This probably appears to be a classic case of New Year's resolution blogging, but if that's what you're thinking, let me tell you right now that you could not be more wrong. What actually happened was that over Thanksgiving when I was back in Boston, I ran into a lovely friend from college. Colleen and I hadn't kept in touch but when I heard her joyous, infectious laugh a few tables away and leapt up to say hello, she told me she'd been following the blog and missed my posts. As someone whose writing is seen mostly by people who I literally force at literal knifepoint to click the link literally, this pretty much made my year. I promised her I'd get right back to it. And six weeks later I am honoring that promise due to a new year's resolution I made so yes that is exactly what happened just also there was additional procrastination. This blog is nothing if not a series of gripping true stories full of high-octane twists.
In addition to Colleen's luminous presence in my life, another dear college pal, Kelly, is on an extended visit to LA and I am loving it. In part because she recently brought over a bottle of this cheeky little number and posed coquettishly by my fireplace with it at my insistence.
A fun fact about Kelly: when I asked her if she had anything she wanted me to plug, she said maybe I could have readers donate to the equal justice initiative. You guys, Kelly thinks you're kind and rich! So funny.
Kelly brought over this straightforward, drinkable cab to pair with what I call gourmet cooking (combining two different types of prepared food and adding sauteed kale), sparkling conversation (she ate a toothpick on accident and I laughed for pretty much ever) and the movie Blue Jasmine (put it into your eyeballs immediately, it's great). Its aggressively edgy label (don't let the classic font fool you--that is a swear word in there!) made me ponder what's in a name, making the first person to ever ask this question particularly in this poetic fashion. #1.
Wine naming seems to have two schools of thought: traditionalists and trailblazers. Fancy European wines can be forgiven and even lauded for their traditionalism. Even the not-so-fancy Euro wines that boast flowery language (what I call French) and quaint or stark designs benefit from a traditional name and label; I'm often intimidated into buying them even though "chateau" on a label just means anywhere wine is made, and that can be anywhere. But New World wines have taken the world by storm for precisely their fun-loving, no fuss attitudes. A wine like Fat Bastard embraces this trend and I think other wines would be smart to as well. Since New World wines don't have tradition on their side, a dull label and/or name that doesn't stand out from the crowd, and the uneducated drinker won't have fun plucking it from the bunch. The trailblazers are honoring the tradition of New World winemaking, which is inherently non-traditional.
All this may sound like I'm judging a book by its cover, but that's only because that's exactly what I'm doing. And why not? Wine tasting is all about engaging the senses. That means letting yourself have a giggle when you eye Fat Bastard in the arms of your slender dinner guest. It means jamming a candle into your favorite finished bottle and lighting that delight on fire. It means someone should make a wine called Fuck Buddy and I will buy the shit out of it.
Because Fat Bastard didn't taste like chocolate and caramel and bacon. Fat Bastard tasted like decent red wine with some classic cab aromatics like blackberry and black cherry. But would I buy it? Totally. The bottle is dope. We hear a lot about blind tastings and we scorn marketing, but what if we celebrated the visual it as part of the winemaking process? Two-buck Chuck kicked ass at marketing and we love to love to hate it. Yup, two loves. It makes sense. It makes some sense. Maybe it's the writer in me, maybe it's because I feel like naming wine is the one part of the process I could ever hope to do, but I think naming a wine could be a kind of poetry or even mixed media art, where words and wine collide.
Also, cursing is like my third favorite thing after wine and attention, so it'd be good to see more of it.