Monday, January 23, 2012

A Gertrude Stein wine

Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet and art collector who is notable for the quote in Everybody's Autobiography, speaking about the city of Oakland, that "there is no there there". The quote has been much discussed over the years as to its' meaning but I think I found the basis for it the other night over dinner.

Sunday was a hectic day, I worked very late Saturday night and as a result wife and daughter attended the Sunday Soccer Mass (0-2 if you're keeping score) and with a hectic week on the horizon I did a mad dash around in the afternoon grabbing provisions, including wine for Sunday dinner. The meal was simple roast chicken so almost anything would suffice wine wise but at the Mothership I was persuaded to purchase a newly listed Spanish red Laya 2009 . The wine seemed to fit into my wheelhouse, I'm a fan of Garnacha and Monastrell, and at $14 wasn't going to break the bank, so I grabbed it and popped the cork just before serving dinner .

The wine was stunningly indifferent, it wasn't bad, it was just blah. It was a Parker wine with lots of fruit and soft, soft tannins and it certainly wasn't offensive but it was the equivalent of drinking puppies, I mean puppies are cute and all, but after awhile you want to be left alone and the damn puppies just won't let that happen. The Laya was soft and warm and inoffensive, there was red fruit and a touch of leather but there certainly wasn't any Spain, I mean close your eyes and the wine could've been Australian, Chilean, South African anywhere..........there was no there there.

Much is made in the wine business about terroir, that character of a wine that ties it to it's place and it is a vital part of what makes wine drinking enjoyable. This wine had no terroir, no sense of place no there. It was well made, it was pleasant and if I never had it again I'd be fine with that .

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