Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tales of the Impertinent and Presumptuous

Taking a cue from a discussion on Dining@Large about bacteria, saliva and bottled water I found this poem, which features Pinot Noir and saliva in a tasteful fashion.  Did you ever notice that you can't taste your own saliva?  Yet there it is all the time.  Just like cable TV - you really only appreciate it when you don't have it.  

Pinot Noir makes Rainer Werner Fassbinder happy.


An Impertinent Vintage with a Presumptuous Aftertaste

Picture this … sings Frank
     in this …  52nd floor …   big view lounge 
                where conventioneers finger tap 
       Bud bottles to Sinatra.

Tactless Pinot Noir in a liberal goblet,
warm & red, sheeting over my tongue, leaving 
a quilt insinuating foreign saliva.

Peculiar to this wine tonight, never 
before with a Cabernet, Chianti, 
Merlot, or Beaujolais, this flash of a kiss
of immoderate familiarity and moisture.

It rouses a memory strong but attached
to no mouth or face I recall.   Struggling 
to place the taste of anyone’s saliva 

while bearded business drunks,
“I used to be Irish!”          repeat everything, “If he don’t, I will!”

       “I used to be Irish!”      twice      “If he don’t ...”
twice and       “You bet Bob!”                           “... I will!”

try to place it, but no reference point,
no saliva standard, can’t fix the taste
in my own            “You bet!”     mouth     “Bob!”    mouth.
                                                                  End up
guzzling Pinot Noir memory scanning
for a tiny overflow of saliva from 
under her tongue, she maybe had
to be home early for a watching father 
or husband or job, maybe could stay out all night.
                                                                       But I doubt it.




While we're on the subject of Pinot Noir, why not pull out the monologue from Sideways?  I think that he might be talking about more than just grapes.  

 So nervous beardy guy in pain, why are you so into Pinot Noir?

Uh, I don't know, I don't know. Um, it's a hard grape to grow.  As you know.  Right?  It's, uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early.  It's, you know, it's not a survivor like cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it's neglected.  No, pinot needs constant care and attention.  You know?  And, in fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really.  Only somebody who really takes the time to understand pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression.   Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and... ancient on the planet.


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