Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happy/Sad Cheverny

Supposedly there are more words in the English language than in most other languages. And yet it feels as though we are limited in our ability to discuss some of the more important ideas - there just aren't enough words. I've read that there are over 40 words for snow in one of the Inuit languages. Makes sense - there are many different types of snow and if this is an important part of daily life, differentiating between these kinds of snow, it's natural that different words wold emerge so that people can communicate clearly.

Although there apparently are a lot of words in English, we have only two that I can think of to describe warm feelings towards another person - "like" and "love." Shouldn't there be more than that? Aren't there gradations that we aren't giving efficient voice to? Same with "happy." There are many different kinds of happiness, but we have few words to differentiate here. There is the kind of happy you feel when a puppy bounds up and starts licking your face or the kind of happy you feel when holding a 6 month old baby. The kind of happy you feel when you've stepped inside from a soaking rain, or finally made it through security after a long line at the airport. The kind of happy you feel when you're finished taking a final exam, or the kind you feel when your test results are negative. The kind you feel when you get to the BBQ and open the back door to the yard, see everyone there talking and eating and having fun, and you haven't yet but are about to join the fray. There's even the weird kind of happiness you (or maybe just me?) feel when you are depressed about something, but finally give in and allow yourself to wallow in it in the comfort and safety of your own home - an exquisitely sad kind of happy.

Where am I going with this. A fair question indeed, patient reader.

Well, if a puppy licking your face is Beaujolais Nouveau, I think I've found a wine that for me best expresses the exquisitely sad kind of happy. I'm talking about 2010 Domaine de Veilloux Cheverny Rouge. I opened a bottle a week ago or so and it was really difficult at first, loaded with reductive funk. But there was something accessible in there, a very lovely note of dried roses. The next day the wine retained a tannic edge, but it showed such pretty fruit and floral tones, satisfying kernels of happiness inside of a challenging package.

The wine is a blend of many grapes - Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc, Malbec, Gamay, probably Pinot too and I don't know what else. I do know that the wine is farmed biodynamically and organically and that 2010 is my favorite recent vintage for Loire wine. I also know that it is a selection of Michael Wheeler (a friend of the Dressners and much of the NYC wine world who moved out west) and Michael Foulk - their company is MFW Wine Co. This is a relatively new company, I think based in Portland Oregon, and their book includes some lovely wines that are direct-imported in NYC by David Lillie at Chambers Street Wines. There are some other wines too, things I've not heard of, including a lovely little Barbera called FUSO, made by Walter Massa - it's surprisingly good wine for $13.

Veilloux Cheverny Rouge is an excellent argument for blended red wine, a complex, expressive, and delicious wine, but a wine whose happiness does not come easily. You need to wallow in in a bit first. It sips well on its own, but really shines with all sorts of food. It sells for something like $15-17, and it's worth looking for. I got mine at the excellent Slope Cellars in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Try it, if you're looking for that exquisitely sad/happy feeling.


Metal wine rack said...

It's a delicious wine. Cost wise its also so reasonable.

wine_life_line said...

Nice!! Loire Valley is all too often overlooked!