Posts Tagged "wine"

7 Steps to Drinking Wine Properly

Dear Kid,

It’s National Wine Day.

Happy National Wine Day! DearKidLoveMom.comI can’t believe it’s taken this long to get here, and I – What? Not National Whine Day? Oh. Dang.

National Wine Day is (duh) a great way to celebrate the grape. Preferably fermented.

One day, if these grapes behave, they might grow up to be wine! Happy National Wine Day!

So a Wine Drinking Lesson seems in order.


The first step is acquiring wine. Sometimes this is as easy as going to your parents’ refrigerator and borrowing a bottle. Sometimes it involves asking a waiter to kindly bring you a glass. Occasionally it involves going to a store and making a purchase. In the best of all possible cases, it means several friends each brought some wine to your place.


Once you have acquired said vino, store it properly. Most of the time that means in a wine glass. Occasionally it means white wine in the frig, red wine on the counter.


Remember the importance of glasses? Of course you do. The most important thing for college students to know about the right wine glass is to find one that isn’t chipped. For the rest of the world, red wine glasses are generally larger than white wine glasses (the better to allow the red wine to oxidize).


Sniff the wine to enjoy the aroma and prepare the palate. Do not sniff like you’re trying to find a dead rat. Especially if no one else in your crowd is a sophisticated wine drinker.


Take a sip. Take a swallow. Nod sagely. Do not smack your lips. Do not chug your mug. Take another sip. Try a delicate bite of cheese. Sip. Nod. Nibble. Sip. Sip. Aw, heck, drink.


Refill. Try another kind of wine because no one brought the same kind to the party.


It is important to store any leftover wine properly. Leftover wine. That’s funny, right?

Happy National Wine Day!

Happy National Wine Day.

Love, Mom

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Considering Housewarming Gifts

Dear Kid,

As I believe I mentioned, the fabulous Girlfriendology is moving to a new home (one substantially closer to me—so yay!). I therefore started thinking about housewarming presents. I had this same problem the last time she moved (here’s the link in case you don’t remember). Finding the right gift hasn’t gotten any easier…

Coffee first. Then we can solve the world's problems. DearKidLoveMom.comFirst I thought of the obvious: coffee with me! But since she is (did I mention?) moving closer, I’m pretty sure that’s going to happen sooner or later.

So I consulted My Friend the Internet for thoughts on more traditional housewarming gifts.

“Candles…so your house will always have light.” Girlfriendology has more candles in her house than a menorah farm (no, I’ve never seen a menorah farm, but I have an active imagination); it would be like bringing coals to Newcastle.

Warning: Knowledge Alert!

“Carrying coals to Newcastle” is a thing. More to the point it is a cliché. Newcastle upon Tyne (I do love how the British name their towns) in northeast England was a huge coal mining town. The idea of taking coal there would have to be something created by the Department of Redundancy Department Department. Totally unnecessary and pointless. Like taking chocolate to Hershey, PA only with more emphasis on pollution and less on calories.

“Salt…to add to the flavor of life.” Salt. Salt? Seriously? Have you read a health article recently?

“Bread…so that this house may never know hunger.” Carbs. Yeah. Right. Brilliant.

Sugar…so your life may always have sweetness.” Quite possibly only the most addictive substance on the planet and you want me to give it to a friend? Next idea.

“Honey…” Same symbology as sugar. Same chemical issue. Better packaging.

“Broom…to sweep away any evil.” The thought of me giving anyone a cleaning implement made me double over laughing.

“Wine…so you will always be of good cheer.” Two Buck Chuck doesn’t sound like a great gift idea. And Girlfriendology knows far more about wine than I do.

Coffee with me it is!

Love, Mom

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Do You Know What An Upside Down Glass Means?

Dear Kid,

The same words can mean different things in different places. For example, “I’m stuffed” in the US means you’ve eaten too much; in the UK it means you’re pregnant.

Actions can also mean different things in different parts of the world.

For example, an upside down glass on the bar in Australia means you think you can fight anyone and everyone in the pub and win. Then again, breathing in Australia means pretty much the same thing.

