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Pinot, Pirates, and Other Things That Start With "P"

Carole discusses her future in wine-making and talks about what Sonja should be doing.

A man goes to his doctor and says, "Doctor, I have a sexual performance problem. Can you help me?"

"Of course! That's not a problem for men anymore." says his doctor. "There's a new wonder drug now called Viagra." The doctor gives the man a prescription and sends him on his way. A couple of months later, the doctor runs into his patient on the street.

"Doctor," says the man excitedly, "I've got to thank you. This drug works like a miracle!"

“I'm glad to hear that," says the pleased physician. "What does your wife think?"

"Wife?" asks the man, "I haven't been home yet."

The Set-up
Everyone gets set up in this episode. Ramona was set up at the blind wine tasting. Reid's mother is getting set up with 40-year-old studs. Sonja's getting set up with George. The setups have us all riveted.


We all know the routine by now, we have lunch so we can talk behind backs. If you aren't invited to lunch it's probably because you need to be talked about. Or, as I prefer to describe it, we talk about our friends when they aren't there.

It's a time-honored tradition, pay attention the next time you have lunch. We collect and analyze information about people we are interested in. It's one of the oldest means of gathering information, and the conceit of the show. Wink. Wink.

After we collect and analyze our data we decide we must go to Miami. Mostly to meet Aviva's sex addict Dad. We are all going to go, except for Heather and LuAnn, but they don't care that they're excluded from this trip because they're tall.

We toast to Miami. And then to sex addicts. And then to the tall handsome bachelor behind Door Number Three. Or maybe we were toasting to Sonja's tiara and my Upper East Side coat. I can't remember. We toast a lot. You have no idea how many times we toast. We toast to this and that and that and this. For every toast you see, there are 27 more toasts that you don't.

Logo No-go Meeting
Stay tuned, kids. This is the beginning of what I’m going to call the Toaster Oven War, TOW for short. Pay attention to Sonja’s skepticism but also Heather’s expertise and Big Gun James Bernard who hasn't even seen the original photo shoot for the cover of the cookbook which by the way, two years later, Tina Fey is still waiting for. (Where's the book?)

Heather knows what she's doing. Remember, she's famous worldwide for promoting Yummie Tummie. If I were trying to brand a product I would call Heather Thomson. In fact both the RNC and the DNC should consider hiring her. She stays on message like a politician in a dead heat.

However, I can't keep my eyes off Mrs. Morgan. It's unthinkable, isn't it? Mrs. J.P. Morgan packing a suitcase, which should be filled with evening wear and yachting clothes, and filling it up with a toaster oven? It's such an unpleasant thought that I can only process it if I am assured one of the interns was assigned to this task. That she even has to roll it around the streets of New York makes me shudder.

I hear the soundtrack to Fiddler on the Roof in this scene. Don't you?

"If I were a rich (wo)man,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I'd biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy (wo) man.
I wouldn't have to work hard.
Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum."

Sonja needs more biddy biddy bumming than she is getting. Sonja Tremont Morgan was not put on this earth to carry a toaster oven around in a Tumi suitcase, crumb tray or no crumb tray. A Morgan should be selling bonds for sport, not toaster ovens. Sonja is simply too sparkly. She should be in tiaras and feathers from morning to night. I've said this to her many times. She was born to host in fabulous homes in the South of France. She was born to be the matriarch of chateaus, yachts, and a staff of seventy. I've never met this ex-husband, Mr. Morgan, but like Sonja I keep all of my money with him and now I'm worried. I'm closing my investment accounts and moving to South of France. Anyone want to join?

I don't think Big Guns and Sonja are getting along. Keep your eye on that. I can't wait for the photo shoot. Trust me on this.

Where are the notepads, by the way? This whole meeting is malarkey because there are no notepads. No one brought the notepads. It's hard to keep track of those fonts.

The Sting
I know the difference between grape juice and Bordeaux: grape juice tastes better.

Jacques gave us a pop quiz: What color is the juice inside a red grape? I'm not a wine aficionado but I do eat grapes. Doesn't everyone? I bet Aviva's grapes come with the skin already peeled because that's where the chemicals are. Which is why she got confused. Anyway, did you hear my answer? I said "white" loud and clear. Aviva says "red." I say "white," then LuAnn comes in at the end and says "white" because she's tall.

Does LuAnn really know, or is she copying me? I went to the Masters of Wine Institute and made Dean's list. I worked in a winery in Oregon wine country, the Pinot capital of the world. I worked on the sorting line for Biggio Hamina Cellars in my blue cashmere sweater. I know about whole clusters and varietals and single vineyard wines. I know that Todd Hamina's Pinot Grigio, which is what I sorted grapes for, has hints of pear even though I didn't see one single pear on the conveyer belt. I did see spiders and bees, though. More than I could pull out. I think there are hints in his 2009 Pinot Grigio of spider and bee. I hope he doesn't read this.


