Home' Nonahood News : NONA 020116 Contents “Oh sure,” exclaimed
Phil, “I used to be famous.”
We caught up with the for-
mer Punxsutawney Phil
in his retirement home in
The Villages just north of
Orlando for his take on this
year’s winter and to learn
a little about his life. “My given name is
Eugene, and I’m originally from Scran-
ton. I changed it to Phil and moved to
Punxsutawney when I decided to get into
“Most people don’t know that I
starred in the movie ‘Groundhog Day’
with Bill Murray,” Phil explained. “Bill
and I were tight. Oh the fun we had on
and off the set. We even played a couple
of rounds of golf. He’s a lot of fun to play
a round with if you can tolerate him
yelling ‘Cinderella story’ every time he
hits the ball. After the movie was such a
hit they decided to fire me and go with
a younger, more handsome Phil. Heck,
Murray won’t even return my calls any-
more. What an ingrate.”
Nobody cares that in 1978 I success-
fully called for six more weeks of win-
ter. Sure enough, the northeast got hit
with a blizzard that dumped 30 inches
of snow in Boston with two-story drifts,
impassable roads and week-long school
closings. It was hailed as one of the top
weather events in the 20th century. Did
I get any credit for that? Nope! Instead I
get dumped for a groundhog that they
say looks like Chris Hemsworth.
“I used to have it all,” Phil reminisced.
“All the food I wanted, humans at my
beck and call, females chasing me wher-
ever I went. But now, nothing. I just sit
here in my tiny retirement
home here in The Villages
trying not to get run over
by some golf cart-driving
octogenarian. Heck, even
my wife left me for some
two-bit weatherman on
“Groundhog weather prognosticat-
ing used to mean something,” said Phil.
“Farmers counted on us to know how
much winter weather was remaining. But
now you humans have your fancy satel-
lites and radar. Groundhog Day is nothing
but a scam perpetrated by The Weather
Channel to boost ratings,” Phil exclaimed.
“You want my prediction for this
year’s winter? It’s central Florida. It’ll
be the same as every year. We’ll have
a few days where it’ll get in the 30s and
people will complain that it’s too cold.
Then it’ll warm up and we’ll all mock
our friends and relatives that still live
up north. Duh, what do you expect?”
To paraphrase Bill Murray in the
movie “Groundhog Day,” this is one
time where print fails to capture the
true excitement of a bitter large squir-
rel predicting the weather.
On a regular basis, Nonahood News
will ascend into the wine cellar with Mark
Menji (VinoSkillz/Nona Wine Society),
a fellow Lake Nonian and overall wine
enthusiast studying to be a Sommelier.
Menji will share with you some of his
education as he learns and studies. He
will also attempt to answer vino-related
questions you may have. Let’s make our
way down and find out what’s on Menji’s
“wine-tracked mind” this month.
QUICK FACT: There are thousands of
wine grape varieties (guesstimate above
10,000) grown all over the world. As I
ponder that figure while enjoying a glass
of Red, I can’t help but think of what I’ve
gotten myself into. I am seeking to earn
a few world-renowned wine titles and
industry certificates out of pure passion
and curiosity. Who knows, maybe one day
I can conquer my ADHD and take a dive
into the wine world of retail or imports.
So back to Vino. Let’s forget the thou-
sands of wine grape varieties and focus
on the most popular wines in Lake Nona,
err—I mean the world.
RED: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot,
Pinot Noir, Shiraz/Syrah
INCREASING POPULARITY: Malbec,
Beaujolais, Zinfandel, Tempranillo
WHITE: Chardonnay, Sauvignon
Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling.
INCREASING POPULARITY: Vi-
ognier, Gewürztraminer, Albariño,
The reason these wines have become
so popular is because of their ability to
be grown in many places around the
world and produce quality grapes. The
fascinating thing is that based on where
they are grown or who they are made by,
these wines can taste so different.
(Rant alert) It perplexes me when
people don’t understand the differenc-
es in wine varieties until I realize they
might just be enamored by the image
of wine culture. Maybe they are used
to buying mass production wine and
perhaps bargain wine is their preferred
venue for inebriation. Regardless, bulk
wine pretty much tastes the same in all
varieties and unadventurous drinkers or
people with under-developed taste buds
won’t notice or appreciate the differences
between wine variety, style or quality—
lowest to highest.
The following example of qual-
ity comparison usually works when
explaining taste quality from lowest to
highest—McDonalds (low), Five Guys
(medium), and homemade Bobby Flay
style grilled burgers (high).
Don’t get me wrong. There are some
hidden gems out there. The percentage is
low but many do exist, and there are also
many international wines that are gain-
ing popularity which I will cover in the
It is my insatiable goal to find bargain
quality wines that shine bright and out-
perform medium to high price wines. My
main goal, though, is to explore and find
wines that are so good that they make
me want to celebrate in crazy ways, and
well, you know...
Disclaimer: The Scallion is a vain attempt at hu-
mor and is complete fiction, satire, or rubbish if
you prefer. Any resemblance to any person or
rodent either living or dead is completely coinci-
dental... So there!
If you’ve made it this far down this piece of liter-
ary banality, I assume you’re either really bored or
trapped on your toilet without your smart phone...
Good luck with that.
NORM DE PLUME
2 Groundhog Day
7 Super Bowl 50
9 The Daily City Food Truck Bazaar 5-8 p.m . at Lake Nona Town Center
10 Ash Wednesday
14-20 Random Acts of Kindness Week
14 Valentine’s Day
15 President’s Day - Schools are closed
19 Harlem Wizards at Lake Nona Middle School
21-27 National Engineer’s Week
24-26 2016 Lake Nona Impact Forum
13 Tour de Cure at Lake Nona
26 Pig Run of Lake Nona
10 Healthy Kids Running Series 5 p.m. at Lake Nona High School
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Thursdays from 6 - 8 p.m.
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FROM THE CELLAR
WITH MARK MENJI
26 FEBRUARY 2016
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