Benevolent and mild though the fall has been, winter is on its way. With that in mind, we spent last weekend wrassling with storm windows, pouncing on drafts, squishing Moretite into cracks and installing sweeps at the bottom of doors to close the gaps.
While considering the utility of a space heater upstairs or maybe baseboard heat, we realized that what we really wanted was not so much a warm room as warm socks. Thinking small, it occurred to us that a heated towel rack could toastify socks, pants and shirts first thing in the a.m., thus making the morning dressing ritual a luxurious pleasure instead of a scene out of “Frozen.”
Thinking even smaller, we reasoned that what we really wanted was not so much warm clothes as warm self. Inner warmth. True warmth. The kind you can get only with red wine.
Much has been written about the chemical warming effect of brandy, whiskey and wine. Short version: they don’t work. The experts allow that that a little nip of something might make you “feel” warm because alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate, which shifts warm blood to the surface of the skin. But, they say, a drink actually lowers your core body temperature because the same veins that pump blood closer to the skin’s surface cause you to lose core body heat. It is better, they say, to drink water.
Well, the experts are wrong. A room-temperature Cab is the perfect warm-me-up. A full-bodied, dry red served at room temperature with a slice of bread and a hunk of salami will raise your body heat or, at the very least, your outlook.
Those killjoys who advocate the consumption of H2O are in the pay of the American Water Board, a shadowy organization — devoted and devious — whose mission is the spread of bottled water. The “experts” in the pay of the Water Board (known as “Waterboarders”) don’t want you to resort to Merlot or Shiraz because once you do you’ll use water only to rinse your wine glass.
This winter’s perfect personal heater is Ménage á Trois’s Midnight, a 2013 dark red blend from California. The combination of Merlot, Cab and Petite Sirah make for mocha and black cherry magic. We discovered it at Tradewinds in Blue Hill ($9.99).
And don’t worry about your core body heat. Have another glass. But sit closer to the fire.