Easy Recomendations

There’s a weight in my hands, both familiar and endlessly pleasing. It’s the feeling of fasting for a week or removing what may seem to be a pound of dirt off your feet with a scrubber. It’s often associated with giving birth; but I have sisters, many of them, and I would not want to elicit any remonstrations about the possibility of this being a false allegory. I’ve finished a large new document; although finished is a mis nomer due to the realization I have become more entangled with over the years: nothing’s ever finished; it may be more complete than it was before, but there is always more work to be done. Despite longer roads of work ahead, it feels good to have a half pound paper brick off the screen and into the real world. It’s a petite, condensed world; whether or not it exists without being read by someone is up for some debate. I’ve no idea. I only know that it has some semblance of life between my morning tea and coffee, and before cooking dinner after having read it for the umpteenth time––and it still feels right after the fact. It’s not a piece of work that one wants to throw out the window after too much time spent with it. These works I’ve known well, I can’t recall how many papers I took a ponderous delight in burning after they were written and handed in––the old scripts and plays that only reflected back at me how little I know and how far I need to go. Which is exactly the trap of thoughts I can’t garner with a belly full of wine.

So I feel a reward coming on. The clock has two hours to go before we have another (as always) Sunday evening with wine and bread and cheese. A Second’s crawl can be like walking back to shore in sandals, how it fights you along the way. That, or, like being subjected to Steve Winwood’s muzac as you drive into town; your friend proclaiming how it really is deep and is really in touch with the smooth side of her soul. It’s a chore to get through, and you have to make an initiative to speculate on anything and anything else around you to get through it. But a whiff of the bread cooling in the oven finds a way to me, giving an easy bought of energy…which is only a trick from my body, like a cheer to the finish line. A finish line with more bread.

During the writing, the walking, the endless french pressing, the curry making, cheesecake baking, and the sun burning week, we’ve had some bottles. And by had, I mean needed; because no one ever tells you that having no job is much more work than having a job. It is time consuming; it is time spent searching instead of experiencing. If the thirteen-year-old rendition of myself could see me now, I would only be given a vague and contemptible stare––the one that mothers utilize to great effect, “I’m not mad, just disappointed.”

Luckily there’s this unbridled sense of discovery with each new bottle. I do not joke when I say that I want a hate on, indiscriminate from Doctor Jones’ in Raiders of The Last Crusade, while I drink.
7-14-132011 Twisted Wine Old Vine Zinfindel – $8
Skip it.
Dark, looking viscous. A wine you know what you’re about to taste just as you smell it––Like a candy store as you walk on by, as an adult, somehow displeasing to you now. Sure enough, a large volume of sweet that proves only to be more acrid than embracing. Acidity is present, tannins make a short cameo; it all ends without much of a linger. It slips away unnoticed. Not all that pleasing, namely because it’s hard to get through a glass without a thought of apprehension.

2011 Callaway Coastal Cabernet Sauvingnon – $9
A butter and tangerine nose with a good deal of leaf. The wine itself is a lot of fun. It’s sweet without having that cloying, astringent sugar rush-tinge. Really quite pleasant, gushy, full and bright. It skates right down your mouth, being very vibrant all along the way. One tone, but it’s a well rounded one. It’s hard to not like this wine, despite reservations of purple-prose-like vino.

2011 Telmo Rodrígez Toro Dehesa Gago – $35
Deep inky purple. The smell was capricious, just like the taste–which is a great compliment–with notes of light soil and old wood. The wine started off with elegance and finesse. The linger was incredible, “like faded fruit.” With the second glass came the power, the tannins and heavy finish of a large zin; it just opened up. And, later, it calmed down again. Incredible, light and worth keeping in the mouth to study. And so it went on like this until the very last drop. It was most intriguing, evolving here and there. I also tasted what I could have sworn to be pure, dark coca. It was never the same wine from sip to sip. I won’t call it the best wine I’ve ever had, however; it lacked a certain feel of refreshment, even in it’s more elegant state. Still, this is the wine to be drinking. An outstanding achievement that everyone should give a go at. Worth the extra money (by means of our more frugal purchases).

I’d like to note that I will begin posting links to the wines listed here, links to Cellartracker––another recommendation, the likes of you should be using because it’s kind of the perfect little site for wine geeks like us. The reason for this? I have been informed of this thing called the internet, where people click to and type in addresses to get more information about things in which they are told about through mediums such as these, people being generally to strained on time and or patience to search for things themselves. And I am one of them. I hear providing links makes better a use of this strange tool called the internet.

An amazing site, or service, or gem––whatever it is you wish to call it––that I stumbled upon is the Garageiste. It is a site that was heralded by Jon Rimmerman and has been going strong since the early 2000’s. It’s a small family affair with none of the corporate overhead that prevails the wine market we immediately think is associated with the wine we buy. Five days a week, or sometimes more, Jon will send out a newsletter on the wine, or wines, he has a killer deal on. The wines, as far as I can tell, are always recommended because they’re absolute stunners. You can’t buy wine from them directly from the site; you instead have to sign up for the newsletters. It’s a fascinating system: you get great deals directly from vintners as Jon pond jumps, making screamin’ deals along the way; you also get the satisfaction of knowing the wine will be secure, stored properly, and most of all damned tasty. The wines aren’t always inexpensive, but there’s a great deal of $30 and under wines I’m constantly telling myself not to order. But, when the time comes and the income is flowing, I will be ordering from Jon most frequently. Sign up, and be tenacious with your orders! http://www.garagiste.com


