Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Nurse the Hate: WSET Level Four Fortified Wine Exam Prep Continues

My descent into fortified wines is complete.  While some would suggest that I have slipped into madness, I would counter and say I have become pure in my pursuit to understand Madeira and Port.  While other WSET Diploma students sniff around the edges of understanding these obscure and frankly unpopular fortified wines, I have plunged in with 100% commitment.  The last time madeira was popular in the United States was sometime around 1779.  While critics suggest that madeira was popular because it was the only wine that could be shipped across the ocean and not spoil during the 1700s, I wave that away with my hand.  It’s just a marketing and distribution issue.  We need to make it available in vending machines and taps.  Once people fully embrace madeira in the colonial manner I have, there is really no going back.  I see it passing Bud Light as America’s favorite alcoholic treat.

I realized that I couldn’t really get into the wines without truly getting them in context.  This is why I have sold all my cars and bought a cranky horse and rickety carriage.  Though my morning commute has now become 3.5 hours, I prefer the relaxed pace of clopping down the highway at 7 mph.  My neighbors are a bit upset that I continue to shovel out the stable into the storm drains, but I’ve never had a horse before and don’t know what to do with all the horseshit.  It’s much harder work than I first suspected and I have sweat through three (3) powdered wigs so far.  I’m going pure tri-corner hat now and reward myself at the end of the day with a pewter mug of bracingly acidic sercial madeira.  It really hits the spot.

I wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know that while on a Rainwater madeira bender last night I declared independence from Lorain County.  They should be receiving that parchment today.  I have some concern about police coming to see what the fuss is about, so I am trying to form a militia.  Many of my neighbors have firearms, but as I have gone completely in, I will only accept militia members if they have flintlocks.  This has been met with rather strong resistance.  In fact, my next door neighbor commented “if you and your gold buckled shoes don’t get off my fucking front porch I’m calling the cops!  Get rid of that horse too you fucking loon!”.  He even refused my offer of a nice mug of Bual Madeira.  I went back to my settlement with the conviction of a true patriot though.  History will prove me correct.

I will probably paddle out on the lake in my kayak later to keep my eye on the potential of French Canadian frigates entering my waters.  I think a nice 15 year malmsey will help keep me warm as I scan the horizon.  If the wind picks up it might be an issue.  I can’t get a life jacket over my colonial coat so if I wind up in the drink it will be a real situation.  It's not easy to swim in a waterlogged brass button coat and vest.  Obviously an overturned kayak will be a security issue as well as I can’t be expected to “keep my powder dry” to fire my pistol.  Maybe I can keep the flintlock pistol and gunpowder in the little waterproof hatch in the front.  I don't know if I can access it quickly enough.  I’m worried that if I am floating around out there nipping on a 20% alcohol madeira I also might not be at my best when engaging with the French Canadian naval forces.  Well, I must continue to prepare for my exam so I am drinking the madeira regardless.  I will engage the Canucks however I must with steely eyed resolve.

In a mere two weeks I will make my triumphant return to San Francisco to take this exam.  I am hoping I can find a place to buy a quill and ink for the exam as I don't want to jinx it by embracing technology prior to this.  I don't know where my beloved expensive pen is that I bought last time, but even if I find it I don't think Ben Franklin had spring technology in his writing instruments.  I will have to leave it at home.  Maybe I can train some falcons to fly out to my San Francisco inn of choice with a message I am seeking these tools of penmanship.  It really will get down to how quickly I can trap and train a wild falcon I suppose.  Maybe I can do that later today.  The key is that I stay in the moment and remain completely focused on my new madeira friendly lifestyle.  Tonight I return to the cask for more study, and perhaps if I have time, I will read The Good Book by my whale oil lamp.  I will not fail.  



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