Friday, April 18, 2014

2013 Sottano chardonnay classico

Have you ever seen this on your grocery store or liquor store shelves? Perhaps not. It's one of those small-scale, graceful, toothsome wines from a fine maker who sells his product via a small-scale (graceful? toothsome?) distributor. Perhaps even an independent broker, about whom you, the buyer, wonder how on earth does he earn a living just from commissions? 

I don't know how he does, but selling Sottano chardonnay classico (there is also a cabernet, very good*) should help.

By the way I missed the lunar eclipse the other night, although I know what they are like. I stayed up once as a teenager to witness one from start to finish, a good six-hour process as I recall. Eventually the moon does turn a dark reddish color; more than that, it suddenly hangs there in the sky as a small three-dimensional object; you have the strange sense that now it is its right size, and that you could reach up and pluck it down. Then the shadow passes, the red tinge lightens to a yellowy ochre, and finally the moon emerges as usual, the bright flat little klieg-light disc that bloats and thins with a certain smug trickery from one month to the next. Very early in the morning these past few days it has loomed very large, glowing above a dark brown-ochre spring landscape that looks as if it was painted for the cover of an old Gothic novel: a mass of dim dark interlaced trees, the dark stubby feathered grasses of a dim sepia brown meadow, in the middle distance the dark block of sepia milk-washed air itself. A few last stars vanish, it seems, even as you look at them. The robins sing, timidly. They seem to be not quite sure the ghastly winter is over. The morning star, which I suppose must be Venus, glows in the east. Look as you may, you can't seem to find firm blazing and wintry Orion any more.

Lord Byron puts it well, don't you think? -- and even talks a bit about food and wine, too. We here at Pluot are very fond of opening great books at random. Here is Don Juan (Canto the Second, CLXX).

While Venus fills the heart (without heart really
Love, though good always, is not quite so good),
Ceres presents a plate of vermicelli, --
For love must be sustain'd like flesh and blood,
While Bacchus pours out wine, or hands a jelly:
Eggs, oysters, too, are amatory food;
But who is their purveyor from above
Heaven knows -- it may be Neptune, Pan, or Jove .... 

*Retail, about $12.

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