Friday, November 22, 2019

Long Time, No See

Folks who follow me on Twitter may have caught me discussing the concussion I suffered in early July. While I initially thought that it was going to be a minor thing that I would bounce back from in a few days or a week, I was out of work for five weeks straight and worked part time for most of another month. Even after that, I had some lingering symptoms and reactivated a number of them about a month ago.

Through all of that, one common thread has been that alcohol was a bad idea. Even a sip was enough to provoke pressure in my head if not a full-blown headache. Given the long period of recovery and regular setbacks, I've been extremely wary about getting back into drinking regularly. Though I am still experiencing some post-concussion symptoms, alcohol no longer seems to be the immediate trigger that it was, so I have been cautiously dipping my toe back into the water.

Given the rather central place that drinking has had in my life, whether that's sipping a scotch for a review, mixing up a daiquiri on the weekend, or having an Americano while I cook, being forced to completely forego all of that for months has been a real experience. Especially at home where I have shelves and closets stuffed with bottles, knowing that even a little bit would cause me pain was a real emotional struggle. To be clear, I don't have any worries about alcoholism or physical dependence, it was the simple fact that I had to give up something that brings me a lot of joy on top of feeling lousy and not knowing when it might get better.

I'm not sure that constitutes a major epiphany, but I do feel like it spotlights the upsides of alcohol that go beyond its effects. In our current health-conscious world, much of the discussion around alcohol focuses on its downsides, whether physical or mental. But the enjoyment of a good drink can be one of the real pleasures in life that is practically impossible to replicate in any other way. Here's to many years of enjoyment, in moderation.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks much. I think things are clearing up, so I'm hopefully that the experience is drawing to a close.

  2. While you were out, K&L got several Pellehaut armagnac. I want to pass on one you must try: the 1983. It's 100% Ugni Blanc, and it's at 47% ABV (not 48% as stated). I prefer Ugni Blanc (over Folle Blanc, which tends to dominate) for older vintage as it integrates well with a good Gascone oak barrel and builds subtle complexity. (This one was worth every penny.)

    My tip to reciprocate for your writing. :) If you love armagnac, the value of the century: 1998 Chateau de Vacquié. K&L has it at Insider's Advantage. Grab one. It's 100% Ugni Blanc but at younger drinks more like a Folle Blanc, fruitier, could have used an extra year to round out the top of the mid palate, but the little tarty-edgy on the mid-tongue gives it charisma and the hubris of youth (in a tasty way). I love distillate-driven whiskey.

  3. Head injuries are a real drag (as I know from personal experience). Glad you're back.