Some men see things as they are and say, “Why?” I dream of things that never were and say, “Why not?”

– George Bernard Shaw

Eighth Wonder.

So my goal is to write an 85,000 word, New York Times best selling historical fiction tale based on a true story and generate enough acclaim to receive an invite to the White House.  Today, I hit the 80,000 word mark on my manuscript, set in the antebellum south, although there were a few glitches on Day 5 of my quest.  Primarily surrounding my determination to become sophisticated in the arena of fine wines before my visit to dine with the President and First Lady.


To get to the White House, it’s a fact, I must do something extraordinary, since I’m not royalty, a head of state or a diplomat.  Once I’m invited to the White House, I must possess a certain sophistication, display proper etiquette, both in fashion and while dining, as well as when I’m mingling, perhaps being offered an aperitif before dinner with the leader of the free world and his beautiful wife.   Not to mention, I have to workout, I rarely see fat people in photo ops at the White House and I must also have a husband.   How lucky was Lamar Odom to have Khloe as his new bride at the Lakers’ meeting with the President? I need a spouse!  Okay.  So, I have two years to accomplish all of this and first and foremost is the daily writing, second most is learning my wines.


Individuals who are unaware of the price do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine. In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall ratings is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less.

YAY!  Imagine my complete joy at stumbling across this article.  It gave me a sense of empowerment on my quest to learn my wines!  No one REALLY has any idea what they’re drinking.  Only those fine families, but they don’t count, because who really knows these people.   I’ll only be at the White House for one day and anyone can fake class and sophistication for one day with proper preparation.  So I forge ahead.


Okay.  Stop.  So here’s the deal.  I’m REALLY going to have to rethink the wine refinement, connoisseur thing on my road to the White House. As promised, I purchased a bottle of wine and had a glass to drink before I sat down to write so I could share my refining palate with you all as I prepare myself in the area of all things upscale so I’m nicely refined and sophisticated when I meet the President and Mrs. in 2012.  And once again, I wrote about two pages and woke up three hours later!!! What is the deal with wine and sleepiness?  Seriously, it feels so good and really cool to have my .99 cent wine glass filled with a beautiful deep violet Merlot, but am I going to fall asleep on the President and First Lady?  I’m thinking that there’s probably something to the whole sip, swirl and spit thing they do at wine tastings.  But we’ll get to that later.


Anyhoo, I was at Ralph’s because I needed milk and saw a row of wine on sale for $1.00 and said hey, what better way to get started on my refinement?  Who was I to poo poo a wine just because it was practically being given away for free, had no date of vintage, and appeared to come from a grapes grown on a bridge as opposed to a vineyard.

Also, I checked the wine with the ultimate resource of wine credibility: Oprah’s Wine list, running my finger down the list with excitement.  I was hopeful maybe that I had discovered a gem, but to my utter disappointment Bay Bridge WAS NOT on Oprah’s list, nor apparently was it stored properly as described by my new buddy Brandon Walsh the wine guru on youtube, because I examined the cork as he describes below and to my consternation it was pristine, TOO PRISTINE, there was absolutely NO WINE COLORATION on the cork, indicating the bottle had not been stored properly on its side and this wine could quite possibly be tainted or oxidized.  But besides all that, I thought it tasted delicious.


Now, if the bottle wasn’t on sale for a whopping $1.00, I would have certainly returned it to Ralph’s due to the cork and the sneaking suspicion this wine was made in someone’s basement and mixed with grapes purchased at a grocery store in the Bay Area somewhere, but it actually tasted pretty good.   So it’s not on Oprah’s list, it’s not like Oprah is the be all end all to everything that has to do with crushed grapes and besides, for $1.oo, I figured that’s too much of a bargain to pass up, so I splurged, tipped my purse to the side, gathered enough coins and purchased five whole bottles.


Okay, so now that we’ve already established that most people do not have a clue about wines, their palate being just as undeveloped and undiscerning as mine, according to the American Association of Wine Economists research above, I will continue with my experience.  And if you disagree and find me to be an uncultured heathen with no right to judge wines, then you are probably right.  However, since most people, including the stuffy ones with high voices who look down their noses, don’t have a clue,  these will be my choices, of the wines I like on this blog, as I make my quest to reach the White House regardless of price.  If you don’t agree, fine.  Write your own blog.

Anyhoo, Bay Bridge Merlot, Silver Medalist of the World Wine Championships, (whatever that is), is an inexpensive deep ruby wine that I would not bring as a gift to the President and First Lady, simply because it cost $1.00, it’s not on Oprah’s wine list – forget everything I said about Oprah not being the end all, be all, when it comes to refinement, when in doubt, roll with the O –  and who am I kidding, it couldn’t possibly be a refined wine for $1.00, however, I did really love the taste and highly recommend it for your outside barbecue or your next tailgate party at your local college parking lot.  It’s smooth, nuanced with cocoa and herbs, enhanced by a soft, velvety texture.  I really, really enjoyed the subtle aspects of this wine cultivated from grapes harvested on a bridge and I love the fact that it didn’t have an aftertaste nor did it unsettle my stomach.


I read a wine review from some pretentious couple and they said Bay Bridge Merlot wasn’t something they’d actually spit out at a party if it was served to them, but it was basically grape juice in a wine bottle.  Perhaps that’s exactly why I absolutely loved it 🙂

As my buddy Brandon the wine man said, the whole purpose of ordering wine for dinner is to ensure it properly fits in with your entree.  I highly recommend Bay Bridge Merlot be paired with Baked Lays Cheetos, El Pollo Loco chicken bowl, baked salmon from Whole Foods, or a nicely cooked hot dog from your backyard grill.

Don’t fret, we’ll get to Oprah’s list.  And if you know of any wines that strictly people in the highest circles drink, please do share.   Until next time…

Stay tuned,

A.M. Calberg