Thursday, May 3, 2012

ZZ Riesling: Chateau de Motorik

To celebrate the Royals 3-2 victory over the Tribe yesterday, I tried a riesling at Cornucopeia, one of the local pubs. (We had dinner with Denise and Debbie from OSLC.  Debbie told me there is a sequel to Justin Cronin’s The Passage, coming out this Fall. Debbie is a Padres fan, disillusioned at the moment.)  The riesling was sweet, easy to drink, low acid, apple-y.  I liked it but it was kind of a Sex In The City breezy wine, on yet another crappy, cold, not-Spring rainy May night in The Willamette Valley, prescribed vitamin D capital of the universe.  The perimeters of my taste are still pretty wide open, just learning the difference between a riesling and and sauvignon blanc; the difference between two or three different rieslings is another level.  But this riesling I would say was a cheery, convivial, easy-drinking riesling.  Tony Randall would drink this while playing casual, upbeat non-competetive badminton.  And it went alright with a BLT and sweet potato fries.  But then what does NOT go well with a BLT and sweet potato fries? 

At home we tried a Bordeaux blend from M.O.C.  It was nice.  We had a conversation about whether or not the sense that you can taste dark minerality and austerity in a nine-dollar Bordeaux is due to the label and the place and to marketing, or to old vines, old acreage, old mojo.  In my imagination, at least, a Califorinia pinot noir is juicy and fresh and up front but doesn’t have old world darkness or subterranean feel to it.  But that could be my imagination going wild, influenced by the elegant pencil sketch and the name on the label: Chateau De ________. 

I’m still curious about a bottle of wine (also a Bourdeaux blend) I had while Tracy was in Hawaii.  It tasted almost dank, and I wondered if the bottle had turned, or was I just tasting the feel of two-thousand year old cellar?  Was it bachelor week blues?   I’ll always wonder.  It makes sense that if you get a couple hundred bottles of wine over a few years, you might get one that was poorly bottled and funky, or undone by stray bacteria.  But this funky was a floaty, cool, pungent funky--I liked it.  The wine was like standing halfway up the old farmhouse cellar stairs with cool air below and hot sunshine above.   It was Chateau De _________.

I recently got a new laptop.  Instead of transferring my Itunes library over from the old one, I loaded it up with stuff from a Dave Snider thumb drive.  One thing I have to note: old ZZ Top.  Damn.  That stuff is impossibly cool.  And if I were a producer and wanted to teach a young rhythm section what a rhythm section can do by playing together, I'd put on one of these.  These records are thirty-five or forty years old and still as wicked as a Sandy Koufax curveball. 

This might be a reach, but I'm also listening to Neu!  If you took a ZZ Topp intro groove and looped it, it might sound a little like Neu!  It just makes you want to motorize.  And there's nothing to it.  It's just guys playing in sync at a regular volume, and kicking ass.

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