Opimian Wine

We live in a little two-bedroom apartment with a storage cupboard. The storage cupboard is chock full of 6-bottle cases of wine from the Opimiam Wine Club. Michael, meanwhile, has boxes from our move last spring with no where to put them on account of my wine collecting.

Michael shakes his head every time we get a Pick Up Notice telling us that a new case of the Opimian Select has arrived. It’s like Christmas. But every month! The Opimian Select is where you leave the wine selection to the pros. They choose, pack, and send. I have boxes I haven’t even opened yet. They come every month. The cost? $85.00 a case. Works out to $14.17 for a GREAT bottle of wine. I have not been disappointed yet. (Prices are in Alberta in case you are reading this in some other province, territory, country).

We have a bit of a back-log of wine to get through. Yes, we like our wine, but we’re not BIG wine drinkers. We open a bottle most likely on a Friday. Definitely on Saturday, especially when I put on my imaginary apron and cook up something that requires effort – meaning more than opening a can or lifting the plastic lid off a Safeway roasted chicken and peeling a few potatoes. Of course, there are mid-week emergencies, when things go sideways with work or friends or family – all these require the nerve soothing magic of a glass of wine.

I was not born with a natural tendency for relaxation like my new friend Shamus. I need a little boost to get me to a relaxed state. Sometimes it’s wine. Sometimes a soak in a tub. A massage. Relaxing music (NOT that crap with tweeting birds). I love the sound of tweeting birds, but in real life. Not out of the Bose.

Anyway, the reason for this post, is to confess to my husband that I have, contrary to what I promised earlier, have renewed my Opimian membership for another year. *grits teeth in anticipation of a loud exclamation from The Man Den*

Here’s the thing though. Canadian liquor boards and consumers have used Opimian as a de facto test market for new brands. Spain’s Freixenet, Australia’s Rosemount Estate and Scotland’s The Macallan all started out as Opimian selections before becoming mainstays in the Canadian market. Opimian is a quietly influential national wine-buying club that has aided in sophisticating the adult-drink trade in Canada. (Taken from Wikipedia).

I also found out Doug from The Bothy has been an Opimian member for 29 years! 29 years! He’s Big Into Wine. I respect his wine knowledge and his cellar is impressive. If you haven’t been to The Bothy yet, I suggest you go. It is an experience.

I can only dream of having that level of experience, but I will, with each bottle I open, learn something more about my favourite beverage. Okay, yes, gin is also a favourite, but so is a Coke Slurpee and tea, of course.

But wine is a hobby. I spoke of it before, and I say again, if you are like me, the sort of person who likes to write, jot notes, scribble, play with stickers and click pens for fun, the Moleskine Wine Journal is a great way to document what wine’s you’ve tried. I started doodling in there, not taking it too seriously, but as my documentation of the wines we’ve tried grows, the more I learn. It’s been particularly helpful to keep track of the various offerings I’ve received from Opimian.

Thanks for listening. I had to document my reasons for being a member to help support a discussion that I think will be held over supper tonight. Wish me luck! *squeeeeee*

One more thing before I sign off: A shout out of CHEERS across the country to a dear friend in Halifax who has been an immeasurable support to me. She’s almost as therapeutic as a glass of wine. Almost. We can’t let this get to her head. 😉

Moleskine Wine Journal

Tonight, it’s a bottle of Goats do Roam, a wine I wrote about before. Supper is my Blog-on-ese sauce, on pasta, a sauce I wrote about before. I feel like an engine running on fumes. I can’t be out of material already! I’ve only blogged for over a year! There’s so much to say!

Let’s see. What random thoughts can I share?

Slippers
Wine
Computer
Goat
Moleskine

Moleskine! That’s it!

For Christmas, my thoughtful husband, who knows I like to write, draw, and document, bought me a Moleskine Wine Journal. For those of you who can’t be bothered with documentation, art, and detail, (or have a life) this might be a good time to go find yourself a squeaky toy to play with. For the rest of you, the Moleskine Wine Journal allows a person both regimented pages of form filling – meaning, space to document a wine’s name, vintage, grape, alcohol percentage, pairing suggestions (which I’ve copied from the wine label), suggested glasses, appearance, nose, taste and suggested pairings (again, gleaned from the bottle).

There is space to doodle, and doodling is something I completely love to do. As you can see in my picture, you will see my artist’s rendering of the bottle, complete with note about the screw top. What you don’t see is my childish drawing of Italy to show the region the grapes were grown. But wait! That’s not all….

THERE’S STICKERS!

Stickers in red and gray to match the wine colour (the gray is for the white wine for those who just lost their squeaky toy under the couch). Stickers with hearts and exclamations, happy and sad faces, etc. etc. It is so much fun! It casts me back to days in the 1970’s when my parent’s would buy me a pack of stickers from the local Mac’s store after a swim class, to reward me for completing a class and a) not drowning b) not whining and probably c) keeping my bathing suit on while in the pool. The stickers back then said things like “Groovy” and “Cool” and were stuck on my binder covers, furniture and forehead.

And as one old friend recognizes, there won’t be enough “best ever” stickers for me. I love my wine. So long as it isn’t corked (difficult to do with Goats do Roam on account of the twist top), and I don’t find a mouse in my bottle, I will drink it with zeal and much happiness.