Ramona knows her own wine. There was a joke in there somewhere and I didn't get it. None of us got it, and all of us will be not getting it for several more episodes.


P.S. I'm coming out with a wine, too -- a rose, light like me. I'm calling it Carole's First Crush. Coming soon to a Target near you (insert pogo stick).

Gammie and Grampy take Miami
Here comes George. Nobody has it better than George. People go to Boca to die, but not George. No waiting room for God, no Hebrew homes for the aged. George is all New York class or St. Tropez hot. Marilyn wants to fool around and George suggests a 40 year old stud. Most people are angry, Marilyn isn't and either is George. One of them has a vibrator. I think that sums up dinner. Aviva maintains her flawless composure throughout. . .

. . .Only to lose it during dinner with the Singers. It's the nitrates. They cause cancer. And in this case, they're packaged in a very lewd and suggestive shape. Aviva doesn't believe in tap water or hot dogs or bad wine jokes. Ramona is freaking out inside her head. Did you see that? Don't rile up Ramona. Aviva is mad and has her mouth full and Reid is all smiles.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the Singers will think it's strange making love beneath the Dreshers.


House Rule #273: No nudity. What about in the shower?

The Talls vs. The Talls
Heather and LuAnn are very excited to get their eyebrows waxed in the Boom Boom Bar. LuAnn's eyebrows are fabulous, of course.

Heather doesn't flinch. LuAnn is right, this does seem unusual. Could it be her altitude? Heather is tall. Sonja is tall. I am tall (5'6"). Aviva is tall. LuAnn is taller. Still, even at six feet, most of my jokes sail right over her head. I'm not sure why Sonja thinks LuAnn gets all the attention. She doesn't. I think it's Sonja's nice way of saying, "It's not all about you, all the time." Here's the issue about who enters which room when matters in television, and why Sonja has a valid reason to be upset. The show only uses one entrance so it's always best to be the one who walks in first. It makes it appear as though it's your scene. You get to address the maitre d' or say "hello" to the shopkeeper, it’s an old soap opera trick. Watch me shove my way to the front in future episodes.

What is said at beauty parlors and eyebrow bars doesn't stay there. I think it's good form and also gracious to be aware and considerate of your friends, so I agree with Heather. If it bothers Sonja and it's not that big of a deal, let her walk in first once in awhile. This isn't Tall Girl Syndrome, it's run of the mill narcissism. I have no problem with it. Most of the men I'’ve dated are narcissists. They're fun, they entertain, they're tall.

My Apartment
I love Ranjana. She is one of my dearest friends; she and her husband Naeem are like family to me and I'm a little Caroline Manzo about that. Don't f--k with my family. I love afternoons at my place with Ranjana, we catch up and sip tea from mugs. (I bought them in London!) In this scene, we're sitting on a couch that my mother-in-law had custom made in the 1960s. She loved decorating. She has impeccable taste and her fashion and design sense was sought after all over the world. This couch made its debut in a Vogue fashion shoot decades ago and then reappeared in the music video for my cute casual boyfriend Russ' song "Manhattan." I've gotten offers for that couch that could fund a summer home in the South of France for Sonja and I, but it's too sentimental for me. I'll never let it go. It's one of the few things I still have from my old life and reminds me of the early years with my husband.

So I ask Ranjana for a favor, something I rarely do for myself. Would she mind if LuAnn came to their showroom to buy some jewelry? LuAnn isn't there for ten minutes when she asks to borrow clothes. Not just any clothes but $10,000 designer dresses worn by the First Lady. It's a lot to ask.

Ranjana is sweeter than I am. I'm three months into this gig now and words fall easier from my lips than they used to. I am in the 100-year Royal Wars, after all. Next episode we are battling with Tiaras. Mine is bigger.

Coming Up. . .
Holy Pinot! I told you it gets good. Trust me, I was there. I saw things I never thought I'd see and I've seen a bunch of things. One thing you learned about me on tonight's episode: "I might be a Princess but I am definitely a size Queen." Too much tequila and I blurted!

Q. Why can't Marilyn have a 40-year-old stud on Sunday?
A. Because he’s black, and so he's busy with Baptist church.

Oh, George.

Follow Biggio Hamina Cellars on Facebook, here. As always, you can buy What Remains here. Contact me on my website here. Follow me on Twitter here, Facebook here, Pinterest here

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