"Oh, it's not the kill, it's the thrill of the chase…"

by Katie Pizzuto on November 3, 2008

in Wine

OK, kids, confession time. I am a big fan of Oscar Wilde, and not simply for his body of literary work, but for saying the following words: “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” There are several temptations I can resist in life, like eating brussel sprouts for instance. But certain forces in this life are simply too powerful for me to not to heed them.

I can not, for instance, just “run in” to a liquor store to grab some beer, or vodka, or ice on the way to whatever or whomever’s. It’s a shortcoming I have, and I’m ready to admit it. There is just no way I can walk past racks of glorious fermented grape juice and NOT stroll the aisles. Even worse, I can’t NOT buy a bottle…or six. Ooooh, a new shipment of Arcadian pinot! Hey, I never knew they made syrahs in Chile! Wow, look, a sale on grüner! I’m just not strong enough for the task of buying ONLY what I came in for. Send me to Home Depot…I have no problem running in for a miter saw and coming out only with a miter saw. But I have about as much self control in a wine shop as Rush Limbaugh has at a pharmacy counter. You can try sending me in for Triple Sec, but I make no promises that I won’t also come out brandishing an intriguing bottle of Lebanese wine that “caught my eye.”

And ya know what makes it worse? Running into MY local wine shop, as opposed to some random retailer on my way to a destination. Because they know me there…and they know what I like…and they know my resistance is low…oh, crap, let’s be honest, they know my resistance is non existent. “Hey, Katie, guess what I just got a shipment of this week?” “Hey, Katie, I just got something in I KNOW you are gonna love!” “Hey, Katie, I just cracked a bottle, wanna give it a try? I’ve only got a couple of cases.” Take your pick…it really doesn’t matter…I’m defenseless. Am I alone here?

But what I’ve come to realize is that a shortcoming or two is OK. Wanting to be perfect and in control is boring…it’s predictable…it’s somebody else, not me. Yes, I am weak, damnit! Yes, if given the choice I’d rather buy a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread, than a porterhouse and a glass of water. And yes, I do skip down the aisles of a wine shop like a giddy schoolgirl in puppy love. How’s YOUR self control?!?

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Coupe 60 November 3, 2008

That is so funny…Ask my kids if they want to come with me to go pick up a case of beer for a party…and they will invariably shake their heads and start running in the opposite direction because they don’t want to have to “watch dad look at every bottle in the store, when he promised he was just going in to buy a case of beer”…


2 Katie Pizzuto November 3, 2008

My son has mastered the art of getting under the skin of the woman who is getting under his skin. How? By asking “Mom, have you ever tried this one?” about every other bottle he walks past. That usually frustrates me fast enough to hand him 2 bucks and send him to the front of the store to buy a bag of chips or a pack of gum 🙂


3 erikagwen November 3, 2008

LOL, yeah I have none. The wine shop knows it, and so does the husband. I stop for “a bottle” for dinner, come home with three bottles (one for dinner, one b/c it was suggested and one b/c I liked the label/the name/wanted to try it), 2 fresh baked cupcakes, 2 cheeses, a baguette, and pate. I can’t help it. It all sits in the various cases, staring at me, begging me to take it home.

I can actually hear my credit card cry when I walk in.


4 Katie Pizzuto November 3, 2008

I know the feeling, Erika….yesterday I walked out with a $20 bottle of extra virgin olive oil that was mind blowing, as well as a hunk of Pecorino di Tartufo. Meanwhile, I’ve been wearing the same pair of $10 flip-flops for the last 3 years…priorities!!! LOL!


5 Linsey November 3, 2008

Im a bit different – I will walk into a deli – which btw we dont have many of where I live – I look at all the fantastic things find it totally mind blowing and end up getting the same old thing that I know I will like…

I really should be more adventurous! LOL

did like that Italian ham though that Anthony bought in Harrods when we were in London – that was really delicious – just cant remember what it was called…

If any of you ever get to England – go to a place called Chatsworth House, Derbyshire – they have a farm shop/deli nearby with the most incredible choice of local and other produce – meats, cheeses, fish, sweets/desserts – the prawns (shrimps) were delicious

Do however never find that problem in wine shops though – I dont drink!


6 Katie Pizzuto November 4, 2008

Linsey, was the Italian ham by any chance prosciutto?


7 Tish November 4, 2008

This reminds me of how un/lucky we are in NY state, where wine has no idea that in other states it gets to reside on shelves near food…. I can still picture some of the fantastic wine sections I have seen in other states’ supermarkets. I think I would buy even more wine than I do if that were the case.


8 Katie Pizzuto November 4, 2008

Tish, you are so right…I completely forgot about that as a Jersey girl. If I had wines available in my supermarket aisles I’d REALLY be in trouble, as I’m there probably every other day! I’m glad you’ve seen fantastic wine sections in other states, though, because the ones I’ve seen haven’t been so great.


