Even if we didn't have the wherewithal to cook real birthday dinners, we managed to have birthday drinks.
John got this Jefferson's bourbon from the wine shop in Chelsea Market. Although I'm not exactly the queen of liquor tastings, I thought it was excellent, with some similarity to Maker's Mark. Also, if you tilt the bottle it distends Thomas Jefferson's head, which is entertaining.
We also got these two bottles of wine. The Basa was particularly exciting since our friend Tim had chosen it for us ages ago in Michigan. It was GREAT. So we've been keeping an eye out for it for years, albeit more and more halfheartedly as we continued not to find it. Of course we only found it, looking totally innocent in a little store in Sunnyside, Queens, once we'd entirely given up.
The second wine was new, and fine, but not as exciting. Really we were taken in a little bit by the name and label: Layer Cake. It, uh, was symbolic in the absence of any birthday cake! Yes. It worked pretty well, since we almost never want cake, even if it's birthday week. I wish we'd gone for a stronger, fuller-bodied red, though. If the wine is called Layer Cake you at least want it to have chocolate overtones. Come on.
Basa 2007 Blanco Rueda, Spain.
Layer Cake 2006 Cotes du Rhone, France.