Crossword Puzzlers and Turkish Wine

It’s a blessing to be busy.

This is especially true today, when the economy has caused a great many people to not be very busy.

So I acknowledge my good fortune every day. Yet I must admit, and I know it’s selfish, that I miss those lazy Sunday mornings and afternoons of yore, when I’d do little else but watch some of the weekly TV news programs (“Sunday Morning” on CBS and “Meet the Press” on NBC are long-time favorites) and read—really read—the Sunday newspaper.

These days, with blogs to write and deadlines to meet, Sunday rarely is a day off. But yesterday was an exception. Oh, I could have found some things to do, but I decided to let them wait and just try to savor one last lazy day before the weather forces me inside for the winter.

And so I watched “Sunday Morning” and “Meet the Press.” Then I watched some football. And I finished my TV viewing by taking in Andy Rooney’s farewell on “60 Minutes.”

In between, I read two Sunday papers and caught up with the Friday and Saturday editions as well. Of course, anything in the paper that has anything at all to do with wine automatically catches my eye, and often becomes fodder for this blog.

Take one of the crossword puzzles that appeared in the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune, for example. Written by Jim Leeds, it was titled “Vintage Humor.” And it turned out that many of the clues and solutions had to do with wine.

I searched far and wide for an online version of that puzzle, but failed. Perhaps you’re a better Googler than I and will be able to track it down.

Either way, I’ll share a few of the clues and answers with you, courtesy of blogger C.C., who along with a few of her friends solves puzzles and posts the answers. You can find all of the solutions to “Vintage Humor” here.

It was kind of tricky, because the clues not only dealt with wine, but the answers typically used a wine word to replace a more common word in a particular phrase. For example, one clue was: “Wearing a suit made of wine labels?”

The answer turned out to be: CHABLIS. As in: “Chablis dressed,” replacing “shabbily dressed.”

Regular crossword puzzles are tough enough for me, so now you know why I went online to try to track down the answers.

Here’s one more clue: “French wineries’ regulations to control quality?” The answer: CRUS. As in: “cruise controls,” replacing “cruise controls.”

Next, my paper perusing brought me to a full-page article in the New York Times dealing with cooking classes in Europe. Because the marriage of food and wine has the potential to be better than many real marriages, I always enjoy learning more about food preparation. You can read the article here.

From Barcelona to Bologna, and from Gascony to Shanagarry, the story covers classes dealing in everything from coq au vin to apple strudel.

But the class that really caught my eye focuses on Turkish cuisine, and the description of it ends with this: “After the session, participants tuck into a five-course meal—the result of their efforts—and a well-earned glass or two of local wine.”

Considering that Turkish wine has, historically, been nothing to write home about, I’m not sure whether that was a recommendation for the class…or a warning.

And finally, there was an article syndicated by Tribune newspapers, written by Tiffany Hsu, on how Domino’s Pizza is using the word “artisan” to describe a new line of pizzas it is selling. You can read a truncated version of that article here.

Check it out when you have a moment, and then check back here tomorrow for my take on it, and how marketing can actually change the way we perceive certain words—particularly as they apply to wine.

Meanwhile, if you’d care to offer a few more crossword puzzle solutions, or perhaps come to the defense of Turkish wine, your thoughts are always welcome in the comments box below.

Posted in Wine Buzz
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