Party, happening in my mouth. Right now.
But back up. Months back. Walking out of Vincenzo’s, C spots a write-up for some new vinegar on the market. Artisan vinegar; hobbyist no less. Someone’s stumbled upon the idea of following the ice wine method of harvesting and pressing frozen grapes. Unlike ice wine, red and white varieties are blended together. Like balsamic vinegar, previous vintages are also blended together, giving each bottle eye-swirling complexity and depth. Did I say yum?
But tragic as well. Excited about this new discovery (whores for good vinegar, are we ^^;;) I hop online only to find, yes its as good as I’m imagining and no its not being sold retail.
Not sold retail?
The ground falls away, the ambient temperature in the room drops, anguished wailing fills the room.
Not sold retail?!
What cruelty is this? What madness? What…what…what selfishness!
The article explains that a mysterious they enjoys making the vinegar as a hobby. A mere 300 cases each year, and it all goes to restaurants.
After much debating, ranting, and wailing, things settle down to a quiet runny-nosed sulk, and eventually we forget. Well, not so much forget as agree not to speak of it anymore.
Time passes, as is its wont, and lo today is here. I stop in at Vincenzo’s to pick up some cheese (some tasty little apple-ice-wine soaked thing, practically oozing out of its wrapper, and long forgotten in the hubbub), and spot the write-up again. Wistful, asks I, “Will you be getting any in?,” not daring to believe. And damn if they don’t have 3 bottles on the shelf. What’s more, a vinegar tasting week after Saturday will be showcasing Minus-8, along with some other rarities, peculiarities, and whatnot of the vinegar persuasion.
I snatch 2 bottles (one for my father, the source and inspiration of this addiction) and run. And calmly explain to C on the phone that I’ve just spent $100 on vinegar.
Clever boy, he picks up a pint of good vanilla ice cream on the way home.
Vanilla ice cream is to vinegar what a few drops of water is to single malt. It helps to smooth out the harshness, so that the more subtle flavours can come out to play. There’s the tartness of cherries in here, that tell-tale ice-wine hint of pear. And oh, does it sparkle.
Excuse me while I puddle on this here floor.