now, if I can only get him to agree with me…). I tried this with homemade pizza one night and pulled pork another night and it went very well with both. And a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. $7.99, 88 rating. (most of you that are on the small mailing list of oenophiles know we’ve discussed this wine already but it deserves another mention here as one of our members received the coveted fancy schmancy initials because of this wine).

Cupcake 2010 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. This wine opens with lemony aromas leading to key lime pie and melon flavors sure to delight. $9.99, 86 rating. Try this with shrimp cocktail with plenty of spicy cocktail sauce and a plethora of appetizers. Spicy Asian food also pairs well with this wine as does a number of cheeses and crackers.

Cigar Box 2009 Reserve Malbec. This wine began with earthy tones on the nose with rich plum and blackberry and a hint of vanilla. The palate exhibited flavors of Cassis, red cherry, and boysenberry jam with nice tannins! A delicious chocolate mocha finish paired well with a ham & chees on a French baguette. This also went well with homemade chili. Although many times a white wine will go well with chili especially if it is spicy this Malbec was a pretty good good choice for this meal. I also had this on another occasion with grilled chicken topped with mozzarella cheese, tomato slices, and fresh parsley. Not to mention this was good with a pulled pork sandwich too. All four meals were great with this wine. $9.99, 88 rating. I do enjoy a good Malbec.

Here’s to good wine, good food, and good friends…