Dreams of anxiety & a nightmarish fairy tale about a family of bears
By Steve Siciliano
I think I remember most of my dreams, at any rate the ones I do remember have always been vivid and, for the most part, pleasant. Lately, however, my sleep has been disturbed by a preponderance of what may be clinically classified as dreams of anxiety. Some are work related. For one example, I’m trying to ring up a sale and I can’t remember how to operate the damn register. In another there were suddenly dozens of unmasked and ungloved people milling about the store and no one was practicing social distancing. That sort of thing.
Then there are the ones where I’m charged with completing a task and I have no idea how to do it. Also the ones where I have to be at some location at a certain time and I have no clue how to get there. Again, that sort of thing.
These rather disturbing dreams are, of course, being propagated by the cumulative stress of trying to responsibly operate a public business during a worldwide pandemic. I know that temporarily shuttering the doors to the public was the right thing to do despite the occasional protests. Last week some dolt stood in the parking lot and called me stupid to my masked face after being informed that he couldn’t enter the store. Before getting back in his vehicle and slamming the door he told me that he, supposedly a "longtime customer", would never shop at Siciliano’s again. C’est la vie.
A few days ago, I read that wildlife were taking advantage of the dearth of human presence—mountain goats traipsing through the deserted streets in a town in Wales, peacocks roaming Dubai, a herd of deer in Michigan using a bridge devoid of traffic to cross a river. I fully expect that this tidbit of information will work its way into one of my dreams.
My nocturnal rendition of the traditional fairy tale might go something like this: after finally being allowed to travel north to Lake County, Barb and I discover that a family of anthropomorphic bears has taken up residence in our cottage. Mamma bear is in the kitchen cleaning up after the evening meal. Baby bear is tucked away for the night in the spare bedroom and papa bear is sitting in my lazy boy watching television. He’s also sipping on a tumbler of my best bourbon and is smoking one of my favorite cigars. I would say that would rise from the level of an anxiety dream to a horrifying nightmare.
Featured Wines of the Week
Juggernaut, Hillside, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017, California, $21.79/750 ml - "French oak beautifully transforms intense mountain fruit into a wine with uncommon richness, yet smooth and luxurious texture. With notes of black currants, blackberries, vanilla, and licorice." (Source)
Barossa Valley, GSM, 2016, Australia, $12.79/750 ml - "Delicate violet, subtle herbal notes, a fresh burst of raspberries on a rich center of juicy plum." (Source)
Nespolino, Trebbiano/chardonnay, 2018, Italy, $9.79/750 ml - "Fresh and approachable, with a straw-yellow color and light green highlights. An intense nose leads through citrus for the trebbiano that are blended with ripe tropical notes from the chardonnay." (Source)
Buy three or more bottles of wine get 10 % off.
"It's our mission at Siciliano's to sell quality wine at affordable prices."
Featured Spirits of the Week
Paul John, Nirvana, Unpeated single malt whiskey, India, $31.59/750 ml - "A captivating expression from the Goan shores of India, the Nirvana arouses the senses with a soft whiff of bourbon, fruitcake and an enticing caramel pudding. The honeycomb sweetness gently touches the palate with a mild salt-tinged barley while the succulent vanilla heralds the honeyed finish of this rich copper whisky, assuring sublime experiences beyond the worldly realm." (Source)
Nobushi, Japanese Whiskey, $63.09/750 ml - "Nobushi whiskey is a blended whiskey with great balance and fine velvet textures, surrounded and represented by a resplendent golden-amber colour. It is a blended whiskey made from a combina-tion of whiskeys from the Miyagi and Nagano prefectures. These spirits are later mixed and aged for 3 to 4 years in American oak casks. Nose: Notes of flowers and fresh fruits, spices and light notes of cask.
Palate: Fruity and full-bodied, featuring winter spice flavours combined with light hints of caramel and vanilla and a notable fruity taste. Finish: Long and fruity, with hints of spices and oak." (Source)
New Riff, Single Barrel Bourbon, Kentucky, $57.89/750 ml - "While each Single Barrel owns its specific flavor profile, New Riff Bourbon generally shows big and spicy flavors. This is not a light, delicate, simple whiskey—we have crafted for robust and fulsome flavor from start to finish."
Our unfiltered bottling regimen allows all the character of the barrel to shine through in the glass.
Appearance: Extra rich, unfiltered deep amber color.
Nose: Butterscotch rounding into fresh oak, with hints of vanilla and rye spice.
Taste: Broad, fulsome mouthfeel, leading to a sweeter vanilla accent, before a gathering of rye spices (clove, cinnamon, mint, dark berry) into the finish.