In some areas, an upside down glass means you’re drinking in memory of someone who has passed away. (“Turn down a glass” therefore means stop for a moment of thought or reflection.)

In some countries, it’s rude to sip or partially drink a shot during a toast. Turning your glass upside down shows you’ve downed the entire shot.

In the US, if you turn your glass upside down, it means you don’t want any more to drink. If the bartender places an upside down glass in front of you, it means someone else has paid for your drink.

In our house, an upside down glass is a sure sign of Wildlife Encroachment.

As in, “Get a glass! Get a glass! There’s a ladybug!”

Theoretically, once a multi-legged critter has been trapped under a glass, it should be released back into the wild where it can do multi-legged critter things (like being eaten by a bird). As long as it’s not in my house, I’m pretty tolerant of multi-legged critters (and by “multi-legged”, I mean more than 4; 4 or less are welcome inside—most of them, anyway).

But to be clear, the more legs there are, the less I want to do with them.

Recently, we’ve had an invasion (and by “invasion” I mean 2) of huge, horrible, jumping, enormous spiders. These guys move lightning fast and cause all sorts of chaos. And by “all sorts of chaos” I mean me screaming, “Yark! Ack! Spider! Get a glass! Someone do something! AAAAAck!” Amazingly, Pi said exactly the same thing when she spotted one.

This is NOT the traditional place for spiders. Or the traditional use of a Wine Glass. We have got to get back to tradition.

Pi and I both buy into the family tradition of bug trapping. We also both believe that Someone Else should be in charge of bug release. Bug release really far away from the house. Like 6 or 7 miles away.

And since the Puppy doesn’t have thumbs, that chore falls to Dad. Which leds to the following conversation.

Dad: I see you trapped a bug
Me: It’s a spider and it’s enormous. Do something
Dad: Why didn’t you take it outside?
Me: Are you insane?
Dad: It’s just a spider
Me: It is an enormous spider. It is a spider bigger than Montana. It moves faster than Superman. Take. It. Out.
Dad: You’re not going to take out one little spider?
Me: It is Not little. And Get That Thing Away From ME!!!!!

At which point Dad chuckled softly and took the spider out. Thus saving a spider and a marriage in one action.

Love, Mom

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The Universe Handed Me a Gift (You Didn’t See This One Coming, Did You?)

Dear Kid,

Every now and then the Universe pops up and hands me a little present. I am always careful to say “Thank you” most politely because that’s what one does when the Universe goes out of its way to be kind.

A few years ago, the gift was when doctors decided that wine has important health benefits and therefore a cup full of vino is the medicine going down. Yippee and Thank You.

Then the medical profession decided that coffee has heart benefits. This has nothing to do with actual benefits (I’m sure it’s just great marketing from the coffee cartel) but what do I care whether it’s real or not? The docs say “Drink coffee,” I say make it a strong one. And Thank You.

The best part is that I never intended to change my behavior (Coffee’s not good for me? Unfortunate. I’ll still drink the same amount.). But having the Universe’s blessing for my behavior makes me feel loved and special and much less guilty.

Now, once again, the Universe has handed out a completely unexpected present. This one may be the silliest one ever, but since it is a Proven Scientific and Medical Fact, who am I to argue?

The Universe has declared that it is unhealthy to make your bed every morning.

Didn’t see that one coming, did you?

I promise. It doesn't make a bit of difference to me if you make the bed or not. I'm comfy.

This, of course, proves that I am The Most Knowing of All Mothers You’ve Ever Had because I only insisted you actually make your bed about twice a year (on the same days I made my bed—namely, when Grandma was visiting). I am so far ahead of my time, it’s crazy.

You do not need to point out that “ahead of my time” and “lazy” in this case refer to the same thing.

I don’t particularly care for bed-making. I find it is a great way to break my nails and all I do is mess it up a pretty bed all over again. It’s a thankless job (in my opinion) so I skip it on a regular basis (and by “regular basis” I mean “daily”). It’s perfectly fine with me if someone else makes the bed; in fact, I like climbing in to a freshly made bed. I just don’t like it enough to do the actual bed-making in the first place.

