• You probably think this song is about you

    You probably think this song is about you

    Traditionally, we bring a bright white or a dainty pinot noir to Thanksgiving dinner. But this year, blame it on the chilly mornings, we’re bringing an outspoken red — 90+ 2016 Old Vine Malbec from Argentina (Hannaford, $7.99). Besides being a wonderful bargain, this is one of those rare, robust malbecs that is both aromatic

  • Recollections of a misspent youth

    Recollections of a misspent youth

    Several decades ago, having told the parents we were off to shoot baskets with friends, we attended our first boy-girl party. Most of the girls were eager to dance but the boys were too inhibited to get out there. Which shows you how little has changed since 1962. Our buddy, Pat Lyons, suggested we get

  • Against medical advice

    Against medical advice

    Today’s topic is tick removal. Should you discover one of these malevolent little suckers on a valuable body part, you are instructed by the Department of Public Health to use fine-tipped tweezers to remove it. “Gently pull the tick straight out until it lets go of your skin. Put the tick in a jar or

  • The magnificent seven

    The magnificent seven

    What is it with the number 7? Is it really lucky? Is it just naturally popular? Does it ignite some primal affinity? We don’t know. All we know is that there are seven dwarfs and seven samurai. And seven sacraments (non-Catholics should skip to the next item). And don’t forget the Seven Wonders of the

  • Windy with a chance of succulence

    Windy with a chance of succulence

    The great-grandson of the founder of the Casa Santos Lima winery has more names than a Mississippi deputy sheriff. But winery owner José Luís Santos Lima Oliveira da Silva’s name is standard fare in his native Portugal. Equally true to their native soil is his Bons Ventos red wine blend. The name means “good winds”

  • Oh, the things you can buy with money

    Oh, the things you can buy with money

    Money can’t buy happiness. But it can buy pinot noir, which is better. True, even an average pinot noir costs more than your average plonk ($10 for a starter bottle). But the uplift, the transport, the transcendental improvement in your outlook is worth it. Thus did we not complain upon investing $10.99 in this 2016

  • Keeping up with the Jameses

    Keeping up with the Jameses

    In 1899, Battista Opici traveled from his home in Italy to help build the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark, N.J. When the cathedral was done, he went back home. Ciao! But he moved back to the U.S.A. in 1907 in the company of his wife and sons. One of Battista’s sons, Joseph, and his wife,

  • Slap happy

    Surely you remember the snappy exchange between Sam Spade and Wilmer Cook in “The Maltese Falcon.” Wilmer, as you may recall, has pulled not one but two guns on the hard-boiled detective. But Sam just keeps on bustin’ his chops. Wilmer: “Keep on riding me and they’re gonna be picking iron out of your liver.”

  • Dew drop in

    Dew drop in

    It was not Benjamin Franklin but Daniel Defoe who first made that crack about “death and taxes” being the sole certainties. No biggie … it doesn’t really matter which one said it because they’re both wrong. For in some parts of the world, such as Downeast Maine during the month of August, there are four

  • A treat for the gods

    A treat for the gods

    In the opening chapter of “A Study in Scarlet,” Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson discuss the feasibility of becoming Baker Street roomies. Toward that end, they confess to their personality quirks. “I object to rows because my nerves are shaken,” Watson confides, “and I get up at all sorts of ungodly hours, and I am