Post-vacation blues: Wine fridge busted, stemware glued

And, ultimately, the adoption of a Michael Pollan approach to drinking wine

memory of a working wine fridge heat-tinted photo of a long hot summerI thought the worst thing about my vacation ending would be going back to work. There'd be much less Vernaccia di San Gimignano to drink, my freedom would be reined in and all the decisions I had been making for myself, like when to get up and when to drink, would be made for me.

It turns out that the wino's fear of teetotaling lunches is minor compared to the reality that hit home when I returned from a week vacationing in New York and a couple of days in Niagara.

A few days after I got back, my hot and humid apartment finally amounted to too much for my little wine refrigerator, an appliance which claims to cool with a motor that uses about the same amount of energy as a household light bulb.

This may be a design flaw.

I've replaced a continually blown fuse several times now. The unit will not cease shorting out. Some free professional advice I got indicates that the short is happening either somewhere in the circuitry or the pea-like motor is to blame by somehow sucking up to much power, and for that, I might try inserting a more powerful fuse if I can find one that fits. A '97 Brunello, a 2000 Vintage Port and a Saint Émilion Grand Cru currently hang in the balance.

Luckily temperatures are moderating since my return home and, since I am around, I am ready and able to relocate prized bottles to my kitchen fridge as necessary in the interim. It's a drag but I can manage until I got to the bottom of it.

I turn to traditional time-tested craftsmanship when modern technology gets me down. My favourite wine glasses did a much better job welcoming me back home from my time away. They looked hale, hearty and ever bit as ready to go the distance as when I left town -- much more than I could say about my wine fridge. This was reassuring as I reached for a bottle to uncork.

spider in my wine
Now this is a fine specimen: the Spiegelau Williamsberger Cabernet glass, second only to my prized Ravenscroft Unoaked Chardonnay glass.

I had left out some glasses out on the kitchen counter when I did the dishes just prior to leaving town for my trip (I have to admit it's a rare occurrence that every glass I own is clean and not in use at any given time). As a result of having the entire stemware collection washed, several of them didn't make it into the cupboard for safekeeping -- I just don't have the cupboard space to store them all. I would have to use both of my two wine glasses caddies to store the overflow from my cupboard.

In any case, the awaiting glasses were a welcome sight upon my return. Circling in to my trusty glass, I pour myself some wine.

spiderweb on my glass

I was weirded out when I stuck my nose in for a sniff. Something goopy was clinging to my face and interfering with a good clean smell and assessment of the wine's nose.

Very strange. I sniffed again and it was clear I was not imagining this odd sensation. What the...?

charlotte's web redux for a wino
I recoiled, and then went in for a closer look. (Click to enlarge photos.)

my spidery friends and my speigelau ravenscroft
My stemware had been cobwebbed all along the rim of the bowl. Gross! But I concluded that, apart from not creating the ideal tasting scenario, an eight-legged visitor in your stemware collection is not such a bad thing. Spiders like wine glasses because flies like wine. The spiders are my ally in making sure my wine gets drunk by me! I will never kill a spider in my house again!

So this news that the spiders were acting to protect my wine cheered me up. It almost made up for the fact that my wine fridge was doing just the opposite for my wine, sitting there lifeless, stuffy and dank, full of expensive bottles.

And then I thought some more about the stream of wine I poured in that glass and how didn't seem to shake the spidery structure much. It was a tribute to quality workmanship and ingenuity. Surely the hallmarks of an independent producer. This is one spider with passion!

As for how the wine itself measured up, stayed tuned for tomorrow's post!


Kathleen said...

I can't wait for your tasting notes! Will you find an unusual 'cobwebby' aroma on the nose?

Marcus said...


All will be revealed as I throw light onto darkened corners. Thanks for stopping by.

farley said...

I was worried you were going to say they weren't in one piece. I know that for me, my cats would have probably knocked them over. But still not the most delightful experience to find cobwebs on the nose, literally.

Marcus said...

Hi Farley,

Yes I'd rather have spider glue on my glasses than Krazy-Glue!

Real bad news about the wine fridge though. It looks like it's the end of the road -- I may need to start uncorking my best bottles.

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