The Wine Shop Alternative: Gas Stations

Surprisingly good wines can be found at Seattle gas stations

by Charles Mudede

It’s the most incredible miracle in the Bible: Jesus turns water into wine during a wedding in Cana, a dusty and sunny place in Galilee where he performed his first “signs.” And his very first sign would prove to be his best.

Its distinction has nothing to do with the miracle itself. Save for one thing, turning water into wine could not compete with, say, the resurrection of the dead, such as the daughter of Jairus (Jesus tells her father that she’s not dead, but sleeping), or the curse of death, like the unfortunate fig tree mentioned in the gospels of Mark and Matthew (Jesus was hungry, he saw a fig tree, he walked to it, found it had no fruit, and cursed it, causing it to wither immediately).

What happens is this: Jesus is chilling at the wedding with his mother when it is announced that the party has run out of wine. The party wants to go on, but it can’t do so without wine. It’s a real crisis, because in these olden times, you can’t just make a quick run to the supermarket or even a mini-mart and grab some bottles or cases of wine. There is nothing like that in Cana, or Galilee, or the whole Roman Empire. If you run out of wine, you have to hope a prophet is around, because these are the days of miracles and wonders.

Jesus’s mother knows her son is also the son of God and asks him to do his thing. He reluctantly tells the servants to fill jars with water, which they do. Then he says: “Give it to the governor of the feast.” When the governor tastes it, he discovers it’s not water, it’s wine. But that’s not what makes this miracle more impressive than raising the dead or damning the living. The thing is, the wine is good.

Jesus could have turned the water into okay wine, or at least wine that was as good as the wine served at the start of the party. But that wasn’t his style. His wine was unquestionably good. How do we know? It’s in the Bible. King James version: “‘Every man at the beginning [of a party] doth set forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse [is served,’ said the governor]. ‘But thou hast kept the good wine until now [when everyone is well drunk].'” Can you feel that? There’s no bad resurrection or good damnation, but the miracle of transforming water into wine can be thus judged.

Let’s keep all of this in mind as we turn to the Porter’s at the gas station on Rainier Avenue. Though it has a view of Beacon Hill’s verdant section, which is capped by the monument of modern architecture, the Pacific Tower (formerly the Pacific Medical Center), the location of the mini-mart is unrelentingly unlovely. Its little car wash looks like a car trap, its huge parking lot bakes when the sun is out, and it sits next to a stoplight that always fries the brains of impatient drivers. There are dying and dead signs here and there. You enter the mini-market with the goal of getting out as soon as you can. Gas stations are such miserable places.

But once inside this Porter’s, a miracle occurs (gas stations are, after all, as American as Jesus). Just beyond the checkout is a stack of open wine boxes that are crowned by a sign: “Wine Specials.” Avoid these. All the wine there is bad: Oak Leaf, Sancho, the Naked Grape-cheap crap. Behind this display on the left is where you find the good stuff. One shelf is lined with Chteau Roc De Segur (a surprisingly rich merlot blended with cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc for $5.99), Chteau La Freynelle (a stiff Bordeaux for $10.99-and one that does not taste like the nimble feet of a pretty peasant is stiff), Chteau Haut-Roudier (a Bordeaux that does have a dash of the peasant’s feet for $9.99), and Vieux Papes Blanc (a simple sauvignon blanc blended with crusty chardonnay and a bold ugni blanc for $6.99). All of these wines are more than drinkable. They are respectable.

The reason I often buy wine here is because I like to buy roasted chicken from San Fernando, the Peruvian restaurant that’s across the street. I kill two birds with one stone and then jump on the 7 bus, which takes me home.

Mini-marts in gas stations are the last places to look for wine that’s drinkable. More and more local convenience stores, however, offer a range of good, affordable wines. Plaza Select Foods, near the corner of Madison Street and Boren Avenue, is an excellent example of this phenomenon. Back in the day, convenience stores were all about that 40. These days, you can find all manner of Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese wines. Gas stations, for the most part, sell the same old cheap stuff (Fish Eye, Yellow Tail, Flipflop, Barefoot-the kind of wine you can drink only if you are very drunk). Not at Porter’s: The same French wines are sold at the location on 45th Street and 11th Avenue Northeast, and evidently various other Shell gas stations.