9 Linsey November 4, 2008

Katie – no it wasnt – you will have to ask Anthony – he went round the whole shop looking for it – something he really likes at home – then went back again – eventually found it cut differently to the way you have it there – but it was delicious

Harrods was great – had these whole legs of meat complete with the hoof still on to be sliced as you wanted it


10 Coupe 60 November 4, 2008

I bet it was Capicola (the Italian ham that is). It comes in Sweet and Hot…

and a question, how can Trader Joe’s carry wine in NJ and not other supermarkets? What makes them be classified any differently


11 Katie Pizzuto November 4, 2008

I’ll try to find out if it was a Capicola.

As for Trader Joe’s, that’s a really good question! I know someone who works at one, so I will ask her to find out and post back.


12 Linsey November 4, 2008

anthony said it was ‘soppresatta’ dunno if thats how u spell it – it is nice though


13 Coupe 60 November 4, 2008

Linsey: I believe that Soppresatta is actually Italian Salami (seems a bit redundant I know).

and i do enjoy it on a hero with my prosciutto, capicola and fresh mozzerella… You have good taste


14 Yvette November 4, 2008

Hi Katie, I ave a recipe for brussel sprouts that will change you on that one too!
I don’t drink either, but for some reason when I have to buy for someone or something I find myself caught up in the lines of bottles and labels, it is magical!


15 Linsey November 4, 2008

the good taste is actually Anthony’s lol

actually my idea of delicious is a selection of seafood – like prawns, shrimps, crab claws/meat, mussels, squid, langosteens … plus some smoked salmon ….all served up with some fresh ciabatta or whole grain bread and a bit of sweet chilli dipping sauce and quails eggs

im a happy bunny then


16 Jeff November 4, 2008

Self control? What self control?

A Peter Gabriel lyric would’ve worked as well…



17 Katie Pizzuto November 4, 2008

@Linsey…..your seafood bonanza sounds YUMMY! Especially with the quail eggs!!!!

@Jeff…yup, Peter would’ve been a great way to go too!


18 Anthony November 5, 2008

Ok i have had Linseys seafood bonanza but only with shrimp, quails eggs served over a bed of lettuce. YUMMMMMMMY It was excellent and from what i remembered I had a pretty good bottle of wine with it. Just dont remember which one.


19 Tish November 5, 2008

I think I can answer the Trader Joe’s question. TJ’s has a wine store in NYC as well; the key is that it has a separate entrance and likely a separate legal address from TJ’s usual market.

At least we don’t live in Pennsaylvania, though I must say the PLCB stores are much better in the 21st century than in the 20th; as a kid in Pittsburgh I remember the “state store” looking a lot like the stark off-track betting” places I see in NY now…

On the horizon, supermarket-wineshoppers can look forward to big things from Best Cellars. A&P bought the name/concept/stores and Josh Wesson is overseeing the launch of several bigger and better BC stores in NJ, CT and beyond.


20 Katie Pizzuto November 5, 2008

Ahh, thanks Tish! I guess that’s why the TJ’s that I go to DOESN’T have wine! And yes, I’ve been in many a PLCB store in PA…scary places!


21 Coupe 60 November 5, 2008

Thanks tish – The thing about trader Joe’s though is that I didn’t think supermarkets in NJ could carry wine either, and the TJs in Westfield (Union County) has a single entrance, single address, with a big wine section in the back..


22 Katie Pizzuto November 5, 2008

OK, Coupe, here’s the apparent scoop:

It all depends on the availability of liquor licenses in a particular municipality. For instance, the Costco in Edison sells liquor, simply because they were able to purchase a liquor license in that municipality, whereas the one in Bridgewater does not sell liquor, due to a lack of availability of a license in that town. Each town sets its own limit for the number of licenses that are available, and in most towns, all available licenses have been issued. Hence, an inability for a new business to sell liquor in many towns. However, if a retailer decides to close down his liquor business, he/she can sell his license for a very large sum of money to someone else. Most Wegman’s markets in NJ have a full liquor department. Even a few older A & P markets in NJ sell liquor, due to a very limited number of liquor licenses that were made available to food stores many years ago.


23 Coupe 60 November 5, 2008

Thanks Katie…thats the same law that keeps so many restaurants BYO…which by the way is one of my favorite laws in NJ…


24 Katie Pizzuto November 5, 2008

Ditto that sentiment for me, Coupe! I love BYOs.


25 Dale Cruse November 14, 2008

Are you quoting Deep Purple with that headline? Nice!


26 Katie Pizzuto November 14, 2008

you bet, Dale…every title is a song lyric!


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