Wine BLAHging with Carlito Caz'zate - Wine Personalities

Jul 20, 2009

I’ve been reading Roberto’s entries and he’s not half bad. I gotta admit, he knows his stuff. But what is all this poetry and waxing pretty about grapes? Come on, wine is wine, right? I like a beautiful bottle like the next guy. Barolo or Barbaresco, yeah, I’ll buy them and drink them but you won’t hear me talking silly. They pass through me, they come out the other end, it was beautiful for what its worth so what’s the big deal?

And don’t get me wrong, I love my opera and poetry (that’s one thing Roberto and I have in common besides wine) but there is no ‘svelte echo of licorice’ here or ‘gamey chocolate heaven’ going on when I take a whiff or sip. No way. Screw that.

Wine tastes good; I love a good bouquet. So here’s what I have to say about some wines. (I am going to borrow a page from Roberto though - check out his June entry on The Cinderella Story of Carmenere - and I hope he’s honored - if not, his loss.)

My pal believes wines have personalities. Sometimes you like a wine because, hey, you’re in the mood. But personality? For me, Carlito, it’s more like characters in my life and some I’ve just read about. (Yeah, dufus, I’ve picked up a book now and again…) Here’s how I see the famous wines of the world.

Barolo - is the wine version of your drunken uncle at the family reunion. He’s a miserable bastard, smells like tar and roses because of some cologne he’s been wearing for years and smokes like a chimney. Once he’s stewed, don’t even bother. He ferments, then bitches about his ex-wife. But give him a couple hours away from the bottle, then you can hack him. Before that, he’ll rip your teeth out. Still, a beautiful guy and God love him.

Barbaresco - is the aunt version of your drunken uncle but tends to take a nap after she’s had a bit too much to drink. Less miserable, too. She’s good for a couple of hours, likes to show you embarrassing pictures of your cousins. She’s a lot of fun and still pretty in an older-aunt kind of way, sophisticated but sometimes ornery.

Bordeaux - is the guy you knew in high school who was the class president. A jock, too and tends to be an ass to be around. And the sad thing is, you know, he got successful after school so you kind of hate him even more because if he’d screwed up you‘d feel for him but feel better about yourself. He’s the lawyer at your high school reunion. The women love him but the ironic thing is – sorry ladies - he’s gay and only goes home with rich British and American guys, usually from London and New York. (Hey, I feel better about that…)

Burgundy (red) - is a cranky old man who likes to cook. (He is a good cook but not better than ma’s). He’ll recite lines of Baudelaire, Rimbaud and Verlaine, whoever the hell they are, and he’ll talk about beautiful memories of some girl he loved – and lost - in Lyon. Like the way her blonde hair fell on her shoulders, her sun-burned cheeks, and the wild lavender smell of her skin. Watch out, he might start crying so get this poor old fart a tissue. You’ll spend hours with Burgundy and you won’t forget him.

Burgundy (white) - is a cougar. She’s on the prowl, wants only young men and likes to climb trees. Loves to watch Sean Connery in the old James Bond films. Give her a martini and she wants to go dancing. She can smell like peaches and honey or she can be steely. When she goes swimming, this crazy bitch doesn’t wear a bathing suit.

Napa Valley Cabernet - is the famous actress that won’t come out of her trailer. Throw money at her and give her time, she might get going. She likes to think she’s European because she uses a cigarette holder, but she’s not. She’s usually from Iowa or Michigan and only has status because of the company she keeps. Someday, she might have the class of a European but for now, she’s good at being beautiful and nice to look at in a bikini, but that’s as deep as she goes. Throw more money at her and she can act her way out of a paper bag.

California Chardonnay – You ever see a fancy car or a big SUV with a blonde chick in the passenger seat? That’s California Chardonnay. Every rich guy has to have the pretty token girl on his arm (lots of silly-cone here, if you know what I mean). She’s over-tanned, she’s got lips like a trout and she shouldn’t talk much because she’ll embarrass herself and the company she keeps. Not much upstairs but you still gotta have her.

German Riesling – (I know this is Roberto’s favourite wine so I’ll go easy.) Yeah… Actually, I’m not going to say a thing. I’m already on thin ice. Maybe next time when’s he not looking.

Barossa Shiraz - Imagine what would happen if a Frenchman from the Rhone Valley went to Australia and learned to surf. He’s the body builder/carpenter, the easy-going guy with the tan. He’s smart, sophisticated but rustic, too. He’s alright. The women love him and he’s not gay. Trouble is, he doesn’t know how to use spices so he just dashes black pepper over everything (and I mean, everything) he bar-b-ques and cooks. He also likes to eat blackberries picked from the bushes (all part of his ploy to get women thinking he’s sensitive).

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc – is the girl you knew in college who spent a year abroad in France but when she came back, pretended to be more French than the French. She’s really pretty, a little over-the-top, talks louder than your friends, likes salads and when she pronounces words like resume or déjà vu, she squeezes the heck out of her vowels. And oh yeah, she really, really likes green peppers. (I mean what is that all about?)

What am I forgetting… oh yeah…

Port – is the rich uncle you never see, except at Christmas. He always brings everyone too much chocolate but can be cheap, too. He’ll buy you a nice sweater but won’t give you money. He’s been everywhere and loves Britain, even pretends to be British and speaks with a weird accent you can’t figure out. You can only take so much of him before you get a headache.

Sherry – is the rich aunt who pretends to be poor. When you go to her house she offers you almonds and sometimes she smells like nail-polisher remover. You see old pictures of her around her house. Also pictures of Spain, Italy, England, the places she’s traveled. God, she looked like Sophia Loren and you think in some sick twisted way, if I was twenty when she was twenty, yeah… no… I won’t say it. But yeah, I’d get with her.

And oh, I can’t forget…

Chianti – Do you remember the girl in high school that slept with everyone (there are more of these at a Catholic high school)? But you know what, she’s still hot, she’s divorced, pulled herself together and living the good life, here, there, everywhere. She’s my kind of girl. She’s got standards now, so watch it. She’ll still take you for a ride if you’re not looking. A lot of fire under that hood. You can take her to Paris or the pizzeria; she’ll wear sneakers to the beach or stilettos to the opera. She’s a wine for all seasons and all loves.

See you next time. Maybe.



Black Harvest July 21, 2009 at 8:12 PM  

Hey, Carlito. WE love you even if you are a pain in the butt, a misognyist and even a misanthrope. But you are colourful and alive, like a robust and tasty wine newly poured from a virgin bottle. Keep Robert human and we will keep returning to see what crazy exploits you've gotten yourself into.
From your loyal fans, Gil and Liz Roy

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My focus is mainly on wine culture, history and education. I love the stories behind wine - the people, places and the regional personalities of the wine-countries around the world.

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