Thursday, July 21, 2011

Annals of the palate: the winefloggers are coming

     Charlottesville, Virginia - of all places - is about to furnish accommodation to a national conference of bloggers on wine, complete with a wine tasting on the lawn at Mr Jefferson's house, on a day assured of reaching 100º. One's half a mind to journey to this convention of the industrially occult as a fly on the wall, but these are very nice walls, and at that temperature adhesion can set in, and I don't intend to stay. So one must be reconciled to mingling as the alien any human is, at such swarmings of expertise.

  One hundred degrees, on the Fahrenheit scale, are some dozen above the absolute shutdown of photosynthesis in a vine, itself, and about 40 above the most advanced temperature at which any wine below the alcohol content of Port should be tasted, much less appraised.

  But this is a convening of industrialists, in whom the posture of connoisseurship is as legible in their loafers as in their lowered madras prose of delectation. This junket is not likely to be so distracted by the excuse for itself, as to notice.

  In some 700 postings we have seldom accosted each other here, with digressions on any potable, but wine does appear to our right under Matter, not that fog does not [yes, yes; one knows this doesn't count fog's unheralded appearance]. And who would not rather, among this page's readership, speculate together on the properties of the mist's dear condensation, more fondly than on anything that's bottled? 

  Still, if there should be anything of interest in this meeting, to distinguish it from ordinary chatter at Davos on financial conspiracy, or at country crossroads porches down here on who had spilled his Floris on his hankie overnight, then we might send a synopsis to the editorial committee for a ruling on its posting here. We might, but we might also heed these madras warnings and stay away.

  But is a digression of this conjectural nature any cause to abandon our consideration of the next tummy? One should very greatly hope not; and so much so, in fact, that without hesitation the editors have posted, atop this note, some of the most impeccable abs to hammer themselves into the vanishingly taut skin of a vessel of delight since Hephaestus faked a boybelt for Achilles. We know better than to suppose there's a vogue for silver, anymore, with blogging raising the ante past the conceits of the Sun King; but this is a blog about tummy, dearest darlings, and it will see those stale doubloons and raise them parallel gadroons of swirling light.

  Who knows? Ours is a natural world, after all. It might rain at this thing, ushering the whole mob into the servants' quarters - much the loveliest, in their bunkered ranges and fixtures of unquestioned authenticity. And the wines, having all been madeirised in their sojourn in the sun, might make a merry spread for our supper's toast.

  Batik and teak wine service is incongruous around here, but nothing slips the taste of the traveled palate, and no tincture has been spurned in heat prostration. Just when have madras warnings ever been known to be a match for clash, incarnate, that natural lightness of head to be endured as one sleeve extends handshake to another? The scene unfolds as we speak: a lawnful of champagne flutes with pretty straws to slurp tartaric precipitates from the stem; in brief, a native style of travesty at that.

i  Tastevin, Tiffany & Co.


  1. One hundred degrees, on the Fahrenheit scale, are some dozen above the absolute shutdown of man's ability to sip -and then he slurps- and slips and drips into the stem.I do hope you made a show anyway-and in madras-hum, that is the bigger question?

  2. I did! Who could not? One loves the house, and that side ("the nickel" side) is so graciously scaled for giving structure to a stroll in the gardens, that I just bit my tongue and remembered Vidal's spoof of it in "Burr." As to madras, no; in the true spirit of épater les bourgeois I wore a blizzard of Lacoste checks in long-sleeved broadcloth and, even worse, button-downed. That said, the madras alert was not ill-founded in the least.