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Wine Review: Penya Viognier 2016 Cotes Catalanes

It takes a lot to get me to write about wine these days. There was a time (on this very blog) when I used to write about wine regularly, but a.) I stopped drinking as much of it, and b.) I started writing about other things. Which is why, IMHO, Penya Viognier 2016 Cotes Catalanes is that much more remarkable; it is such a good wine for your money that it spurred me to start writing about wine again.

If you see some of this in your local wine store, buy it. This bottle set me back all of about $9.99+tax and has so far provided two evenings of extremely pleasurable drinking. The first night we drank it (as our 2nd bottle) with some breaded pork chops and sauteed garlic spinach; now we sip the remainer of the bottle unaccompanied by any food, two days later. The wine has kept it's body and freshness.

Cotes Catalanes is an AOC that lies in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the glorious wine country of the Southwest of France. I personally do not have much experience with the Viognie…
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New Yorker Review #185: "Solstice" by Anne Enright

Review of a short story from the Mar. 13, 2017 issue of The New Yorker...

Eventually I will resume writing about things other than short stories from The New Yorker...that is...when I get caught up to present day and am not multiple months behind. But I just feel like if I don't stop everything and burn through these stories now, I'll become so hopelessly behind that I will quit this project...and I can't do that. I've been reveiwing the short fiction in The New Yorker for more than four years now. Gotta keep it going! And so...we have "Solstice" by Anne Enright.

When you read enough literary short stories, you start to notice trends or categories that emerge. Take for example my post from July 13th about "metro fiction." This story falls into a category you might refer to as "domestic fiction," or fiction that takes place within the walls of a home and usually explores some theme or themes related to family life, growing older, becoming a…

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Review of a short story from the Mar. 6, 2017 issue of The New Yorker...

I had a little trouble getting into this story before I realized it was about Billie Holliday (somehow I missed or did not recognize the picture of Holliday used as the cover image), and even after Zadie Smith "pulls the punch" by referencing the song "Strange Fruit" I was still not crazy about it, simply as a work of fiction.

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Review of a short story from the Feb. 27, 2017 issue of The New Yorker...

There's no way around it: getting old sucks. And it really sucks when someone gets so old that they lose their independence, as does the main character "Lotte" in this short story by Lore Segal.

It's an old story: a senior citizen begins to lose more and more of their mobility and their mental faculties, until their children (if they are lucky enough to have any) start to exert pressure to move them out of their residence into the old folks' home. The senior citizen resents this and resists this until finally something happens -- some kind of accident -- and finally they lose their right to resist.

Sadly there is almost no way around this end, for those of us who are fortunate enough to even grow old enough to lose our independence. The story has the same arch (and certainly the same end), but the details differ and they will always be a bit heart-rending.

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New Yorker Fiction Review #182: "The Prarie Wife" by Curtis Sittenfeld

Review of a short story from the Feb. 13 & 20, 2017 issue of The New Yorker...

If you want to make a story interesting, include a lesbian love affair that takes place between counselors at a summer camp...

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Review of a short story from the Feb. 6, 2017 issue of The New Yorker...

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Review of a short story from the Jan. 30, 2017 issue of The New Yorker...

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This particular short story follows the adult life of Bridget, a young Canadian woman living in Barcelona in her early 20s. Much like most people's actual lives (hope I'm not sounding to jaded here but let's face it) the m…