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.