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Monday, January 08, 2007

The JC Skinner guide to drinking

There is much discussion these days of drinking. People giving up the drink for the New Year. People in the country who needs lifts to get to the pub to go drinking. EU stats that show Irish people drinking more than Russians, nearly.

But what has been overlooked in the debate is what we're all drinking. Hence, in the spirit(s) of enlightenment, let me share with you my discerning young man's twelve point guide to good drinking:

  1. Real men drink beer and whiskey. And only real beer and real whiskey, not Bud or Bourbon. Except in Russia, where they drink meths by the quart. Safer by far to stick to the beer and whiskey.
  2. Cocktails and gin are acceptable drinks only in tropical climates. Brandy is for after dinner.
  3. Quality indigenous rum and tequila exist only because the locals didn't have early access to quality ales and Scotch. So if you see Mexicans or Cubans drinking these drinks, it doesn't make them homos. However, they will laugh long and hard if you start knocking back shorts of their national drinks, or mixing them into girlie cocktails.
  4. Whisky is made by Scottish people and whiskey is made by Irish people. No one else makes proper whiskey, no matter what they might claim.
  5. Blended whiskies go from crap to great. The Irish make the better blends. Single malt means one type of whisky in the bottle only. The Scots make the better single malts.
  6. Beer is best brewed by English, German and Belgian people. But drinking the local beer is always the best option, since beer needs to be enjoyed fresh. So forget imports if you want good beer. Drink from the local tap.
  7. Alcopops are Satan's piss. The government should cut out the middle man and just hand out ASBOs at the bar to anyone even ordering one.
  8. If you're drinking wine, start with the lightest white and work towards the strongest red, in order to appreciate the taste of each in turn. Wine tasters are supposed to spit, which is why it's more fun to be a beer or whiskey taster.
  9. Knowing the grape type is more important to assessing a wine's taste from looking at the label than knowing the place it came from. Trying to know about vintages and terroirs is totally pointless, unless you are a wine buff looking for a job in alcohol retail. Even the experts regularly get it wrong, picking £5 bottles over £100 bottles in blind tastings. Most wine on the market that doesn't come in boxes is drinkable, unless it's corked.
  10. Screwtops do not mean shit wine anymore. They stop wine from getting corked and a lot of top wineries use them now. Plastic corks are also good, but once you open the bottle, they won't go back in, so you'd better finish it. Wine doesn't keep overnight.
  11. Corked wine smells musty, like your granny's wardrobe. If there's a smell of damp mould about a wine, it's corked. Send it back or take the bottle back untouched to the off-licence. Don't drink it anyway.
  12. Stop drinking before people start staring.
kick it on kick.ie


Sweary said...

Ver' good, Mr. JC. Ver' good indeed.

Kav said...

I consider myself educated. You've taught me what corked wine is.

Anonymous said...

It is a good list, but I would say that the Czechs might be a bit miffed not getting a mention, Pilsner being in the Czech Republic and all. Very enlightened of you to say that the English are one of the best beer makers, had I never departured from Ireland I would not have agreed, but having partaken of fine ales I do agree. Finally the Whiskey debate, if you leave out the North Americans you leave out a lot of Scottish and Irish distillers, that have taken their tradition to the Amerikays, and enlightened them there.
Good luck with the anger.

mellobiafra said...

...and exactly what is wrong with bourbon, Mr. Skinner?

JC Skinner said...

Tim, once you go mentioning the Czechs, you got to give honourable mentions to the Danes and all sorts of other people. I ran out of space, but felt that you can't not give the nod to English, Belgian and German brewers. Key is, wherever you are, drink from the local tap.
What's wrong with Bourbon? Nothing if you're stranded in the Ozarks with nothing else to drink.
If you're in a well stocked bar in the civilised world, however, actual whiskey is of course preferable to faux-whiskey.

Anonymous said...

I like your honesty and I do enjoy a few Grøn Tuborgs myself now and again. On a scale of 1 to 3 Bourbon comes 3, but it's good for comparison sake, and if you are not wanting to waste your good 10 year old gems at a hooley, give them Jack D!

JC Skinner said...

But Tim, a gentleman always serves his friends the good stuff!

mellobiafra said...

Jack D IS the good stuff!

I like to serve my favourite LIDL bourbon, Golden Sun, to my guests!

Try it - you'll not be disappointed!

Anonymous said...

Before I dig myself into a watery hole, hooley or large gathering of thirsty vikings don't get my meagre supply of good whiskey, I'd be more inclined to follow mellobiafras line there. A gathering of friends on the other hand requires producing the creations of men of tain and other wizards. It's drink time for me, good night!

JC Skinner said...

And you wonder why I never drink at your place, Mello...