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Occupy Our Dreams

When we started this blog a little less than a year ago, was meant to be a catalogue of the wines we’ve tried and the truth found at the bottom of every bottle.  Sometimes that truth is awesome, sometimes it’s crap.  But it’s always truth.  (Or, at least, as close as we can get to finding it by drinking wine.)

Many weeks we discuss things that make us pause for a moment in our cups and think.  Living down here in the Caribbean, (and in Mexico, at that,) it can be difficult to maintain a connection with the world outside our resort-town fortress.  There are times when, I swear to God, I relate more to the sentiment behind “let them eat cake.”

We have tried, in our ways, to stay in touch with the world.  This is a tricky balance since we are all in sales.  The way that CNN and the like portray the world is negative, and too much negativity can keep you from being the person you need to be to connect with the people you would have as your clients.

But, we try.  And we try to give back.  This entire month I have dedicated my personal blog (and face) to Movember.  Our family also owns and operates a biodiesel company here in Playa del Carmen, adding to the burgeoning Green movement.  We’ve donated time and money to the Humane Society.  We have rescued two street dogs.

And yet, the World turns, and week after week, we document our decadent lifestyle, making our friends and families up north jealous.

Don’t get me wrong: we feel no guilt whatsoever for our lives.  We do not feel the need to justify the way we live.  We live (mostly) within our means and we give what we can (mostly).  It’s just that this week’s wine brought about discussions of a realer nature.

This whole Occupy thing has been going on for some time now.  I don’t know if you’ve heard anything about this; it’s having a hard time getting any news coverage.  But, I don’t want to take away from the amazing job that Megan did with the Asian Chicken she prepared, so let’s talk about that.

On The Menu: Asian Chicken with White Rice, Crunchy Asian ‘Slaw, Christmas Chocolate Biscuits with a Bailey’s Irish Cream Glaze

This was a really fantastic dinner and a great way to ramp up to the Holiday Season (which officially kicks off this Thursday at our friends’ annual Thanksgiving dinner.  Each year, Dani and Josh invite as many people as they can fit into their house for Thanksgiving).

The chicken practically fell off the bone and the sauce had a gamey-ness to it that was perfectly balanced by the coleslaw.  It’s a recipe that Megan’s dad came up with.

If you want to try it, and I highly recommend that you do, here’s the recipe.

Preheat oven to 170° Celsius.

Place chicken thighs, legs, or wings in bottom of pan.

Add 1 cup – 1 ½ cups of soy and Teriyaki sauces, ¼ cup of honey, and a couple tablespoons of brown sugar.

½ cup Hoisin Sauce.  (When in Canada (or places where you can find such things), Megan’s dad used to add Kekap, which is a type of Indonesian ketchup.)

Grate or mince 5 cloves of garlic and a chunk of ginger.  (Megan describes it as “about the size of my Blackberry,” which is how the top chefs in the world are measuring things these days, we’re told.)

1 tablespoon of sesame oil.

Place tray in oven until the meat falls off the bone.

Wine: Trapiche, Roble, Pinot Noir, Mendoza, Argentina, 2010, $249 MXN

Rating: Two Bottles

Leave it to the Argentines to make a Pinot Noir that goes well with Asian Chicken.  The lightness of the pinot would have been blown out by a lighter meal, but the richness of the sauce allowed the wine to cut through, the tannins complimenting the sweetness of the chicken and the coleslaw.

Not a complicated wine, but who says red wine has to be complicated?  Peppery and light with simple currant and chocolate flavours.  The tannins kind of kick you in the back of the throat, but it’s forgivable if you pair it with a gamier dish like we did.

When we sipped it with the Chocolate Biscuits the subtler chocolate undertones really came to the forefront.

This is a wine that you could easily bring to a party and not mind sharing.  It’s not so good that you’d be jealous of sharing it, but it’s also good enough for friends to appreciate your selection.

And it was over biscuits that Rene brought up Vicky’s “Thought of the Week.”  I thought it tied in well to the earlier discussions we’d had about Occupy.  Here it is.

We, as humans, seek out three basic things: Food, Shelter, and Sex.  After securing any of these, we commonly desire one activity: sleep.  Therefore, everything we do has, as an end result, sleep.  And we sleep perchance to dream.  So … is it possible that all that we seek, instinctually, is the opportunity to dream?  That this waking life is the illusion and it is only in sleep that we find our true realities?  That dreaming is where we are truly meant to be?

So, how does this tie into Occupy, you ask?  Well, Occupy is trying to shine a light on the current makeup of our society, of the inequality of how our society is built.  Namely, that a very small minority holds the majority of wealth in our world. In essence, Occupy is trying to get us all to “wake up” to the way things really are.  George Carlin said it best when he explained why it’s called the American Dream:  “Because you need to be asleep to believe it.”

What I find fascinating about this idea of sleeping life versus waking life is that, for most of us, our most common pursuits require more and more waking life to accomplish.  What we believe to be most important, wealth and it’s attainment, requires real work.  Hours and hours of waking work.  Nobody got rich by sleeping.  As my grandfather was fond of saying: “There will be plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead.”  But what if Vicky’s thought is right?  What if this waking life is keeping us from our real lives?  If she’s right, then everything that most of us do, every day of our lives, actually pushes us further and further away from our intended state.

Makes you drink, doesn’t it?



2 responses »

  1. The food and wine looked and sounded wonderful, cudos to past lovers of food, and the present lovers of food for making it an art. The musings that accompany the eating enjoyment are always interesting and thought provoking.

  2. I’ve been reading A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion on the sudden death of her husband. I started off thinking the book was about grief, and it is, but also about our need to control / understand the unexpected. The mood of your commentary reminded me of this book. If you haven’t already listened to her Patty Griffen would be a great support to your Sunday cooking.


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