Tonight, after going to see The Savages, I called my old, dear friend Ronni. Ronni, the kind of girl who does go-go dancing in the bathtub at parties, masquerades as Honey Sugar in THE BOOK. She et famille, were hibernating in Vermont. Her clever man built the house with much muscle, sweat and bare hands. Finally, there's indoor plumbing and a land line. Ronnette's daughter picked up the phone and I asked her, "Hey, Lilly, what are you drinking?" She was more interested in asking me about my Christmas and I tried to censor my Christmas rant. Lily is only ten-years old, after all, and I thought, Al, wait another ten years before you go on your tirade about how not everyone in the entire universe celebrates Christmas, okay? So I uncharacteristically kept my mouth shut because even though I am a believer in therapy, I really don’t want lil Lil to hit the couch because I trashed the holiday that delivered a precious iPod Nano into her little life. But when I pressed my question again, she coughed up the info. “Tonight? I’m drinking the Compagne de Centeilles. A Minervois made of something called cinsault. Aunt Alice, do you know it?” "Lily! How fabulous. Did you know that is exactly what I was drinking tonight? Of course being a kid she was thrilled by the serendipity of it all. "Lil” I asked, “ are you drinking the 2004?” “YES!” she squealed into the phone."And, Aunt Alice, have you ever gone snow tubing?" (Never heard of it. But give me a snow shoe and I can shuffle off to Buffalo.) "What did you like about it?" I asked her because I know Lily to have a fine young palate and I really wanted her take on the wine. "Well, you know," she said, "it’s got a lot of grit while tasting very much like a salty kind of panda licorice. And do you know what? There's no wood on it at all!" It's true. At first you wonder if anything is going on and then you just can’t stop drinking it. Clos Centeilles' Patricia and Daniel Domergue do a fantastic job. I find each of their cuves ageable and intriguing and affordable. They make you do a double take. Not bad, especially these days of punishing wine prices. It's under $13. Utterly drinkable.