In fact, the mini-market at the Shell near the intersection of 45th Street and Second Avenue Northeast is a full-blown liquor store that features a red wine whose brand will make you the talk of any party: It’s Game of Thrones. It’s not cheap ($21.99) and just a notch below respectable (it has a strong beginning but a weak finish). But it’s Game of Thrones. It’s like blood-the blood of life.

“That wine is very popular,” the mini-market’s attendant told me. “A guy came in the other day and bought two boxes of it.” Maybe he had to rush back to a wedding. recommended

[ Comment on this story ]

[ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]


Oral Hygiene Hacks for the Busy Professional

As a busy professional, you’re always on-the-go and, if you travel a lot, finding a proper bathroom to take time for your oral health and hygiene can be a challenge. And there’s always the odd day when you hit the road in such a hurry you didn’t get a chance to brush, leaving you with that special brand of workplace self-consciousness.

In this article, we will give you some oral hygiene life hacks that will improve your dental health while also keeping up with your busy schedule. This includes not just your traditional ideas of teeth-cleaning, but tricks and tips for your lifestyle as well.

Two-Minute Timed Brushing

Set aside four minutes in your day to brush your teeth. The Waterpik Sensonsic Professional Plus Toothbrush has a two-minute timer that times your tooth-brushing, allowing you to know when your two minutes is up.

That way, you’re not brushing your teeth aimlessly and can work it into your schedule knowing that the timing will be exact.

Bring Floss With You

Floss containers are small and discreet. Even if you don’t have time to brush your teeth after every meal, you definitely can make time to floss. Bringing along a small pack of floss and ducking into the bathroom after your lunch break will make a huge difference to your dental hygiene.

Change Your Snacking

Sugary foods give you a quick energy boost, but they also can do a lot of damage to your teeth. Sugar leads to plaque buildup on your teeth, and if you’re moving through the day without stopping to brush your teeth frequently, that plaque can lead to cavities or worse.

Changing your snacking from high-fructose foods to something that is sweet, but still natural, can be advantageous to your oral health. Put down the gummy bears and pick up some fresh raspberries instead; they are not only better for your teeth, they’re better for your overall health as well.

Drink Through Straws

One easy oral hygiene hack is to drink through a straw.

That minimizes the contact of soda, coffee, juice, and other potentially harmful and discoloring drinks to your teeth. Drinking through a straw is a great way to keep your teeth clean, and it costs next to nothing to do so.

Grab a straw on your way out of Starbucks or next time you’re in the break room. It really does help!

Chew Gum 

Chewing gum helps stimulate saliva production, which in turn helps neutralize acids that could be lingering on your teeth after you eat. Saliva can also help prevent the buildup of bacteria in the mouth that can cause bad breath or oral diseases. Gum can also help dislodge food trapped between teeth, which can encourage the growth of bacteria and acidity.

Make sure that the gum you chew is sugarless and not filled with dyes and coloring, as that could do more harm than good and stain your teeth.

Preventive Care

If you know you’re going to be going on a long business trip and it’s been over half a year since you’ve had your last cleaning or check-up, it’s probably high time you scheduled a visit with a local dentist like Premier Smile Center in Fort Lauderdale. Preventive care will help make sure that you don’t have any problems that need to be taken care of before you leave, giving you peace of mind.

Try to meet with your local dentist regularly, as a rule, at least every two to four months. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Dry Out Your Toothbrush

If you’re packing to go, you might want to put your toothbrush into a container. This is understandable, as you don’t want your toothbrush to get dirty in your suitcase.

However, you also need to make sure that you allow your toothbrush to dry out after you use it. Otherwise, bacteria may build up on the bristles and cause problems. Allowing your toothbrush to dry before storing it away will improve oral hygiene.


Hopefully, these on-the-go tips have helped you get some ideas as to how to maintain your oral health and hygiene while also keeping on top of a busy professional lifestyle. Expect teeth whitening results within at least two weeks. While it may seem like it takes time, it’s worth it to preserve your dazzling smile.

The post Oral Hygiene Hacks for the Busy Professional appeared first on The Fashionable Housewife.