Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Madness

I have about 10 unfinished posts sitting in limbo: uninspired, unfocused, drunken louts stumbling into the night's air, seeking the next bar after all the bars have closed.  These posts are half-complete; blog versions of Return of the Jedi Death Stars.  Where the metaphor falls apart (as they so often do) is in the fact that these posts- unlike incomplete Death Stars- are not able to destroy planets.  Planet destructing ability is the Waterloo to so many potentially great metaphors...

So, left with an inability to put cohesive thoughts together, well, for the past 3 months, I decided to default to the only reasonable alternative:  turn on Iggy & the Stooges' Funhouse (at a reasonable volume... there are kids in the house, for pete's sake), drink not one, but two La Croix flavored sparkling waters, and just start writing.  Whatever comes to mind.  Death Stars?  Really?  I dunno, but it came to mind.  Just put something down on paper so that I can jar something meaningful loose.

And who the hell is Pete?

Call it stream-of-consciousness, I suppose.  Every writer (term used extraordinarily loosely) gets his William Faulkner moment.  And not that I'm trying to compare myself to Faulkner.  How could I?  I never understood a damn thing he ever wrote.

And then, there is wine.  That's why we're all here.  And by "we", I mean me and a bunch of Russians who accidentally ended up on this site through a search engine because I'm pretty sure I've reference Ivan Drago many times.  Maybe something like Argentine Malbec being the Ivan Drago to Rocky's Cahors.  At the time, it probably made sense.  To my Russian friends:  Ivan Drago was a fictional character, but I still toast you.  Nostrovia, comrades!  And if that toast is too Anglicized, then На здоровье!

photo credit:
While we're toasting, let's talk about wine.  First thoughts about wine that come to my head:

That didn't work.  This stream of consciousness thing is tough when your mind is a complete blank.

Anyway, go drink some wine.  It's good.  Made from grapes.  Vitis vinifera, which translates to "wine grapes".  I'd ask a Latin-speaker to confirm that, but they're all dead.  At least the real ones.  Not the posers who teach it in high school and tell buyers to beware.

The end.

Or, perhaps the beginning.  Of what?  I have no friggin' idea.  Bear with me here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Grill Instinct

I've beckoned Spring's call.

Not to exercise.  Or to do yard work.

Spring awakens the animal kingdom's instinct to procreate.  Me?  I've been married 5 years, so that part of my endocrine system is long dead.

But I have another undeniable need:  to grill.  To put food atop fire and make it tasty.  Do you?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Best Wine for the Moment

I'm a snob.  Particularly when it comes to sparkling wine.

Not much of a secret, really.  I write ranting posts like this one.  I've yelled at family members.  Things like, "it's not Champagne, dammit!" have burst from my lips... words before thoughts, it seems.  Never do I intend to come off like a pretentious jerk-ass.  It's sort of a bubbly version of Tourette's.

Furthermore, I find myself- inadvertently- turning my nose at most big California producers.  For no good reason.  I guess I just want to put my dollars towards something obscure, with little financial backing or marketing.  Maybe I'm just cheering for the underdog.  The small market team.

To summarize, when it comes to bubbly, I have no verbal filter, and an animosity towards capitalism.  Guess that makes me the sparkling wine equivalent of Steve Heimoff talking politics on Facebook.

So, why did I find myself purchasing, opening, and drinking this bottle on Saturday?

Domaine Chandon is a Napa Valley-based (Yountville) sparkling wine producer owned by Champagne giant Moët & Chandon.  They produce nice, serviceable sparkling wines that retail around $15-20.  That is to say, wines that- due to my hubris- I tend to avoid like half-priced sushi.

But sometimes, the bottles we would normally never choose are the absolutely perfect selections for the occasion. My wife and I drank this Saturday morning in some mimosas (sans the orange juice) to kick off our five year anniversary.  Chandon was one of the wineries we visited on our honeymoon in Napa.  The pink-tinged bubbly, a Blanc de Noirs (meaning "white from blacks", indicating it's a wine made entirely from "black" grapes:  Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), was rich, satisfying, and a spectacular way to remind us of the joy of the simpler times.  Back then, we didn't carry the obligations we carry now, and I certainly didn't give nearly as much a damn about what we were drinking.  

At that particular moment in time, there was no wine more appropriate than a Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs.  It will always share an emotional connection with me.  Basking in the afterglow on a pleasant April evening in the Napa Valley, I sipped with my new best friend for life... completely oblivious to how much of a snob I would become.