Attending the Tasting

Maison Fandang Merlot

Unbuttons the tongue. The bouquet includes the calls of wild animals, far off, fur bristling with an electric zip of rubies. Fruit falls from the trees. Violets tremble at the edge of the glass. Accompany with a plump cigar and anything by Balzac. Best served by the goblet.

Daux Semillon

This white is a saint of long silence, ponderous with quince and lanolin. Uncorked, dollops of fog slip from the bottle, flavors tinging the lips with blonde sugar. Cool at first, but turn the lights down a little: a flame is kindling in the robin’s throat.

Chateau Bonmot Syrah

This Syrah enters the mouth like an intruder and bursts into song. Aged in caves, it’s developed a muscular bloom. The chief note is of toast slathered with jam. The high proof makes this a popular choice for slumming, even if it’s just around the back yard. Pairs well with game and all shades of red lipstick.

Rabellais Sauvignon Blanc

A profound, complex white, barren of trickery. It has a linear acidity which hones focus. On the back palate, the rinse goes down with the sob of a solo cello, then trails into a gripping finish. The nose breathes lichen and tin with an undertone of mango, bringing this wine zen spaciousness and balance.

Veuve Seiden Brut

And what is champagne? Woodwinds played outdoors. The feather quilt on the clothesline. Champagne is the rain-trickled taxi that ferries the bride across town. Not the body but the mind. Not the crown but the tiara. Not the prayer but the hallelujah.

About the author

Sarah J. Sloat splits her time between Frankfurt and Barcelona, where she works as a news editor. Her book of visual poetry, Hotel Almighty,…

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Issue 05 · June 2009

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