Notes from the Cellar: In like a lion
(or a cranky old curmudgeon)

by Jeff Cox, Beer and Wine Merchandiser

This article was originally published in March 2010

It’s March and to tell the truth, I’m unimpressed, rummaging through all the drawers for my best rose-colored specs. But, first things first, this task calls for something good to sip (it’s my job) …

March. So what. It’s the season of not quite. In like a lion, out like a lamb, but not too much of either. It’s a celebration of almost … being something.

St. Patrick’s Day? An amateur hour, complete with the staunchest of Protestants and most loyal subjects of the Queen raising a glass or three too many to the most Irish of Catholic saints.

Once that hangover abates, the First Day of Spring comes and goes without much more than a brief line in the newspaper (that few read). It’s hard to get excited about 50/50 … harder still to turn it into any sort of retail opportunity. What kind of “holiday” is that?

In perhaps the most fitting of crowning glories, some years, depending mostly on the randomness of the calendar, March even gets to host the Easter Bunny. This is, of course, a golden opportunity to spend money getting your kids jacked up on refined sugar and bad chocolate.

But enough, already. You are where you are, meaning that there are always other places that you aren’t. Ergo, we’re always en route — and should probably just learn to love the journey.

Spring? When you start to look around, there’s really nothing halfway about March. We’ve just all become a bunch of spoiled children who are never happy with what we already have. Look around, things are starting to burst into life, it’s all the more sweet when you watch the whole process unfold — rather than waiting until it’s a done deal and you’ve missed the best part.

Saint Patrick’s Day is, of course, another one of those holidays that is a fabulous opportunity to not go out. But, if you must, why not get a clue vis-à-vis to what you’re drinking? How could one man lead so many people to drink? And just what’s up with the whole northern/southern, Catholic/Protestant, Irish/English conflict? Fascinating stuff, I swear.

Finally, speaking of drinking, all four seasons (and life itself) offer fine metaphors for satisfying one’s thirst. Or vice-versa. In the end, it’s all a matter of quality — and a big part of quality is caring enough to taste it.

Santé, y’all.

Also in this issue

Where are the salmon?

I first encountered the mystery of the missing fish while floating on a raft anchored off the west coast of Lummi Island. It was a hot July day, sparkling with the heady anticipation of a record sockeye season.

New PCC Web design

We hope you come visit our redesigned, reengineered and recharged Web site. Thanks to our virtual spring cleaning, it’s now easier to find delicious recipes, co-op events, food news and a wealth of helpful new features.

News bites, March 2010

Organic Valley benefits, Justice sues Dean Foods, GE traits transfer to animals, and more