Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
A little less than a happy high
Diversions for a troubled mind.
53 comments or Leave a comment
transcribe From: transcribe Date: November 19th, 2004 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: okay, but recommend back...

oh i'll have to grab Midnight's Children... thanks!
that cheese sounds winner too.

i've suspected that brits, scots, & irish are limited in the area of wine, but it's only a suspicion. tell me how fore-front they seem to be so i know how well i can take my act on the road.

let's do this the right way:
what do you like in wine? what do you like to taste? rustic & earthy, or vibrant and powerful? dry? highly acid? tannic? what did you drink when you were at home?

(i'd love to read what you wrote about Molloy... do you have any good poets to recommend? modern ones? also, how do i overcome my serious fear and distaste for most modern writers???)
tigermilkdrunk From: tigermilkdrunk Date: November 19th, 2004 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: okay, but recommend back...

Yeah, we pretty much suck over here. Lots of plonk, specifically Australian and New Zealand plonk. The French wines that make it over tend to be overall terrible; the emphasis tends to be on blends that go with anything, rather than wines of special note. There are good things to be found, obviously, at the right liquor stores and restaurants, but most people drink absolute shit.

Which is, admittedly, what I tended to drink: half of my wines came from Trader Joe's. But, for what I prefer (not necessarily at the same time): rustic and earthy (but not musty), relatively dry, not too acid, highly tannic. I guess I like wines with sharp attacks but long finishes. And I don't particularly care about bouquets.

Oh, I was mainly writing about masturbation in Joyce and Beckett as it relates to modern conceptions of self. Typical grad-school gobbledegook. Um, modern poets... I really like Michael Longley these days (Snow Water is awesome). I've been reading a lot of Ashbery, and like some of his stuff, though certainly not all. Paul Muldoon, too, and Philip Levine. Yes, these are all absolutely ancient men. Kathleen Jamie and Meg Bateman are young Scots (or middle-aged, at least), who sometimes say great things, but who can also be a little twee. Iain Crichton Smith is dead now, but really amazing. Fairly modern, though...
Read constantly, I guess? Or I guess the question is, what is it about modern writers you dislike? I'm not, for instance, a big fan of modern fiction, but it's still the bulk of what I read, because there are moments of wonder in everything... But if there are specific qualities you're looking for, I'll see if I can make a recommendation (or, I suppose the opposite question is, what is it about nonmodern writers you do like?).
transcribe From: transcribe Date: November 19th, 2004 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
"I don't particularly care about bouquets."
next time i'll just give you the daggers and let you stab me in the heart.
i won't say anything else, but that you are missing half the experience...

okay so based on what you are saying, i have 2 recommends:
1) italian. especially Super Tuscans (blends usually including Cab. Sauv. which will get you the body and tannins you want). they're huge, they'll assault your mouth, they are generally rustic with some fruit... think Cali. Cab. done old world style. and for that matter, i'd recommend more Italian varietals. (now, before i continue, note that italy, and spain, are my two wine-knowledge weak points... i don't care for them so i don't learn about them much, but still...)

Italy has over 3,000 grape varietals which is absolutely insane, and why it's hard to really differentiate many Italian wines. however, Italy is currently trying reasonably hard to update their wine image from classic 'table wines' with little unique character, to accentuating what Italy can do right which is rusticity and concentration. Now, Super Tuscans (like their overpriced cousin {in my opinion} the Cali. Cab.) tend to be famously overpriced, but you can find some that are reasonable, and i suspect they'd be right up your alley. here's a good article:
Also, another Italian varietal of note: Barbera d' Alba (i think you'd really dig this). stay away from Chianti and wines considered traditional 'table' wines. one of the most notable Italian wine producers is Antoniori. look for some stuff by him and you may find some more depth-ful Italian wines.

