RKS Wine: The Return of the Penniless Pensioner and the Tirana Tigress in Albania

After months of radio silence, I received a Facetime call from the Penniless Pensioner from the capital of Albania, the glistening Tirana. We chatted like it was yesterday!

His last love affair with the Russian Svetlana crumbled rather quickly after her yacht was confiscated in Montenegro. Apparently her yacht was stolen from Crimea when the Russians annexed it from Ukraine. The Montenegrin’s were tipped off by one of her many enemies.

PP decided to fall in love with Lola Freiberg known in Albania as the Tirana Tigress a woman of incredible beauty and business acumen P noted. PP proudly recounted she was hugely successful in “immigration consulting” offering “placements” in Germany to migrants fleeing violence, war and famine. What a gal PP waxed effusively. A heart of gold. Helping to place these migrants predominately in Germany, the land of milk and honey.

Well not to squash P’s lust and pride after our call I researched “Freiberg Consulting” and contacted my close relative at CSIS in Ottawa Canada’s intelligence agency. Lola is under investigation by the authorities in Germany for human trafficking, bribery, intimidation and a few of her “troublesome” clients allegedly have taken a swim with cement shoes. A truckload of her “clients” were found frozen to death in the back of a trailer tractor on its way to Dresden. What all her clients were doing in the back of this truck was a mystery to her but not her Swiss bank account. PP looks like he is headed to the rocks of a romantic crash. Should I head to Tirana and rescue the blind lovesick puppy? But I am retired and do I need more adventures at my age?

In a German state of mind I decide to head to a German wine a Spaetburgunder otherwise known in many countries as a Pinot Noir from Königschaffhauser Steingrüble.

As for aromatics there is no mistaking this for a Pinot Noir with notes of raspberries, strawberries, beets and a thin line of milk chocolate. On the palate smooth with notes of French raspberry jam, small Bing cherries and slate all capable of being appropriately characterized as being just a bit beefy. Lola Freiberg is an oversized woman and she just might like a less than overly genteel Spaetburgunder.

The wine can smooth out a bit more in the bottle over the next two years. Grown in volcanic soils. As for food lamb, mushrooms and a simple pasta sauce made with field tomatoes onions, garlic, fresh rosemary, oregano and basil as the fresh herbs give the sauce a lighter flavour more attractive to Pinot Noir.

So what am I do to with the Penniless Pensioner. Hop aboard Air Albania and hope for the best? Or should Lola escape the noose and “Run Lola Run” ?

Should Lola run from Tirana?

(Königschaffhauser Steingrüble, 2019 Pinot Noir, Baden, Qualitätswein, Germany, $18.95, Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 460410, 750 mL, 13%, RKS Wine Rating 89/100).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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