Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Poetic tasting notes

Jim Harrison's latest piece in Kermit Lynch's August Newsletter, entitled Vin Blanc, was a real treat to read. The novelist and poet has to reduce his consumption of red wines due to health reasons and is therefore discovering the flavors of white wines.

When Kermit Lynch sent him a case of whites to sample, he “felt immediately trapped by the ineffable mystery of taste.”, and then added: “So this case of varied white wines trapped me both in my own limitations as a writer and in the rather obvious limitations of language itself. I make countless aesthetic decisions when composing a novel but am far less comfortable making critiques of the work of others.”

Nonetheless, can you find anything more eloquent than these little gems of tasting notes?

Domaine de la Tour du Bon 2004 Pretty good but a little sweet for my taste. Acceptable on a warm twilight watching birds from our patio in Patagonia, Arizona. One of the thousands of wildflowers I can't name even though I like them all. Naturally had to open a red for the rather musky buffalo shank stew I had made for dinner.

Philippe Faury Saint Joseph 2004 My father was an agronomist who with eyes closed could name the weeds and grasses he smelled. Naturally I can detect a herring egg sandwich when I bite into it. In this wine I can taste the stones of the Rhone Valley. The place suits me and so does the wine.

Ermitage du Pic St. Loup This was also easy because I love the terroir, and had pleasant memories of drinking it in a cafe in the grand square of Montpellier while watching the prettiest woman in France walk by. This wine tastes as soft and pleasant as the back of a girl's knee after she has taken a dip in the Mediterranean. I drank it with the light-breasted scaled quail I had shot, then downshifted to the mighty Vacqueyras, Sang des Cailloux, for the shoulder of wild pig.

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