Thursday, November 18, 2010

The birth of the Eastern Passage Wine Snob

This blog isn't about wine. 
One of my favourites.  It may be from California.
It may be influenced by it from time to time. If you are looking for oak inspired or fruit laced hints of wine reviews and critiques, this is the wrong place. I once had a sip of a $90 bottle of wine, but I already had 15 sips of $20 wines an hour before it so I really can't comment on its tones.  I think it came from Italy or maybe France. Who knows, it was dark. I do know it came from a bottle and not a box. Some of the best wines I have enjoyed came from a bottle. So my advice to you would be to drink wines that come from bottles. I have also found that bottles with printed labels often produce better wines. This I suggest is something to consider next time you are searching for wine.
So why "Eastern Passage Wine Snob"? 
Good question.
Eastern Passage is a tiny sea side town that stares down the mighty North Atlantic from the mouth of Halifax harbour. If it was anywhere else in the world, it would be populated by multimillionaires. I am not a millionaire. I drive a Kia.
Eastern Passage's beauty is shadowed by its proximity to Dartmouth. Dartmouth, for those that do no know, is Halifax’s older ugly slutty step sister.  So instead of being celebrated as a national icon like Peggy's Cove for its majestic vistas, Eastern Passage is known for stray cats, flannel jackets and fog. 
I like people thinking of this place like that. Their misconceptions conceal the truth. Makes me wonder what other truths are hidden by our preconceived bias.
I think I like this one too. 
My wife and I have cherished routine that we look forward to all week. Friday night, we make pizza with the kids and play Wii as a family. Afterwards, we put the kids to bed and drink wine and watch TV. One particular Friday, after eating another homemade pizza, my wife discovered that we did not have any wine to sip on later that evening. I leaped to action and drove down to the local booze shop to buy a bottle of wine.
I spent fifteen to twenty minutes perusing the aisles, disappointed with their selection. I wanted to try something ‘better,’ more refined, sophisticated and classy. Unfortunately all they had were bottles with pictures of koalas or grapes on them. I wanted something more expensive than the $12 bottles they had on display. So I asked to see the manager. 
Out from the back room the manager came. He was obviously a recent graduate from a community college’s business studies/pet grooming program. I immediately assessed that he would be no match for my sophistication and acerbic wit. I quizzed him relentlessly as to why the wine selection was so poor and why I should have to drive into the city to buy a ‘nice’ bottle of wine. He attempted to explain that this store’s inventory was managed from ‘corporate headquarters' and was primarily a place for people to buy beer and rum. This didn’t satisfy me, so I pressed the debate further, suggesting the reason they do not sell wine at the store was because they had such a terrible selection. 
This is when he made a tragic mistake. He retorted that the ‘local demographics’ would not support nicer bottles of wine. I was disgusted. Was he suggesting that I and everyone in Eastern Passage were uncouth castoffs? Beer guzzling shore yokels? Paper sack guzzling rum rats? 
“I, sir do quite well for myself thank you very much. Quiet frankly I find it absurd that ‘corporate’ believes that those who call this wonderful place home, are somehow less refined than those who live in Dartmouth.  I can’t understand how in this day and age people can be discriminated against because of where they live. Shameful. Absolutely shameful.”
I may have an opinion on this one.
Well my rant had drew a large crowd of people who have been coming in to buy their beer and rum. For a moment, I was the champion to the common man. Well not really the common man, the snobby man, but regardless I instilled a moment of civic pride, and I felt a bond to those strangers who looked on in quiet support.
The manager apologized and promised to inform corporate that Eastern Passage needed a better selection of wines. He then said he would give me a sizable discount on the most expensive wine they had in stock- a $19 Australian merlot. I refused his discount and stated that I could afford the full price. I bought two bottles of non discounted wine to make my point.
Walking out of the store I saw my reflection in the window. I looked so proud carrying my paper sack of wines, until I noticed the large piece of pepperoni and pizza sauce stain on my blue t-shirt.


  1. haha! Having lived just doors down from you, I agree that Eastern Passage could support more expensive wine, but my pride isn't quite what yours is. So did your two bottles of wine taste of hints of discount???

  2. After one bottle, they all pretty much taste the same.

    That is another tip. If drinking more than one bottle in a single sitting, drink the more expensive one first.

  3. I was probably in there buying the rum. The discounted rum.

    P.S. You may want to ask if your Blog can be added to
    under "site links" ...


Please feel free to comment.