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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Like a familiar bad dream

Uploaded: Mar 27, 2016
Did you ever have a dream where you were trying to do something and no matter what you tried you couldn't do it? Maybe you were trying to go somewhere but kept ending up in the wrong place. Or you were trying to say something to someone and either couldn't get them to listen or when you did you could say what you came to say. Or you were trying to finish something and no matter how hard you tried to do it, it never seemed to finish.

Tonight I had that "nightmare" in reality. It was something really simple, but no matter what I tried I couldn't do it. All I wanted was a glass of wine with my dinner. I made pasta with sauce from a jar, nothing fancy, but I wanted a glass of Sangiovese with my pasta. I had a very nice bottle of Mitchell Katz Sangiovese I bought at the winery tasting room a few years ago. It would have made my pasta dish special, but there was one thing missing -- a corkscrew!

I could not find a corkscrew. I know I have at least two or three different corkscrews. I have one that's a double corkscrew, with two rotating spirals winding around each other. I also have one with levers to pull out the cork, and I have a battery powered one.

I couldn't find the first two anywhere, and I looked everywhere in every drawer. I found the battery operated one, but (you're already ahead of me), the batteries were dead. It took four AA batteries, but I could only find C batteries or AAA batteries. It's that bad dream again.

Finally I remembered I have flashlights with AA batteries in them. I tried the flashlights and they worked. So I took those batteries out of the flashlights and put them into the electric corkscrew, but it still didn't work. The batteries worked in the flashlights, so it couldn't be the batteries. I put the original batteries from the corkscrew back into the battery holder and noticed the springs were crooked. I slid them over to make better contact, and low and behold the corkscrew worked.

By now I had finished my dinner and it was after 9 pm, but I was still going to have that glass of wine. I pushed the point of the electric corkscrew into the cork and pressed the up button. Instead of pulling the cork up, it pushed the cork into the bottle and the wine spurted out like a volcano, all over my shirt. Well now at least I could get some wine out.

I thought the wine might have some pieces of cork in it, so I took a strainer to strain them out. The strainer I have was too big and more wine splashed all over the counter. Now I was down to 2/3 of the bottle and still hadn't had a drink. So I just poured it into a glass and fortunately there were no pieces of cork in it and I didn't spill anymore.

After all of this, which took about an hour, it was worth it. The Mitchell Katz Sangiovese is fruity and smooth. I plan to go back to the winery for a new bottle as soon as I get my driver's license back.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 28, 2016 at 9:12 am

I am speechless, perhaps a screw top next time?

Posted by, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 28, 2016 at 1:48 pm is a registered user.


I had a small jug of Carlo Rossi Burgundy open, but I wanted something special. Maybe I'll go back to Franzia in a box. It even comes with a little spout for easy pouring and the wine is surprisingly good, but Franzia doesn't make a Sangiovese. The Mitchell Katz wines are in a whole different class and I like supporting a local Livermore winery.


Posted by Tom, a resident of Danville,
on Mar 28, 2016 at 4:33 pm

There are some VERY nice wines that come with a screw top these days. This is no longer a sign of cheap (bad wine).
Good for you for supporting local!

Posted by, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 29, 2016 at 2:20 am is a registered user.


It's not that wines with screw tops are not as good as wine with corks, but corks preserve the wine better. That's why wine bottles are stored sideways, to keep the corks wet and the seal tight.

Anyway I found my corkscrew. It was under the microwave. I must have slide it under there when I put the bottle down on the counter.


Posted by BobB, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 29, 2016 at 9:31 pm

BobB is a registered user.


I think the business with corks preserving wine better than screw caps is a myth. I've researched it a bit, and I think all wines, including heavy reds that improve with age do better with screw caps.

Modern caps can even be made to allow a little air to get in to let a wine to age.

Posted by Brandy sgood, a resident of California Reflections,
on Mar 30, 2016 at 1:54 am

I am not sure what to say about this sadden part.Web Link

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Mar 30, 2016 at 1:24 pm

Is there a polite way for this one to suggest that you no longer drive...especially if you have been drinking?

Posted by don't drive!, a resident of Downtown,
on Mar 31, 2016 at 9:37 am

"I've researched it a bit, and I think all wines, including heavy reds that improve with age do better with screw caps."

He is absolutely correct. If you are so fond of Mitch Katz wine then you will need to keep your corkscrew, personally I know there are many other wines from Livermore that are much better and many have screw caps.

What continues to worry me is that you say that you plan to drive again. You have already written not only about your issues with driving in the dark and in the rain, but with the fact that you have major cognitive issues and confusion while driving. Stay out of the car! You will end up causing an accident and perhaps killing innocent people. You do NOT need to drive and doing so with your cognitive impairment will only cause a tragedy.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:41 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.

"Don't Drive,"

I have not driven since my license was suspended. I was sent a form from the DMV for my Doctor to fill out and return. I didn't read it all but it was a questionnaire on my physical and mental health. He filled it out and sent it last week. If he gave me a "clean bill of health," I should be able to get my driver's license back. I might have to retake the driver's test first, which I shall do. If I'm passed by the DMV, I will be able to drive again but I won't drive after dark or in bad weather even if that is permitted. I'm still planning to move to Villa San Ramon and they have a shuttle for residents, which I will take for most trips, but I will bring my truck if the DMV unsuspends my license. So I shall abide by their decisions and NOT yours.


Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Mar 31, 2016 at 11:56 am

Roz Rogoff is a registered user.


I NEVER drive if I have been drinking. NEVER!!! Even if I can't open the bottle.


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