Sunday, January 18, 2009

Quotable Wine

Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages. Louis Pasteur

I have found a new, rather inexpensive, Chardonnay which is quite drinkable. It's not La Crema but for an ordinary Sunday, it's just fine. It's Pascual Toso 2007, from Argentina. I picked it up because it was around $8.00 at my local wine store. Living in Pennsylvania has meant inferior wines at exorbitant prices. This wine, though, is quite drinkable--oaky and buttery. If you're not into butter or oak, I wouldn't try it. Actually, if you're not into butter or oak I'd either not get a Chardonnay or at least buy French; their Chardonnay does not share California's penchant for oak and butter.

Oh Some are fond of Spanish wines, some are fond of French. John Masefield

French chardonnays are normally called Chablis because that grape is grown in the Burgundy region known as Chablis. This makes me chuckle because when I was growing up, my parents had wine at dinner every night. My mother would buy large jugs (seriously, they were jugs) of Burgundy or Chablis from the grocery store (oh to live in a state without the harsh liquor laws). I can't imagine the wine was any good. Just thinking about it makes me shudder.

It's a native domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption. James Thurber, New Yorker Cartoon

The last time I was in Paris, I brought home a French Chardonnay and tried it alongside a Californian Chardonnay. Both were equally drinkable although quite different in taste.

"Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used; exclaim no more against it." Othello, Act II, Sc. 3, line 293

Burgundies elicit a totally different story. On our honeymoon (which was a "if it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium" type) we popped into Burgundy for some wine tasting. Brian and I settled on visiting Pommard (one of the many villages in the region). To try wine, we found houses that had the sign, "Achats et Degustations" on it, meaning "buying and selling." We knocked on the door, were invited into the house, and tried some wines. It's odd to knock on a stranger's door and ask for wine but after one or two, we got used to it.

We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now!
Withnail and I (1987 movie)

At the end of the day (and it was a long day), we stopped at Christophe's. Christophe had several wines for us to try that day. He poured himself not a tasting, but a half a glass of wine to ensure it's quality. Then he poured the same amount for Brian and me.

In water one sees one's own face; But in wine, one beholds the face of another. Old French Proverb

After the third glass, Christophe wanted to have a conversation and after a day of trying wines, so did Brian. Only Christophe did not speak English and Brian did not speak French. I speak both but I am half the size of Brian and I had matched him glass for glass for the entire day.

For when the wine is in, the wit is out Thomas Becon

Three sheets to the wind, I tried to translate between Brian's musing on the particular Pinot Noir we were drinking and Christophe's advice for all Americans. Their insights turned to first-grade drivel as I tried to translate and ended up saying, "um, uh, he likes the, uh wine, yes?"

Good times!

Days of wine and roses laugh and run away, like a child at play. Johnny Mercer

Isn't it funny how wine can start a story you hadn't meant to tell in the first place? No worries, I've got more where that came from. Stories, I mean.

Quickly, bring me a beaker of wine so that I may wet my mind and say something clever. Aristotle

Well, actually, wine as well.

Stay tuned, unless of course you order the Merlot...

"...if anyone order Merlot, I'm leaving. I'm not drinking any fuckin' Merlot."Sideways

It's not that I don't like's that I just love that movie.


  1. Since you enjoy movies AND wine, have you seen the movie Bottle Shock?

    Saw it on a recent flight and it was interesting...not a stellar movie by any stretch, but it helped to pass the time and gave me some insight into the beginning of the California wine success stories.

  2. I haven't seen it yet but thanks for reminding of it because I did want to see it when it came out and I forgot about it.