17 March 2006

Pennsylvanian Whines

We just poured our French visitor onto a plane. He is a nice fellow that was more than happy to help us in our St. Padraig’s day celebration. For one without Yankee style girth, he kept up with us valiantly.

“All these beers are brewed locally, No?” He asked, barely slurring.

“Right on the premises” I assured him. Since our phone lines were down, we went to the brewery to work as they have free wi-fi. Pints of stout appeared before we even got the chance to open our laptops.

“I see that people are drinking wine. Is this also made here?” He asked.

“No, they must be local Pennsylvanian wines, by law, but they are not made here.” I answered.

“Are they any good?”

“They compare favourably with the very best Scottish wines.” I answered and he promptly lost interest in the subject.

I thought this was a safe response as there is no way there is a Scottish winery to offend.

I was wrong. I’ve always thought of the Scots as woad painted barbarians, pouring out of the north, with a claymore in one hand and Mons Meg under the other (as opposed to my peaceful Oirish ancestors who were woad painted barbarians that poured out of the pubs with shillelaghs in one arm and a sheep under the other), but it turns out that the Scots are all peaceful and civilized now, and I’m the prat.

Upon further investigation, I’m quite poorly informed about the Scots. Edinburgh is not the home of the Hobbit Edin. Rabbie Burns is not Scottish for “sexually induced rug burn” and “Partick Thistle Nil” is not the name for one of Glasgow’s less famous Footie clubs, despite what they keep saying on the radio.

I was only up there a short while and I spent most of my time in the whisky mines so I don’t remember any vineyards. Perhaps a kind Scot could educate me. What in blazes do you make wine out of? Neeps and haggis gizzards, with a Sassenach or two thrown in to give it body?

And how do your wines stack up against the Icelandic vintages?

And that's the way I likes it.