You Can Find Out Who You Are (In Under A Week)

Candle In The Wind was a major hit; and I was fascinated upon learning that Elton John was gay. Spice Girl’s Wannabe proliferated and the Back Street Boys were lovingly pouting their lips in all the music videos which my sister watched incessantly, but only because they were playing incessantly on cable––the internet streaming age had not yet burgeoned us. Hanson created a new and simple universal language consisting of only a string of words that meant, literally, anything and everything: “MMMbop. Dap Bah Dewwwap” I remember distinctly praising Meredith Brooks for making it okay to say “bitch” in a normal conversation with my mother, even if only while discussing the sin of the song in question. Savage Garden’s I Want You was really god-damned weird. And that was cool and intriguing, except for when I was with my friends or with anyone else outside the confines of my room; a secret between my mirror (now past, RIP) and I until now. Blur was creating an upswing in great rock with Song 2 that R.E.M. almost provided and Nirvana left behind, just as Bryan Adams came back with Barbara Streisand in tow, only to prove that he was only manageable back in the day, but that was then and there, exactly where he should have stayed put. With respect. Tim McGraw, people were talking about him for some reason. The New Radicals hit the radio waves sizzling with You Get What You Give, which still has air time on a daily basis; in the vernacular of the airways, the world’s largest, longest burning brush fire. And, God in heaven, I still love that fucking song.  Da Dip tried to reinstate a dance craze, only to plummet once everyone caught on to the fact that moving wasn’t all that fun anymore, and eating more fast food than ever was somehow a more fanciful ideal. Sublime was a band still being built like the Tower of Babel in the Southern and Western United States; it’s fall, inevitable and foreseeable. But we got “40 oz. of Freedom” in the end, so something special lived on. There was this group from the U.K., Radio Head, that I couldn’t help but hate until I acquired a proper taste of music years later. I was a late bloomer. Nina Persson gave me my first viable erection, probably, maybe; all I truly remember was their a-mazing song Love Fool, which I still carry a heavy affinity for; this fact is kept far away from anyone I want to have a normal, human, relationship with. Daft Punk made their first appearance in my life. I have to say that my relationship with them has not changed, for, when I listen to their music, I still have a vacant look on my face like I’m trying to make out an impossible image: like a monkey tightly embracing a Chablis, a Chablis with sultry legs, while being photographed by a young Marlon Brando during his experimental stage in life. This post would not be my post without mentioning the fact that I got the M.I.B. dance down pat. This came back to haunt me, but that’s another story entirely. This is ≥ 1997.


The reason I’m thinking of all these old memories is because we recently drank a wine from 1997.

I’m a fan of pointing out my naivete: I truly didn’t think I’d ever be able to afford a wine older than the 2001 Chianti we drank months ago. ENTER STAGE RIGHT –– my twenty sixth birthday.

We’ve only been living in L.A. for a couple of weeks. We were out of wine. We needed to see the city. So we traveled downtown to K&L Wines; which was akin to seeing the Parley Gates for me. I’ve never seen so much Bordéaux within a single location in my life. Most of you are probably guffawing my awe over such a miniscule collection of bottles compared to what you may have seen. But I’m from FUCKING UTAH. Lay off.

Sure, the missus was out to buy me a fine bottle of wine. But I can’t take advantage. I was surfing the aisle for the $35 range of scrumptious beauties; no more, but I could have lived with less. To my surprise, most of the bottles were within budget, which is to say around the $20 range. Many others were not, but I digress. My eye took to the ’99 varietals and under. Shock and awe; there was the 1997 Château Potensac. $35? It was mine. We choose a few more bottles more in line with a budget, all picks I can’t wait to muse on, and much like toaster in a bathtub, we got the hell out of there. I never promised you passable analogies.

1997 Château Potensac – $35
An inky brown in the glass; with very little thinning. Smells of butane, cherry and wet stone and rust. Very dark in the mouth, a wine with a real core. The tannins were soft, yet still noticeable after all these years. There seems to be quite the bold life to it still; you can probably cellar it for quite sometime yet. The wine was screaming, being very hot with a nice soupçon of acidity. There was also a coal and chocolate raspberry finish once a good deal of air got to it. This is not a delicate wine, while not being overly harsh. There’s nothing completely fascinating about the wine, other than its age. I can recommend it to anyone who likes their wine to taste old and intertwined with a mineral essence.

2009 Kiler Grove Winegrowers Grenache – $26
Very sweet, and cloyingly so. It has a general mid palate feel, rather than something more cerebral in the front or back of the mouth. The wine comes off as simple and incomplete, relying far too much on the fruit and sugar, like it’s relaying on a certain kind of wine drinker –– yes, THAT kind of wine drinker. This wine is a big step back in quality compared with their past vintages and varietals from this (Utah based) winery.

Now that these bottles are out of the way, wine night will continue. However it will be delayed. I’m taking a medication that is currently taking my obligations of alcoholic consumption away from me. Apparently I will die if I have a drop of alcohol, either that or have have a very bad case of ankle swelling. It’s now day three. No cheap everyday wines; and our usual, dedicated, wine night on Sunday evening will have to be delayed. This is like my version of Shabat being delayed simply for a menial medical malady. Delays feel wrong, somehow dirty. I’d like to point out I’m not an alcoholic, yet. I just don’t have a job right now because of the big move out here to L.A., thus it feels wrong being a bum without any cheap wine to accompany me on my lonely, long nights writing my scripts and novels. So. Very. Wrong. If this medication doesn’t work, someone’s getting sued.