There are people who do like making the bed (or who think they do since the habit is so ingrained). To them I say “Have at it” just don’t ask me to do the same thing. And now the Universe says we have a Good Excuse not to make the bed.

The reason making your bed is unhealthy is dust mites. Dust mites are the invisible creatures who live in our linens and chow down on the billions of skin cells we shed. The dust mites poop invisible mite poop and we sneeze. Not good for the allergy-affiliated among us. (In a scientifically significant oversight, it turns out that dust mites and dust dragons are not related.)

It turns out that dust mites prefer nice moist skin cells. The kind that get tucked in every morning when someone makes the bed. They are much less excited about eating dried up skin cells (the kind that dry out every day when you don’t make the bed).

So now you have a scientific reason for not making the bed. And sneezing is once again entirely up to you.

Love, Mom

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Seven Kinds of Cups (Bet You Don’t Know Them)

Dear Kid,

You are not going to believe this.

Do you know the different kinds of cups? DearKidLoveMom.comIn my search for Truth and Knowledge about The 7 Kinds of Soup Bowls, I discovered that there are 7 Kinds of Cups (not counting the boy-playing-sports kind which I plan to ignore today). There is also the Four Cups of wine theory but not talking about that today either.

Because I am That Kind of Mom, I simply couldn’t leave you not knowing about the 7 Kinds of Cups. So without further ado (oh, who am I kidding? With me, there is generally more “ado” than not), I present to you the Seven Cups.

Let’s start with the most interesting, the Chocolate Cup.

It will probably distress you to know that (in this case) the chocolate cup is not made of chocolate, taking what could have been a Very Interesting Discussion all the way down the Ladder of Interesting and stashing it behind a dusty chair.

Once upon a time there was breakfast which is just about the best thing ever especially when paired with Once Upon a Time. Hot chocolate was made (for breakfast) using unsweetened chocolate mixed with cream into which sugar and hot frothy milk were poured. Because it was quite delicious, cups were big (although they weren’t made out of chocolate). But if you were going to have chocolate at afternoon tea (which is counter intuitive but whatev), then you would drink it from a small cup that would leave you wanting more which you couldn’t ask for because that would be tacky. See how much better chocolate cups made from actual chocolate would have been? Then instead of following strict social standards around tea time behavior we could be discussing how to get chocolate stains out of frocks a la SueAnn Nivens (extra points all around even if you don’t get the reference).

Bottom line. There is such a thing as a chocolate cup (and saucer). We don’t have any in our house. Just grab a mug. Everyone will be happier.

The breakfast cup (and saucer) was invented because drinking coffee out of a thimble is somewhat frustrating. The breakfast cup (and saucer) is small than a mug, so as far as I’m concerned mugs are the way to go at breakfast.

Then there is the coffee cup (and saucer) which is good sized but not as big as a mug or breakfast cup and is used for serving coffee at times other than breakfast and after dinner. We have coffee cups (and saucers) in our house but they have never been used. Just grab a mug.

The after dinner cup (and saucer) is smaller than a coffee cup but bigger than a demitasse cup. It was invented to allow etiquette experts to feel superior since no one else can figure out when to use them. If you were to guess that we don’t have any in our house, you’d be correct.

After a formal dinner, one should serve a low-caf or decaf coffee in a demitasse cup (and saucer). Demitasse is French for “so poor we couldn’t afford a real serving.”

The formal teacup (and saucer) is slightly shorter and wider than the formal coffee cup (and saucer). According to Official Etiquette, tea is too delicate to serve at a formal dinner and is only served at formal luncheons upon request. Clearly, I come from much less delicate stock because as far as I’m concerned (and I’m pretty sure a fair number of people will agree with me), tea can be served at any time. In a mug.

Mugs range in size from “good sized” to slightly smaller than a horse trough. Mugs are used only for informal dining—except in our house where we feel strongly about serving size.

Those are the seven kinds of cups. All the other kinds of cups you see apparently just don’t exist.

Now you know.

Love, Mom

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