Meanwhile, I continue to rampage through the wine cellar, going through all kinds of stuff as preparation for a possible move - why move a bunch of wine if it sucks? So I'm dragging up stuff I think might not be so good in sixes and fours and drinking some, pouring a lot of it out.
The one good bottle so far this week was a Penfolds Bin 2 shiraz mataro - it's about $10 at Beverages and More, I guess. It was... good. This was a 1998, which had been slumbering in the cellar for about three years. I wonder if that's why it was so damned good. Having tasted but not really enjoyed the more expensive Bin 28, I think I'd stick with this as a cheapo shiraz... if you can just put it away for a couple of years first.
Then there was the bad stuff. Last night, we popped open some Chilean stuff that went down the sink, as did a McGuigan Merlot from Australia. The Chilean stuff was tannic and horrible, and the Australian stuff was disgustingly sweet. Before that, I checked the $3 1997 Tarapaca cabernet to see if it was okay: it wasn't bad, but not great either. It goes in the trash, I guess; I don't know what else to do with the remaining four or so bottles. There was also a cabernet from the Dunnigan Hills AVA which was deadly dull, a Shenandoah zinfandel that wasn't particularly good, and... well, dammit, the recycle bin was emptied this morning, so I can't really say what else we went through recently.
Amusingly, much of the recycle bin was empty liquor bottles - I finally decided to toss the booze that'd stacked up since 1997 or so. I seldom if ever drink hard alcohol, but inherited bottles from friends and family over the years. For example, there was an ancient bottle of Drambuie with a duty free label from the UK that looked as if my parents had picked it up sometime in the 1970s. It went. So did the coconut rum thingy from a Lazy Bear Weekend past (I think Steve May bought it), a bunch of incredibly shitty Moldovan brandy that my Dad brought me (don't worry, we kept the relatively good stuff - the 10 year old Chisinau brand), some Calvados, the Galliano, Korbel brandy, all of the Benedictine (the stuff seems to lose its flavor after about a year of being open)... it's all gone. I've kept the Angostura bitters in case Seumas shows up, as well as the Chilean pisco (if only I knew how to make pisco sours!), the good Mexican tequila, and Matthew's cooking sherry (yuck). Oh, and the big bottle of Presidente brandy in case anyone feels like making hard sauce. (*hint*)
One of the fun things about taking a year off is coming to realize how little of what you own you ever actually use. Once I decimated the liquor, I went through and cleaned out the rest of the kitchen - there's almost nothing left save for the things I actually use. Gone are the five dozen glasses I never used (although the Kölsch glasses are really cool, there really is no practical use for them), the weird kitchen implements I thought I might need someday, the Ikea mixing bowls I didn't like... there are ten boxes of crap in the front hallway waiting for the trip to Goodwill. The hot air popcorn popper goes as well - admit it, those things suck, and what's there not to like about the $1.59 Trader Joe's microwave popcorn? Hm?
OK, back out to the front yard. Time to get the electric luminaria up - I'm way behind schedule. Gotta go find a fuse first, though.