Occasionally, something is just plain awful.
Indie Movie Wines
My daughter was talking about her Entertainment Marketing course, where the instructor was discussing how you make and market a blockbuster (and to be clear, this instructor has done exactly that, many many times over). His advice boiled down to a kind of recipe: X quantity of attractive leads mixed with Y quantity of conflict, Z suspenseful moments, Q amount of contemporary issues, and a plot twist or two to keep you guessing…you get the picture. You’ve probably seen the picture. I have, and often I’ll like that blockbuster well enough. But at heart, I’m more of an indie movie fan; give me a director who can abandon that recipe and push the envelope. Sometimes the result is horrible: Casey Affleck’s A Ghost Story, but sometimes it’s amazing: Lean on Pete, Lion, The Farewell, too many more to name.
The wine world also has blockbusters, wines so famous that even non-wine drinkers are on a first-name basis. Many of them are wonderful. But when I think of the wines that I truly love- the wines that manage to touch your soul- they’re usually the wine equivalent of an indie movie: wines made by someone unafraid to risk coloring outside the lines.
Some of our current favorites: a Chinon Blanc (yes, Blanc!), rich and complex but with near-electric acidity; a pure Petit Verdot grown on red volcanic soils in Lake County; and a tangy-crisp Chardonnay grown on an ancient seabed in southern Sonoma. But my ultimate indie pick this week would be anything from Robert Sinskey Vineyards.
Sinskey exemplifies what we look for in a wine: the vision of an individual or individuals, resulting in a wine from an actual place, made with nothing added and nothing subtracted. The Sinskey wines taste like the grapes they are made from with a strong assist from the vineyards where they’re grown. They also taste delicious.
Maria Helm Sinskey, whose business card reads ‘Chief Cook & Bottle Washer’, stopped by the store last week. The wines were as lovely as ever; the POV Bordeaux-style blend and Carneros Pinot Noir will arrive this Thursday.
They pair well with movies.