How About a Snake With That Sangiovese?

News item: Animal rescuers in the Chicago area said dozens of brown and garter snakes have been released after spending the winter in a wine chiller.

Most readers would consider this a nice story about animals—reptiles, to be precise. And it certainly is that.

But it caught the eye of your intrepid Vinesse blogger for another reason: a rather unusual—perhaps even unique—use of a wine chiller.

According to the report, a high school teacher discovered the snakes in December, near some old railroad tracks. They had already settled in for hibernation under those tracks, but it’s likely they would have died from exposure had that teacher not come along.

The snakes were removed and relocated to the Lake Forest (Ill.) Wildlife Discovery Center, where they spent the winter chillin’ in a wine cooler (as opposed to freezing in the great outdoors).

Now that winter has passed and spring has sprung, the snakes have been relocated again, this time to the more natural setting of Illinois Beach State Park, where a new habitat has been created for them.

Still, it’s difficult for me, the proud owner of a wine chiller, to get my mind off the image of dozens of snakes crawling around…or even just sleeping…in the space occupied by my most coveted bottles of wine.

Then I did some research and discovered some even more disturbing news: There actually is such a thing as snake wine, which originated in Vietnam. Get this: Snake wine includes an entire venomous snake in the bottle. About that, may I just say: Ewwww!

You can see some pictures here, but be forewarned: If snakes make you a little queasy, you may want to skip the pics and just keep reading…

As for me, when it comes to snakes and wine, I’ll stick to the bottlings of Snake River Winery in Idaho. The folks there make a very nice Riesling and a refreshing rosé, and the only thing that will remind you of snakes is the somewhat slithery “S” on the labels.

Meanwhile, this rather unusual report got me wondering: Do you use your wine chiller for storing anything other than wine…or snakes? Please share your secrets with your very understanding and accepting fellow blog readers in the Comments box below.

Posted in Wine Buzz
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