Monday, July 30, 2007

Wine by the Kilo!

During the first week of our holiday, we decided that we needed to catch up on some mini-golf. Its a family thing with us. We like to COMPETE in mini-golf and look for a good course wherever we land for our holidays.

There is a good mini-golf course under a mile up the main road from where we were staying. It's a course we have played before and we knew which holes were going to be difficult. In some mini-golf courses you'll get the difficult holes on the first stroke or you'll take about twenty seven to get the little ball into the bastard hole. Just before dinner, we walked up the road to the mini-golf course. The owner, a delightful Finnish woman named Heidi (really that's her name) remembered us from previous visits. I don't know if her remembering us is a good or bad thing.

This year the prize went to The Man of the Place. I beat George by ONE stroke. We take no prisoners in this game. If you ever play with us, I recommend that you remain vigilant the entire time. Watch and count the number of strokes your opponents take and make certain that they write down the correct number, not the number that they wished they had taken. Also, watch for creative addition at the end.

When H and I first met, we went to Chapmans in Cedar Rapids (no longer in business) for a fun day out. This day out included mini-golf. I was aghast when I caught him cheating! Gloves were off after that! I'll try to get away with anything if he loses concentration for one second.

Back in Skiathos, we had finished our game and then decided to walk across the road and have some pizza. A taverna/pizza place was conveniently placed directly across the road. Henry waved the tally sheet in front of him like a banner as we crossed over the road to be seated. Nobody likes a gloater.

To drown my sorrows, I decided to have some wine. Now, I love Greece, but most of the wine they make is terrible. I had a discussion about this with a pal of mine who has a wine shop in Lockerbie. He says that even though grape vines that are used for making wine originate in Greece, the vines never get a chance to rest properly during the growing season. Vines and the grapes benefit greatly from the little rest at night that a cool evening breeze brings. It's too hot in Greece for cool evening breezes and the grapes suffer for it.

I didn't care that night. I'd just had my backside kicked in mini-golf by a now insufferable husband. The quirky menu said that I could order a kilo of the house white wine for not much money. Now, technically a litre of water weighs a kilo in weight so the menu isn't WRONG, its just that in my world liquids are sold by volume and not weight.

(photo by George!)

The white wine duly arrived and it was pretty bad. What was I going to do? Send the carafe back? Nope. I'm a game old bird, I'll drink it.

One would be hard pressed to tell if the wine I had that night was a sweet or dry wine. I think it was supposed to be a dry wine, but the large amounts of residual sugar made the lines between dry and sweet blurred. It also had a strong taste of acetone. Hmmmm nail polish remover!

After the first three glasses, it wasn't so bad really. I got through most of the wine during dinner. I had the spaghetti carbonara - very good, but then something happened. The owner who had seated us came around and said what a lovely family we were and hoped we'd come back again. With that he plopped another kilo of white wine on the table. "On the house!" he said with pride.

I thought I had been quite good to get through the first carafe of wine unscathed. Now I was confronted by a second. (gulp!) Henry was no help, saying things like, "Peg, it's Greek hospitality, you've GOT to drink it!". "He'll be insulted if you don't drink it!"

George and Henry were very much amused by my new problem. Ha! I didn't have a miss-spent Midwestern youth for nothing! I got most of it down with no difficulty at all. George, bless his heart, helped his mother by drinking a glass. Towards the end, I did put my foot down. I told The Man of the Place that I wasn't going to be drinking another drop until he drank a glass of the stuff. He drank a glass and then I finished off our second kilo of wine.

We payed the bill and left quickly before any more wine could be inflicted on us.

It could be that the restaurant had a whole vat of this crappy wine and give it to the tourists to see what they'll do.

"Look at the faces on table three Kostas! Woo hoo! I can't believe tourists will drink this stuff!"

I certainly slept well that night.

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