TV, Drugs, and Wine

    Television plays little role in my life—I don’t have enough time for it, and it doesn’t seem to have the right programming for me.

Having said that, it’s from television that I got my inspiration for this blog entry, and that’s saying a lot—I mean, that television can give inspiration at all!

What can be said of certain American paradoxes? 

people who claim to be for the right to life but also support the death penalty

leaders whose speeches talk about waging war to promote peace

preaching democracy from a two-party political system

a country that spends on one vacuous election campaign enough money to provide health care to all its citizens

a place where obesity is decried, yet grocery stores give discount coupons to promote the sale of junk food

a country where certain powerful drugs are illegal while others are legal, which takes me back to television

    The few things I do watch on TV have to do with the news and other public service programs. I suppose the demographics of news program watchers includes people susceptible to drug messages: those of us who pee a lot, have high cholesterol, can’t sleep, have herpes, have restless legs, and live with perpetual heartburn. In other words, TV drug ads are directed at a mass of people without health care but with a long list of syndromes.

I long for the old days, when lawyers, doctors, and pharmaceutical companies lived by a professional standard of high ethical consideration. In the case of pharmaceuticals, you had to have a license to issue prescriptions, so what good would it do to advertise powerful prescription drugs to the general public anyway?

What good does it do indeed, now that the walls have been brought down and we are told to ask our doctor about prescription drugs, even though they might cause us to suffer from a list of side effects that may be as dangerous as the conditions the drugs treat. We can get liver disease, heart attack, stroke, headaches, muscle pains, skewed vision, loss of hearing, and maybe an unhealthy lengthy erection from these prescription drugs, but hey, they are legal. Some of the drugs on television are even habit forming, but since they aren’t illegal, like cocaine, marijuana, and all those other habit-forming drugs, they are ok to advertise.

Am I the only one who notices the odd way many of these drugs are positioned? I particularly mean the drugs singled out by their color: the little purple pill or the orange one. It reminds me of the “red devils” and “yellow jackets” on the street corner in my teenage days.

Ah well, why complain? It’s ok to advertise my drug on television—wine—so long as the advertisement doesn’t show anyone doing what most of us will do with it after we open the bottle: drink it.

I’m either bored or cynical, or something.

    This entry’s wines:

I didn’t even know pink wine was produced in Saint Chinian, but now that I do, I’ll look for more.

About 20 villages make up the Saint Chinian Appellation in France’s Languedoc. As in much of this southern part of France, the red grapes grown here include Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Cinsault. The wine I had was produced from Syrah, Grenache, and Cinsault in the Haut Languedoc, address Cessenon.

When I was a child, I ate a candy called Red Hots. It was spicy and slightly fiery with a touch of sweetness, of course. The Chateau Viranel Saint Chinian Rosé reminded me of Red Hots without the sugar. Its flaw was in a short finish and a touch more alcohol than necessary, but it was from the 2003 vintage so I gave it some slack.

The wine was a perfect match for my catfish filet dusted with cornmeal, whole-wheat flour, and cayenne, sautéed in olive oil with garlic, and served with fries on the side. Wonderful pairing.

Chateau Viranel
2003 Saint Chinian Rosé
13 % Alcohol,  $13/bottle before volume discount

Imported by Ideal Wine and Spirits, Medford, MA.

The next wine was under screwcap, and I had no particular reason to be concerned: Jean Baptiste Adam Riesling Vin D’Alsace.

This is a young wine of course, yet it showed a hint of that Riesling petroleum that I like so much and that comes with age, but is not something I expected. I expect it from Mosel, but not Alsace. But, I’m not complaining.

The wine is nicely dry and tingly on the palate, with a mix of lemon/citrus and slate in the mouthfeel. Its 10-second finish was delightful, too.

It was a perfect partner for my curry/lemon Cornish hen with wild rice.

JB Adam
2006 Riesling
12% Alcohol,  $14/bottle before volume discount

Imported by Chaplin Cellars, Springfield, VA.

Copyright, Thomas Pellechia
January, 2008. All rights reserved.

3 Responses to “TV, Drugs, and Wine”

  1. Marco says:

    We used to carry the Viranel red in the store I worked at. I liked it at $12 or so. I have never tried the rose though. Ideal has a pretty good French book.

  2. Thomas says:


    I’ve got the red in the cellar waiting for another day.

    Never met the Ideal sales people when I had my store in Manhattan.