The Pièce de Résistance café Français at canalside in Wheatstone is about to open, and I finally realized that I hadn’t had a chance to try the wine we got bullied into buying. I took a few minutes to select one of the cases and brought some tools out to a table.
As I was about to pry it open, I noticed this brand named in the reviews section of the morning’s paper sitting on the table. I paused and picked it up and read the thoughts of two reviewers:
#1) Another offering in the Tenement Alley series of blends, the Special Reserve begins with a solid, quite pungent, violent nose with burnt polyester and lighter fluid notes, giving way to a rich impression of metallic alkalinity leaving an astringent powdery sensation and some risk of nosebleed, fading mercifully at last into a distinctly discomforting battery acid finish. Do NOT inhale vapours. HIGHLY INFLAMMABLE!! Only very seriously experienced and already doomed winos need apply.
#2) While too unstable and especially too thick to use as thinner, can be used to clean paint brushes but work quickly. No other known use. Keep clear of flame. Like really a lot.
I felt sick to my stomach as I pried the lid off the case. It couldn’t be that bad, could it? Some of those reviewers seem to have little use for subtelty. As I pulled the first bottle out to inspect the label, I noticed a sheet of paper in the bottom of the case, which read thusly:
Massively Seriously Dangerous Stuff (MSDS) warning sheet. Observe the cautions listed below at all times when handling this product:
VERY highly flammable. Like seriously, wow. You can guess how explosive it is. Let’s hope.
NO SMOKING. Doi. You shouldn’t smoke industrial chemicals anyway, without a doctor’s prescription.
Do not handle without secure (airtight) eye protection and heavy gloves. Vapours EXTREMELY caustic. Do NOT inhale. Don’t even look at them.
Not to be taken internally, either straight or mixed with anything.
Do not store near heat, cold, saltpeter or oregano, or anywhere near where large reptiles breed.
STORAGE IN METAL CONTAINERS IS NOT ADVISED!! AT ALL!!!.
Always obey local safety rules.
Post this notice in a visible location near your other MSDSesses.. essesses… the other ones like this.
Igor’s Culinary Laboratories. Making your food safer. As far as you know.
I’ve decided to pursue sourcing another wine supplier before the opening…