Musings about life on Earth in all its aspects…

Advent 2021 – December 2, 2021

Day 2 – “Merry Red” and Gouda Cheese

Today we went from fall weather to nearly summery – 75 degrees and sunny. If it wasn’t for the leafless and loosely leafed trees and the fall colors, you could totally convince yourself it was early spring. From the case of Advent wines, Day 2 produced “Merry Red,” a somewhat innocuous dry California red of indeterminate and unstated variety, likely a central valley blend. An inconspicuous and simple but nicely colored red, suitable for a burger lunch on a day like this. But it also complimented fairly well the excellent gouda cheese sample. Classic gouda flavor and a firmer cheese than the Edam of yesterday, it did not overpower but did outshine the wine. I found myself wishing I had a slightly more generous helping of cheese.

From a google search – photo of a 70s era “Home Wine Making Kit” from Sears.

This little red wine did take me back to a Christmas in the early 1970s, when Pat bought me a “Home Wine Making Kit” from Sears. That simple little one-gallon kitchen winery started me on a hobby that eventually led to having Zinfandel grapes shipped from Napa Valley to Kansas and a cellar full of everything from cherry wine to a pretty fair oak-aged Zin. After a while my job left me with more spare cash and fewer hours, and I moved from making to buying and cellaring good to great wines. I suppose the lesson is: Be careful with DIY gift kits – they can lead a certain kind of giftee to a long and deep involvement with some esoteric pursuit.

~Roy J Beckemeyer, December 2, 2021

Advent 2021 – December 1, 2021

My 80th birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year (the 12th time it has done so; we were married on Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, 1961, and Thanksgiving has fallen on our anniversary eight more times since). My daughter, Lori, aided and abetted by grandson Hank, succeeded in finally figuring out how to get me the ALDI’s Wine and Cheese Advent Calendars, a gift she has wanted to give me for some time. Kansas supermarkets cannot currently sell wine and spirits, so our ALDI stores are small and do not have the Advent wine calendar at all. Hank was able to score one of each in Kansas City MIssouri. I had never heard of them at all but was delighted with the gift. There are 24 single-serving bottles of wine and the same number of single servings of cheese. Their calendar states they are to be opened and consumed beginning December 1st, and concluding December 24th. (Advent for Catholics actually began on Sunday the 28th of November.)

This, then, is the first of 24 notes I will provide on successive days between now and Christmas, with comments on the wine and cheese and thoughts on pretty much whatever comes to mind as I partake in this Advent Season 2021.

Day 1 – A Brut Rosé sparkling wine and Edam Cheese.

A December day more like fall than winter, and a fitting sparkling rose-tinged wine. The bubbles of a dry rosé always seemed to me to add something akin to a bit of acidity. In any event, they provide a sort of sharpness to the impact on my tongue, something more feel than taste, but that provides almost a synonym for acidity. A bite, perhaps. Then follow that with the creamy melting flow of edam as different a mouth feel as one could imagine from the bubbly. Quite an enjoyable way to begin a contemplation of the countdown to Christmas Day.

Today Pat and I finished up addressing some Christmas cards that I had painted with different winter snowfall scenes. Some gifts for our great-grandsons and others arrived by mail. Grandson John Honas finished putting up our outside Christmas decorations Sunday. So Christmas is approaching once again. This season is always special, not only for all the tradition and religious and familial meaning, but because it is the season in which Pat and I met. An interesting tale involving skating parties and mistaken identities that I will recount at some time in the next 23 days.

~Roy Beckemeyer, Dec. 1, 2021.