Wine is Here!
Aaaaaaaaand, we're back. Apologies for the week off, but when you're Forking on a regular basis, sometimes you need to just step back and decompress, y'know? Forkin' ain't easy is what we're saying, and we just needed to get our head together.
But, yeah, we're back. And we're here with good tidings of wine. As in, did you see this week's SFR cover story on wine? It's quite interesting, and we don't even really drink that much anymore. We won't spoil any of the facts laid out in the story for you (because you can just read it), but we did think it would be fun to give you a super-serious and completely historically accurate series of fascinating wine facts. Here we go:
-Since the history of wine is a little blurry because it involves soooo much wine, it cannot be definitively said when it first flared up into existence. HOWEVER, the oldest-known vineyard dates to 4100 BC in ancient Armenia.
-Similarly, wine scientists have narrowed down the oldest-known bottle, and it's on display in a museum in Speyer, Germany. Dated to sometime between 325 and 359 AD, the bottle has never been opened. We assume if it were popped, a bunch of ghosts would fly out moaning and the streets would run red with blood. Naw, jay kay, but it can't smell too great, we bet. Anyway, that's a whole lot of thousands of years between the Armenian vineyard and that bottle, so who knows what else is out there?
-Toasting with wine has a pretty complicated history. Many attribute it to the ancient Romans who, by all accounts, would drop toast in wine for … normal reasons. And this is true enough, but it goes a little deeper than that. The concept of drinking to one's health actually predates the Romans and can be traced to the Greeks. And so, like the mythology, the Roman version is just an appropriated version of a better and cooler Greek thing.
-Oenophobia, or fear of wine, is a real thing. We know it sounds very specific but, like all phobias, has root causes in some form of past trauma. On a related note, if you know someone who suffers from this or any other phobia, it's not cool to make fun of it. For example, The Fork is terrified of spiders, and our awful friends think it's funny to make fun of that. Bogus.
-Y'know how there are sommeliers and wine-tasters and how everyone you know acts like they know the difference between vintages and stuff? To a certain extent, that's true, but, in a more real sense, the idea of wine-tasting being a scientific thing with quantifiable results is a load of bullshit. There's a moral in there, too—like what you like, the end. We've also read that women make better wine tasters than men, but The Fork is really sick of gender stuff like that, so you can stuff those norms in a sack.
-According to vinepair.com, as of the end of 2016, Americans had consumed more than 4 billion bottles of wine that year. That's way more than France, which clocked in at around 3.6 billion bottles. Keep in mind, however, that France is MUCH smaller than America, so if we're talkin' per capita here, they're making us look like a bunch of lightweights.
-Lastly, when Prohibition took America by storm in 1920, sales of grape juice concentrate went through the roof because people were trying to make wine or something. The legend goes, a warning label on the packaging all but contained directions for how to make wine. Oh, America—you really can't stand to not be drunk. Anyway, we're grateful to Prohibition, because the first three seasons of Boardwalk Empire were so damn good.
Any oneophiles out there with cool wine info? Drop us a line—we love learning!
-If you're looking to expand your wine palate, Arroyo Vino hosts its Spring Wine Seminar this weekend. At $20 a person, it's quite affordable and probably enlightening. Book here.
-Are you sitting down? Because we're hearing the faintest whispers on the wind that Santa Fe Bite, that bastion for burgers the likes of which haunt dreams which closed last September, may be reopening someplace on the Southside. We've got our feelers out to try and learn more, but we haven't been able to confirm. Anyone have the inside scoop? The Fork's your huckleberry.
-A mere 45 minutes south in Albuquerque, the ninth Annual Albuquerque Beer Week kicks off this very day (Thursday May 23) and runs through June 2. That's 11 days, and there are something like 100 events planned for that span of time. Ba-zam! Santa Fe breweries have a presence there alongside everyone's fave ABQ suds-meisters. If you like beer, this is, like, the thing to do.
-There's a new French bakery and restaurant in town, and Madam Matisse looks like THE BUSINESS. We're planning a visit soon.
-Lastly, in local news, in the never-ending saga of Shohko Café, which you may recall closed recently, it turns out there were two liens facing the Japanese restaurant for unpaid wages totaling $116,000. Yikes. The official line of the restaurant was the its owners were just ready to retire.
-Even though The Fork thinks the whole plastic straw debate is mostly a way to shift the environmental onus from the polluting mega-corps to consumers, it's still pretty OK that Whole Foods plans to phase them out. Look, we're way beyond a few straws saving the Earth, but we still don't want sea turtles to eat 'em or things like that.
-Like martinis? Like olives for your martinis? Well, it turns out that if that's your thing, you may be complicit in the vacuum deaths of millions of birds a year. We know that sentence is weird, but it seems that martini olives taste better when they're plucked at night, but in order to get to them, harvesters vacuum sleeping birds out of the olive trees. Vice has the details, and they suck (not a pun).
-A Texas bill that would prohibit government discrimination against businesses for donating to certain causes–think Chick-fil-A and its whole donating to anti-LGBTQIA+ orgs—seems to be gaining new life after it was thought defeated last week. All we're saying, Becky, is that if McDonald's suddenly starting giving money to organizations that hated straight marriage, you'd probably give up that Big Mac.
-To take the sting out of that last shitty piece of news, we're delighted to let you know Coldstone Creamery, the ice cream joint that sings at you whether or not you want that, has introduced a new Reese's peanut butter ice cream cup. Click the link and be like, "Oh, damn."
-Meanwhile, at Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom has introduced a hot dog that's part dog, part elote (that magical Mexican corn dish that is about the best thing ever created). According to popsugar.com, people seem to be conflicted about whether or not it's good. According to us, The Fork, we'd at least try the thing before we passed judgment—and we don't even eat meat. This actually is a good segue for a moral conundrum—if traveling, should vegetarians say "Aw, fuck it," and try the meat stuff? We watch a lot of travel shows, and we always think the meat stuff looks so good. We know the answer, and we curse Rick Steves!
-Lastly, in New Jersey, jewel of the Eastern seaboard, a sammie shop has added a new item that scoffs at the lowly concept of bread and crafts sandwiches within gigantic pickle slices. OK, we're not saying this is something to have for every sammie, but dang it if it doesn't look pretty good. Would you eat it?
Leave New Jersey alone!
In the print edition of SFR, kombucha taste-tester Zibby Wilder tries a few strange brews around town—nothing to scoff at, considering she also wrote the cover this week. What a pip!
A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence
Number of Letters Received
*We took a week off, though, so let’s not get too excited.
Most Helpful Tip of the Week (not edited for errors)
“You should try that new places.”
Actually Helpful Tip
A friend in California told us about the elote hot dog thing.
Smell ya later,