The babes over at Gonzo Gastronomy probably won’t mind that this post is a bit late but the Negress will bring it to their extremely wandering attention. This is an easy task since the best wine does play melodies in your mouth. Think of the fruit as a soaring melody, a bit of oak as a percussive accent and the balance of acid and tannin as the skilled hand of the orchestra’s conductor. If the melody becomes overpowering, you have cloyingly cheap sentiment. Too much percussion and there’s a headache coming because you can’t hear anything else. If one section of the orchestra sticks out, the conductor is clearly not paying attention.
OK. The writer and the metaphor are exhausted. While the Negress loves contemporary composers and the work of the American Composers Orchestra, recent events have persuaded her that her wine needs to rock. No, we’re not talking a lot of minerals on the palate. We’re talking leather pants, drinking too much, singing loudly and thrusting a lighter (or a cell phone if you’re younger than the Negress) into the air. To celebrate her ongoing obsession with the LA band Airborne Toxic Event (all Don DeLillo fans are permitted to smile here), the Negress cracked a bottle of 2004 Trentadue Petit Sirah. Before that, she been keeping time with docile, agreeable whites, the kind of wines you bring home to Mother. The Trentadue is as mannered as Mikel Jollet’s writing, but you could easily see it drinking too much and calling you too late. The worst part is, you would answer the call, put on clothes, and head over there even though you know better. Petit Sirah is an indie rock kind of wine, shyly staring at the stage, leaving the bravura to emo and metal. But, like the Shins, a good Petit Sirah can change your life.
While the Trentadue is excellent company, we stocked our wine equivalent of our Ipod with some different kinds of tunes. We have some 2005 Bordeaux waiting for the end of the world, and we swore we would not buy more wine since we are moving in a couple of months. But our favorite wine store only had two bottles of this insanely fabulous wine from Montsant made by a girl winemaker, 2007 Can Blau, which reminds us of Elvis Costello and XTC for its spiky smarts. We have the six years of the Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, which is like having a Metallica boxed set (Metallica is the perfect metaphor for Cali cabs. Big stuff, no?), some Chilean and Argentinian favorites including a Sauvignon Blanc where part of the sales prices goes to health care for the vineyard workers. In my everyday life, I can’t live without Calle 13 (all right, ellos son de Boricua, not South America) so having some everyday wine with a Spanish accent seems righteous.
Other things have happened in the month since the last WBW and we’ll have posted about all of them by Monday.