Sunday, February 06, 2011

appliances and Packers

I sip my glass of wine and half watch the football game. I’m glad the Packers are doing well as many of my friends and loved ones care about their success.

But my attention is on running through a list of things accomplished and things to accomplish down at the farmhouse.

For example, what Ed and I did accomplish today was to pick out and purchase 99% of the appliances for the farmhouse kitchen. It took a while. Internet searches and consumer reports and user reviews. Have you ever read user reviews? Powerful stuff – especially the damning ones. Equipped with a list of items that passed the first round, we set out to compare prices. Sears will (and did) beat anything you come up with elsewhere and so we gave a salesclerk a huge reward for having to work on Super Bowl Sunday – we gave him that 99% kitchen appliance sale.

(And I have to admit that we spent less on four major appliances than I did on the refrigerator alone for the condo.)

So what’s with the one missing per cent? It's the wine cooler. I want what I have in the condo: a cooler that has at least a four dozen bottle capacity, one that isn't jarring and ugly,  and one that maintains a steady temp.

It appears that these small little chilling boxes cost more than refrigerators twice their size. Not only that: it seems, from the reviews, that most people absolutely hate their wine coolers. The low ratings are astonishing and befuddling. I mean, we’re asking a box to maintain a steady, somewhat cool temperature. How hard is that? All other purchased appliances have far more complicated tasks set before them and they do them all nearly flawlessly.

Ed tells me wine coolers are for snobs and there aren’t enough out there to warrant a push toward perfection.

Snobs? I just have these favorite bottles. Some are priced for less than $15. Too good to open, I admit, and deserving of a comfortable temperature.

My traveling companion tells me that I need to drink down the bottles I have in my cooler and buy a small little chill box for the specials I may pick up in the future.

Drink down??? Oh, but I can’t. What would warrant my opening a bottle of Chablis I purchased six years ago while writing a story about Chablis wine growers? Or the bottle gifted to me by the producer whose wine harvest I attended four years back? Or the Portuguese bottle I bought on the January day when the sun was so warm and the spray of salty air so fine along the shores of the Atlantic? No, I can’t do it.

Still, I’m extraordinarily proud of all we accomplished -- appliances, super cheap farmhouse lamps for the ceiling... our progress is solid.

Let me put aside wine chillers and go back to game watching. The Packers aren’t as solid as they were an hour ago. Maybe I ought to think Packer thoughts. Go Packers. Yeah.