By MICHAEL DAVIDOW, Radio Free New Hampshire
We’re short-handed here at IndepthNH.org, so I have been asked to put politics aside for this column and focus on other topics of interest to our readers. People apparently write with questions all the time. And because we are found on the Internet, we are assumed to have answers.
Today’s subject, then: wine.
Dear Mr. Wine Expert: I am hosting a dinner party with haricot verts, steak tartare, pommes frites, and two Republicans. What sort of wine should I serve? Sincerely yours, Sherman, from Keene.
Dear Sherman: You do not mention how you know these Republicans. Are they work friends? Are they your parents? Are you their parents? Are they Eisenhower, Reagan, Gingrich, or Trump Republicans? Anyway, it doesn’t matter. Serve something red.
Dear Mr. Wine Expert: There are so many kinds of red wine! Help me navigate this unholy mess! Ignorantly yours, Sherman, from Keene.
Dear Sherman: Wine is a confusing subject, because most wine is consumed by human beings, who tend to make things complicated. Suffice it to say that all red wine comes from a country called Fritaly, in western Europe. Some wine comes north of the Alps, so we call it North Wine, or Bordeaux, which comes in high-shouldered bottles. Some wine comes from south of the Alps, so we call it South Wine, or Burgundy, which comes in slope-shouldered bottles. Burgundy therefore goes best with pizza, and people who wear turtlenecks, while Bordeaux goes best with hamburgers, and people who wear hats. Rest assured, however, it all tastes the same. Please stop writing me.
Dear Mr. Wine Expert: Is it even possible that the southern, socially-conservative, church-going African-American vote that lifted both Hillary in 2016 and is currently lifting Biden in 2020 is tainted by old-fashioned anti-Semitism, hurting not just Bernie’s chances but Michael Bloomberg’s, too? Why hasn’t anyone in the mainstream press written about that possibility? And when is it proper to serve white wine, anyway? I hear it goes well with fish and chicken. Yours wonderingly, Sherman, from Keene.
Dear Sherman: There is really only one way to serve white wine, which is to open the bottle (or, as we say in my house, “unscrew it”), walk it over to the kitchen sink, and pour it down the drain. Then find a bottle of red, and drink that instead.
Dear Mr. Wine Expert: Is it ever okay to drink wine with a straw? Also, if you are suggesting that the national reception of both Sanders and Bloomberg is tainted by anti-Semitism, what do you think should be done about it? Yours concerned, Sherman, from Keene.
Dear Sherman: As you know, and don’t pretend otherwise, straws are bad for the environment. That said, I am not in the business of telling anyone, much less someone from Keene, how to enjoy their favorite bottle of wine. In fact, I would imagine that some reds (and all whites) might even benefit from the mildly astringent bouquet of an old-fashioned paper (not plastic) straw. When it comes to combating anti-Semitism, though, I am simply looking for more data at the moment. I would like the question to be asked and answered. Those answers will help determine how to deal with it.
Dear Mr. Wine Expert: I once heard that Fritalian people allow their children to drink wine, sometimes even watering it down for that purpose. Can I do that at home? Yours thirstily, Sherman, from Keene. P.S. Is Fritaly really a country?
Dear Sherman: First you need to find some children. Then you need to find some wine. Then you need to find an ice cube. The whole thing sounds pretty impossible to me. Almost as impossible as having the national media write objectively about race and anti-Semitism. As for Fritaly being a country, the answer is not that simple. What is a country? When is a wine? Why is a haricot vert?
Dear Mr. Wine Expert: On another note, it seems like the national media was upset with New Hampshire for not providing clarity in its primary. It also seems like the national media gets upset when the race is over early, thereby disenfranchising the voters of other states. Are people never happy? And isn’t there a line in France, south of which people use olive oil for cooking, and north of which people use butter? Yours fatteningly, Sherman, from Keene.
Dear Sherman: Yes, the butter-olive oil line does indeed exist, separating one group of people who eat better than you and I ever will, from another group of people who also eat better than you and I ever will. Life is unfair, Sherman, and there are many unhappy people out there. But a glass of wine can help. Cheers!
Michael Davidow is a lawyer in Nashua. He is the author of Gate City, Split Thirty, and The Rocketdyne Commission, three novels about politics and advertising which, taken together, form The Henry Bell Project. His most recent one is The Book of Order. They are available on Amazon.
Views expressed in columns and opinion pieces are those of the author and do not reflect those of InDepthNH.org.