Thursday, March 03, 2005


This is a sans-vintage Greek Retsina. If features a pop-off ferrous cap, duo-tone label, and the word "RETSINA" molded into the glass. As this is more of an experimental excursion of a decidedly amateurish terrior, I will leave out the usual musings regarding bottle, label, and sealing canon. Though I would like to draw your attention to the startling image of a man being impaled on a giant skeleton key, the metaphor no doubt realating to a peculiarly Greek mythology.
A curious, initial waft of wax moustache/lips, or scented marker is noted. Aside from a minor, frightened treble of black pepper, the bulk of the bouquet (or smell, rather) is reminiscent of any number of olfactory trompe l'oeil. This is apropos, as the wine seems like something one should not put in ones mouth. This is a wine masquerading as a cleaner or as dish washing effluvia. I also could swear it was undergoing some process or change as I let it breath. Rarely does one get a visceral impression that a wine is truly respiring.
There was also something haunting in the nose. It was either too esoteric or advanced for me to pinpoint other than to say it made me think of...well, Idaho.
I did not want to drink this wine, from the label to the nose, to the way the retail sommelier shook her head, I was new this was to be no '77 Gran Mutard d'Alexandre. Luckily I had "Marakesh," from Peace Orchestra (CD, G-Stone G-CD 004) on the Levinsons, and had been drinking Bushmills since 6.
Again the haunting whisper of Idaho.
A selection from my notes:
First sip.... At first no flavor, nothing, the wine is galloping to the sides of my tongue, leaving in it's wake numbness and a musty, almost emasculating regret.
Second....This wine may have shared a prison cell with a poor Juet once, but that is as close as it ever came to anything I might drink voluntarily
Third...rag, dish rag, sleeve, leather, Idaho
I was 27 and working Ski Patrol in Sun Valley Idaho, it was 1987. My friend, an architect that was making a killing setting up vacation audiophile listening rooms, and I had a great set-up in a large chalet not far from the mountain. We were living rent free in exchange for showing the owner, a fairly well known casting agent, a good time whenever he flew in from LA. This usually entailed dragging a bunch of my ski school students over on a Thursday night with the promises of "clouds of coke" and both a hot tub and a pool. On one particular night we had failed to create the requested good time, we had in fact failed even to wake up and clean the house that day. Making matters worse was the hole in the passenger seat of his BMW 633i, put there during a blacked out attempt at using incense to mask pot odors.
As it was, he had always had a thing for me, undoubtedly a large part of why were able to use his chalet. He was pissed, I was wasted, I made out with him. He was 60ish, and he smoked cigars, a habit he attempted to mask with a complicated regimen of breath freshening tools. Thankfully some fireworks started after a few minutes and we all ended up out on the porch to watch. The fireworks lighting up our breath, making us all into winter dragons. I noted a hand print in the snow covering the cedar railing that had turned to ice, ice in the shape of a hand. Winter dragons and frozen people. The owner's hand was grabbing my ass, softly.
I can't drink this wine. It is making me think of all that I have done in order to live what I deem a "rich" life, and my utter lack of real accomplishment despite the opportunity and means I have disposed of. This is a terrible wine, three sips was too many. Dr. L.F. III PhD.


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