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Perfect Stranger, the perfect wine for new and old friends

April 27, 2017

This piece represents the opinion of the authors.

Nostalgia is one hell of a drug.

It’s been a wild ride folks. We’ve reviewed a lot of wine and a lot of juice we tried to pass for wine. But after this week’s column hits the printing press, our tenure as Bottom of the Barrel columnists comes to an end. We’ve had some semi-serious white and red wines. We’ve had some absolute jet fuel. Frankly, it’s all been a treat. We’ve learned very little about wine in our journey together as writers and readers, but I think we can all say we’ve had fun.

Regardless, before our tone turns melancholy, it’s worth celebrating the current season:

In years past, for Will at least, Ivies began Friday morning following an early morning shift fighting the good fight as a Student Circulation Assistant at Hawthorne-Longfellow Library. For Justin, due in large part to pesky professors and pesky procrastination habits, Ivies began after pulling an all-nighter for academic pursuits. This year was different. This year began, coincidentally enough, seeing as the two of us, for those unfamiliar, are wine columnists, with wine. On a routine trip to Bootleggers Beverage Warehouse in Topsham, Maine, this last Saturday, the two of us, alongside noble companions Tyra and Sam*, found ourselves in the store’s backroom, participating alongside several old souls in a wine tasting from CellarDoor Winery. To complement the wine, there were cheese, crackers and grapes. The whole affair was oddly delightful. Such a merry occasion, at which Justin and Will tried a multitude of red, white and dessert wines produced in Vacationland, seems like the natural way to start Ivies. We decided to stock up on a bottle or two of CellarDoor’s finest to join us on our long, sacred journey toward the light at the end of the tunnel that is brunch on Sunday, April 30.

CellarDoor Winery’s complex and wise Perfect Stranger 2014, produced up the road in Lincolnville, is the perfect wine for Ivies. It’s not super sweet, so you aren’t gonna slug it like water and end up feeling all kinds of sorry afterwards. It ain’t big and brazy, so you won’t have two sips during Vanic and end up yelling embarrassingly intimate things to friends while waiting for Ferg.

The bottle does not bear the typical Schweller & Ramos rendition of Bottom of the Barrel kookiness. It’s a tame beast, bearing some sort of medieval imagery, maybe. Frankly, it has an image on it that looks kind of like a shield but may have something to do with a cellar door, we don’t know, the point is fairly tangential to the rest of this article. Simply put, the bottle is simple, but the wine itself isn’t. Ivies need not be a mindless pursuit of the bacchanalian. Many of history’s great minds devoted prose and poetry alike to the merriment found in compliments of fermentation.

We have a ton of sway at The Orient. We are generally the first in the building on Thursdays, and the last to leave the offices early Friday morning. (Just kidding, lots of great people grind really hard to produce this awesome newspaper each week. We just write some silly sentences. Thanks a ton to all who let us do this, but for the sake of shenanigans bear with us.) That being the case, we are currently accepting applications for next year’s Bottom of the Barrel columnists. We earned our stripes in the vino world through schmoozing up Will Danforth ’16 and Martin Krzywy ’16. Schmooze us:  jramos and wschwell (@bowdoin.edu).

Additional Notes:

Appearance: 2.5/5

Legs: 2/5

Aroma: 4/5

Taste: 3.5/5

Overall: 4/5

Tonight’s Soundtrack: “Perkys Calling” by Future

Will: “Being a senior is both a really cool thing and a thing that sucks a lot of rocks. Like, I love being a king of the campus. I love the friends I’ve made. I love my haters. I’ve loved all of my roommates, except Jack Weiss ’17. I love saying good morning to Irene every morning. I loved the feeling of coming back from abroad and seeing everyone and everything I missed. I love posting stupid jokes about my radio show on Facebook. I love being a sadboy on Sunday mornings. I love my carrel on the second floor of H.L. I love that The Orient Editorial Board has been forgiving to Justin and I for taking a wine column and using it as a vehicle for self-deprecation and self-promotion.”

Justin: “I regret waiting to write my nostalgic blurb until after finishing this week’s bottle.This being our last column has me up in the feels. Bowdoin is such a special place and I am so grateful to have found a community that is simultaneously so comforting and challenging. I’m also absolutely frightened at the prospect of no longer having that community in a few short weeks. So much thanks to The Orient for letting us write this column vaguely about wine.”

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