Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cockpit Cocktail

When I first met Eric, I was impressed by his appreciation for and knowledge about wine. When Eric first met me, he was not impressed by my wine prowess. In fact, I think he was a bit disappointed that I only drank white wine, and for the most part, I didn't even drink that because it tasted too alcohol-y for my liking. I think my parents were also a bit disappointed by my lack of worldliness in the wine department because they were always pouring me glasses of different types of wine, thinking that eventually I'd find one that I liked (that or they prefer my company when I'm slightly tipsy). Shortly after Eric and I began dating, my parents poured me a glass of 1986 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which they had been saving for quite sometime, and much to my surprise (and probably theirs), I LOVED it. I describe it as drinking velvet. When I shared this news with Eric, he was not pleased. Although he was hopeful I'd one day learn to appreciate wine, he most certainly didn't want me to only like the pricey kind. From that day forward, I compared every sip of wine to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape my parents shared with me, and--surprise--nothing ever tasted as good.

Then, one day, Eric and I attended a Shabbat service, in which wine was passed around. As I sipped from my cup, I turned to Eric and said, "This is delicious! What kind of wine is this? It is at least as good as the '86 Châteauneuf-du-Pape." Horrified, Eric said, "You're kidding, right?! It's Manischewitz!!"

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this type of wine, go pour yourself a glass of red wine, dump a cup of sugar in it, and consume. Alternatively, you could drink a glass of slightly fermented Welch's grape juice. Either way, you'll have the culinary equivalent of Manischewitz.

My appreciation for Manischewitz is all the proof I need to confirm that my conversion to Judaism was authentic.

So what does all of this have to do with sailing? Not much; however, during our recent trip, I decided to try out a new cocktail, which was featured in the New York Times. The ingredients? Wine and cola.

Obviously, I wasn't going to mix even a drop of Châteauneuf-du-Pape-quality wine with a Coke, so I went with the next best thing--Manischewitz.

Wine and Cola
So how was this most magical concoction? Awful--just awful. It was sickeningly sweet and completely undrinkable (unless you are Eric--he didn't want to waste a Coke Zero).

After returning to land and connecting to the Internet, I consulted the recipe for this drink and realized it called for dry wine (as in the complete opposite of Manischewitz), which might explain the reason it was undrinkable (well, that and also that it was wine mixed with cola).    

Will I try making this drink again? No, probably not. But, it was worth trying once, and on the bright side, I now have a nearly full bottle of Manischewitz in the fridge, which I can enjoy at any hour of the day or night (so long as it isn't mixed with cola).

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