Finish: Long, rye-led finish, with brambly red-black fruits amid white pepper and clove. (Source)
Old Pulteney, 12yr Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Scotland, $47.39/750 ml - "Deep amber, red golden (with a slight pink hue) sparkling with a copper glow with a nose of Medium to high intensity with a briny hint of sea air with a Dry, medium body and smooth flavors redolent of honey and cream, faintly salty with a slight spicy note and a sweet long-lasting finish." (Source)
Michter's, US*1 Straight Bourbon, Kentucky, $43.09/750 ml - "Rich Caramel with balanced vanilla, stone fruit notes, smokey depth and an oaky finish." (Source)
Old Forester, Straight Rye Whisky, Kentucky, $26.29/750 ml - "A historic recipe, acquired in 1940 by Owsley Brown I, Old Forester Rye features a mash bill of 65% Rye, 20% Malted Barley, and 15% Corn. Such a high proportion of barley allows for a fully natural fermentation process, forgoing the need for artificial enzymes commonly found in high rye mash bills. Additionally, a generous percentage of malt yields a unique floral character, balancing the sharp, brisk spice of the rye grain. Continuing our legacy of quality and consistency, Old Forester uses its own proprietary yeast strain, produces every barrel, and distills every drop." (Source)
New and Returning Beer
North Peak-Archangel/12oz/$1.89 - "North Peak Archangel is an American wheat beer brewed with Michigan cherries. Subtly hopped with Perle and Vanguard hops, Archangel is refreshing, clean and crisp. Just what you need to bring in the Michigan summer weather." (Source) Short's- Dan's Pink Skirt/12oz/$2.59 - "Dan’s Pink Skirt is an American IPA brewed with Summit and Simcoe hops. Malt characteristics are mild throughout and practically undetectable in the nose. Pronounced floral and citrus aromas abound, with a pine resin hop bitterness that lingers well into the finish." (Source) Tilquin Gueuze/1207oz/$13.99 - " A spontaneous fermentation beer obtained from the blending of 1, 2 and 3 years old lambics. Unfiltered and unpasteurized, it is re-fermented in the bottle for a minimum period of 6 months. The lambics used were fermented and matured in our own oak barrels at the blendery. They are made from worts brewed by Boon, Lindemans, Girardin and Cantillon. The taste is tart and dry but has a certain roundness that makes this Gueuze à l’ancienne particularly accessible for non-experts. It will also delight fans of the genre for its sweet complexity. It also has a slight dry bitterness because of the youth of the oak barrels used, as they still release some tannins. It has a fresh lemony nose." (Source) Tilquin-Myrtille sauvage/750ml/$35.69 Limited! - "The Myrtille Sauvage Tilquin à l’ancienne (6.6% alc/vol) is a spontaneous fermentation beer obtained from the fermentation of frozen wild blueberries in young lambics, blended with 1, 2 and 3 years lambic to reach a final concentration of fruits of 200 gr fruit per liter. This is a different version from the Experimental Draft Versions #1 and #2, as no Meerts lambic was used to lower the ABV of the blend. Served for the first time as a premiere at BxlBeerFest 2019 and sold at the blendery from 6th-7th of September." (Source) Tilquin- Cassis/750ml/$35.69 Limited! - "The Cassis Tilquin à l’ancienne (6.3% alc/vol) is a spontaneous fermentation beer obtained from the fermentation of frozen blackcurrants in young lambics, blended with 1, 2 and 3 years lambic to reach a final concentration of fruits of 200 gr fruit per liter. This is a different version from the Experimental Draft Versions #1 and #2, as no Meerts lambic was used to lower the ABV of the blend. Served for the first time as a premiere at BxlBeerFest 2019 and sold at the blendery from 6th-7th of September." (Source) 3 Fonteinen-Oude Geuze/12.7oz/$15.29 - "3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze is a blend of one-, two-, and three-year old lambics. Spontaneous fermentation, patient maturation in oak barrels, and continued evolution of the ecosystem in the bottle result in a distinctively complex and elegant natural beer. No two bottlings are alike, as there are multiple variables in the blending process, a variety of barrel sizes and shapes, differences in aged lambic proportions in the blend, etc. When cellared properly, 3 Fonteinen Oude Geuze can be aged for several decades. The aromas and flavours will evolve from notes of vibrant fresh citrus, zesty and grassy notes to a mellow, oaky, stone fruit bouquet as the lambic continues to develop with time. Lambic and Geuze are living, cultural heritage rooted in the Zenne valley! Taste, savour, enjoy and experience this bottle fermented, unfiltered, unpasteurised and unadulterated beer with friends new and old!" (Source) Drafting Table-Professional Pils/16oz/$2.79 - "Crisp German-style Pilsner brewed with noble hops, lending distinctive herbal and floral flavors to the beer." (Source) Birds Fly South-The Blueprint/16oz/$3.79 - "Our house IPA. A juicy, double dry-hopped beer brewed with guava puree for full flavor and complexity. Hop-bursted with Mosaic, Centennial, and Citra, this balanced pint has a fresh taste and a classic, slightly bitter finish." (Source) Birds Fly South-Days Like This Kolsch/16oz/$3.29 - Kölsch. No commercial description. Mikeller SD-Playing Favorites/16oz/$4.39 - Dry-hopped berliner weisse w/ peach & apricot." (Source) Mikeller SD-Run This Town/16oz/$2.79 - "Years before Mikkel started Mikkeller he was a competitive mid-distance runner attending university in the United States. The love of running and an active, balanced lifestyle are some things that have continued to be a part of who Mikkeller is world-wide. Low calories, but most importantly a light crisp taste is sure to be the perfect beer for every day. Running a company, running a race, or simply running your life - this beer will help you 'Run your Town'!" (Source)