Elepantocetomachia. It’s when an elephant engages a whale in combat––a highly imaginative fisticuffs worthy of today’s Animal Planets cable programming. It’s an undeniably preposterous scenario. Although, if I were to bet, my money would be on the Whale.
It is just as far-fetched to believe you’ll enjoy and wines under dark circumstances. To this, there is no exception. You can open a bottle of [pretentious bottle here] and have it fall utterly short of impression. Why? You’re date across the table could be talking about their cat again. The one with the infected eye. The one that clawed your back up last week while making love. The cat that would be forgiven a hundred times before you ever were.
The slightest apparition of an ill mood can send the wine in your glass afoul. We’ve all been there.
But is it always your mood? “Maybe it was the wine itself,” you think to yourself. A wine is never the same wine, bottle to bottle. There are too many variables when it comes to enjoying a glass from a particular country, a particular region, a particular hermitage, a particular viticulturist, a particular grape. There are an innumerable instances in with your wine, from growth, production, bottling, shipment, and sales that work against it; and only a handful of supposed (wished/crafted) ways in which it can go right
When you open a bottle, and it tastes like its from the brow of Uma Thurman (heaven), that is reason to appreciate it all the more.
But there are bad wines. Sometimes you have them all in a row.
Perhaps it was your palate that was off that night. Perhaps everyone around you was merely lying about their appreciation, their lip-smacking taradiddles––pretentious nonsense. The room may have been too warm; the host was not at all happy to be serving you; you may have had a panic attack coming on, maybe, possibly, for sure; or, really thinking on it, maybe “it just wasn’t a wine day.”
Even Bacchus had to rest, after all.
Wine is the drink of merriment, a mood enhancer. Come into it askew, your bound to come out of it as spun and worn as your Led Zepplin II record.
That said, read the following with the same fallacious presumption that a GOP nom would read an environmental study. Believe nothing.
The March 8th Burgundy Tasting:
2011 Château Charriére Savigny-les-Beane Blanc “Vermots Dessus” – $24
Smells of tarts and smoothness. Agreeable.
Lemon and butter and Clean. An a-okay wine that failed to inspire.
2011 Jaques Bavard Auxey-Duresses “Les Clous” – $32
Smelled like a fish tank that had married HAL 9000.
Tasted like it, too.
2011 Domaine Sylvian Langoureau St-Aubin 1er Cru “Bas de Vermaraian á l’Est” – $37
Some spice hits the nose. Very sweet-smelling.
The wine is way off the mark, I’m afraid. Cloying sweet. Overly acidic. Your not going to have a good time with this wine, much like a blubbering fat kid being thrown down water slide only to become stuck half way down the middle.
2011 Domaine Benoit Ente Chassagne-Montrachet “Les Houilléres” – $70
Smells of garden and peppers. Really, very lovely.
An attack of freshness: green peppers mingling joyfully in the nude with a summer flair. * An utter delight to drink. **
2011 Domaine Delarche Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru – $90
Smelled of dairy and red pepper.
The wine was reaching for something bold, but fell short. The flavors muddled together, a semi-sweet burnt marshmallow.
2011 Château de la Charriére Santenay 1er Cru “Clos Rousseau” – $25
I failed to write a tasting note. I was probably awash with boredom at this point.
2011 Domaine Faiveley Monthelie 1er Cru “Les Champs Fulliots” – $40
A light potpourri nose. Some delicate intrigues.
Light on acid and tannin. Heavy alcohol swallows it’s mysteries whole.
2011 Domaine Mongeard-Mgneret Savigny–lés-Beaunes 1er Cru “Narbantons” – $40
A promising dark chocolate, forest floor and pine smell.
Some hint of breakthrough fruit, but otherwise too volcanic for my taste. Hard to tell what was going on with this.
2011 Domaine Stéphane Magnien Morey-St-Denis 1er Cru “Faconnieres” – $65
A bitter and dark mess. They missed the mark on this. I had to utter out “where they trying to make Bourbon?” This wine may have been a nice drink right after bottling, but now? No. It’s a lost sailor thrown from a cannon fraught frigate.
2011 Domaine Delarche Corton-Renardes Grand Cru – $70
I had to question the sanity of the host after this wine. Why wold they save this for last? To tease our tongues with something sweeter than melting down a box of peeps, adding red food coloring, and calling it wine? A poor show. My tasting note here may be an exaggerated, but the Corton-Renardes lack of appeal certainly was not.
While, not terrible, it is nowhere near as fun as listening to Yanni stone-cold sober.
* My inquisitive companion inquired about the taste to our host. Although she was happy to come across the fresh taset, she was passively informed that this green pepper redolence and linger was nothing more than an indication as to “the wine’s young age and that it should go away soon as it matures” In fact, the host seemed rather displeased with our satisfaction in the “Les Houilléres'” particular qualities. As it soon appeared, he failed to take us seriously after this episode.
** Sad, then. How the green peppers must fall.