2) now, my friend Justin and i have a saying, "Why would you drink anything else, if you could be drinking French???" i love some new world wines, adore them in fact, but all of the wines that have changed my life have been French. for your palate and taste, I'd recommend red Cotes-du-Rhone. from the south and west of France, Cotes-du-Rhone grows (red) generally, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, and Carignan, and then blends them. mmm. these are big, rich, dirty, spicy wines with high alcohol content. they tend to drink a bit 'barnyard-y' and benefit from being open an hour or two before drinking. think Aussie Shiraz rolled in dirt and silt. one producing region in Rhone i think you may specifically like is Chateauneuf-du-Pape. the key to French wine is to look for "AC" or "Appellation d'Origine Controlee" on the label. what that means is that all of the grapes used in the winemaking *have to come from that region* producing consistency and quality of taste. "AC" is the French system for controlling the winemaking method, land, practice, and permissible yield for each region. it's the rules and shows who plays by the rules and who doesn't. M. Chapoutier is a great starting point for Rhone wines. he's a quality producer who can bottle solid examples of the region's fruit and terroir.

for that matter, Italy has their own system "DOGC", so look for that.

if anything i said is confusing *please* ask. it's hard for me to not go overboard and to know what people's base of reference is.

there's always Aussie Shiraz, but i suspect they'd be too forward for you. still, humor me and pick one up.

all of the wines i've mentioned (though i'm less familiar with italian pricing) can be found for between 8 and 20$ per bottle. dunno about euros and pounds and all that. =)

the only thing i ask for is REVIEWS and findings! =)

tigermilkdrunk From: tigermilkdrunk Date: November 19th, 2004 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
As an explanation of the bouquet thing: about two years ago I randomly lost my sense of smell for about six months (though not my sense of taste - don't know how that worked), and since it's come back, it's been really unreliable - I smell things, but not the same way as everyone else, so I distrust it as a sense. Also, while I'm uneducated but have semi-decent taste in the drinking, I'm uneducated and know shit about the smelling aspect... I also, until this year (living with a Kiwi oenophile) rarely had decent glassware.

But otherwise, I will copy down your recs and see what I can do. The last time I really cared (maybe three years ago) I was all about the Haut-Medocs, and then had about six lousy bottles in a row. I have liked the Chateauneuf-de-Papes that I've randomly tried. And I've had one or two Aussie Shirazs which were great, although it was a while ago and I have no memory of what they actually were.
transcribe From: transcribe Date: November 19th, 2004 02:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Part 2...

i'm back-logged on books so i don't know why i'm asking, i guess because i'm back-logged with people who wrote before 1950. i tend to find that in modern fiction the "I"-ness of it, the self-indulgence and self-validation parading behind self-deprecation and self-obsession is nauseating. it's what i hate about modern art and what i happily see slowly changing because of recent and present political strife; it's harder (and therefore a generally more refined process) to study yourself when things aren't going well in your country. i loved Clinton, but he made us 'lazy' as lj user burkean said. for awhile there, Eggers, et.al. it was all just how much more clever and flippant each person could be. fabulous. how... typical. if i wanted to read about the inner neurological workings of person X,Y, and Z, i'd just read psychological case studies. i can think of many movies which embody what i disdain in modern art: America Psycho, Fight Club, and EVERYTHING Kaufman... if you have to tell me you are crazy by painting it in technicolor, i'm bored already. So, I'm looking for something refined, quiet, unassuming, humble, and effective. good *storytelling* as well as character study. something that dares to be gentle and delicate, knowing that in doing so it can be potent and lasting. you know? people with faith in their ability and tools, rather than employing clubs and over-sized hammers...
tigermilkdrunk From: tigermilkdrunk Date: November 19th, 2004 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 2...

Oh, I overall quite agree with you, especially about Eggers, who pisses me off more than anyone since John Barth.
But still, there's Alice Munro and A.L. Kennedy (you really must read 'Original Bliss' if I haven't forced it on you already) to keep me sane.
But this is why I want to write my thesis on Wendell Berry and George Mackay Brown, small, quiet little writers.
Also, not modern, but have you read much MFK Fisher? 50's food writer, best prose stylist we've ever had. "I was really very hungry" (in 'As They Were') is probably the best essay I've ever read (it's about eating a truite au bleu in Burgundy).
transcribe From: transcribe Date: November 19th, 2004 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Part 2...

thank you!!! you understand perfectly of course...
i love wendell berry.
i will take all of your recommendations and run with them. how wonderful!!!
53 comments or Leave a comment