“Jesus was not a party animal,” writes acclaimed wine critic Jennifer “Chotzi” Rosen. “The Last Supper was hardly the blowout of the season. So why would he waste his quota of miracles on such frivolity as turning water into wine?”
Actually, history leans more toward the Marriage Feast at Cana as the central event at which man's savior moonlighted as a beverage caterer—but that part doesn't really matter. The stuff he scared up wasn't fermented and therefore couldn't get anybody drunk, so what's the use?
Jesus gets only two more brief mentions in Rosen's Waiter, There's a Horse in My Wine: A Treasury of Entertainment, Exploration and Education by America's Wittiest Wine Critic. Then again, Rosen has a lot to cover in 312 pages. This collection of Rosen's best newspaper columns touts a five-page index, with entries as obscure as terroir (a wine's sense of place from the soil the grapes are grown in) and as innocuous as Phylloxera (a species of pest that enjoys laying waste to grape arbors). Rosen, a prominent TV host and wine judge, has been obsessed with the stuff since she was 10, when, according to her own account, she fell in love with a bottle of Lancer's Rose. She's forgotten more than most of us will ever know about the art and science of wine and its place in law, business and humanity itself (“It's… for the rich and powerful and for guys who sleep under bridges. Gentrified pastime and threat to society”).
I'm telling you this because Rosen's book, a Dauphin Press publication, would make an excellent Christmas present. It's available through your better booksellers for $14.95, a pittance for something that will last you through 2009 and beyond. As for Jesus, he'll just have to suck it up until he hits on a formula with some teeth.
That loopy ol' Son of the Creator. What a card.