Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

Last night's choices

2001 Zinfandel York Creek Late Picked, Ridge, $28

What the heck, I figured, might as well open something expensive for no particular reason. Back in the 1970s, there was apparently a fad for late harvest ['late picked' in Ridge's parlance] Zinfandel. If you leave the grapes on the vine, they'll start getting an awful lot of sugar in them, which means that any wine you make out of the grapes will - if you ferment all the sugar out of it - have a ridiculously high level of alcohol, say, 18%.

Now, this particular wine fad has pretty much gone away, but there are still folks out there who do it on occasion, either because they couldn't get to the grapes in time, or because they just like the style. Now, any wine with that much alcohol is going to be pretty torturous, so people do things to the wine to bring down the alcohol levels. I've got a bottle of Bonny Doon zinfandel that had some alcohol removed using a spinning cone [aka the 'high tech' method], for example [the idea was to get the late harvest Zin taste with a more bearable 14% alcohol level]. But Ridge opted instead to blend a lot of durif into the wine in order to ratchet the alc down to about 16%.

How was it? Well, all I can remember is that drinking this stuff made me feel wealthy, if only for a little while. It seemed blatantly obvious that this was made from an awful lot of good, expensive, high quality grapes. Would I choose this particular wine again? Probably not, given the price. But I was happy to be able to try a bottle of it.

John Sayles, Lianna [1983]

Call me shallow but I was taken aback by the lead actress's very very Canadian accent. [I kept waiting for Mr. Boogalow to pop up and start tittering on about Moose Jaw - although Lianna's actually from Alberta, not Saskatchewan.] I was also shocked to see Chris Elliott in this movie. Who knew?

Anyhow, if you're not familiar with this movie, it's one I'd heard about ages ago, usually described as "that lesbian movie nobody went to see." However, it struck me that the movie's about practically everything but lesbianism per se. This was pretty fascinating, even if obviously low budget [distractingly so] and not well preserved [again, distractingly so]. To me, it was ultimately about the difficulties involved whenever you act on your desires before fully thinking through the consequences of your actions. There's a lot of unexpected, uncomfortable material in this one, but it does seem to hang together pretty well.

Best line in the movie: "Just because you can argue better than I can doesn't mean you're right."
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