Fun with Wine (September 5, 2002)
If there were a Humour Olympics, the gold medal in the winery division
would go to Randall Grahm, winemaker and President-for-Life of Bonny Doon
Vineyard in Santa Cruz, California.
Grahm's wine labels are a delight, full of puns and gentle satire. His
Châteauneuf-style blend called Le Cigare Volante (French for "flying
saucer") pays homage to a council resolution of a small Rhône
village prohibiting the landing of UFOs in the vineyards. The by-law seems
to be working because, since its passage, none has.
Grahm weighed into the screwcap debate after a decision to bottle a substantial
proportion of the wines he produces under this metal closure. He gave
the following ten reasons à la Dave Letterman for abandoning cork
in favour of the less romantic Stelvin closure (screwcap).
- 10. Never pay corkage fees again
9. When celebrating significant occasions with one's colleagues (parole,
commutation of sentence), often difficult to locate a corkscrew.
8 "Reverse" chic is just so in.
7. Can begin conversational gambit with waitress with line, "Would
you, er, unscrew my bottle?"
6. Perfect beverage for clothing-optional events.
5. Will never fall for the old "left-handed" corkscrew gag
4. Hard to find corkscrews down by the railroad tracks.
3. Extremely humorous back-label can be pressed into service at occasional
lulls in the conversation.
2. You can no longer be accused of being a cork sniffer.
1. You will never again experience the heartbreak of 2,4,6-TCAoriasis.
(TCA is the chemical compound, trichloroanisole, that is created by
the interaction of wine with residual chlorine used to bleach cork.
TCA smells like a damp, dirty basement and is the major reason why wines
are sent back in restaurants.)
I have an invitation to join Randall Grahm for lunch in Toronto. The
bottom of the invitation from Boony Doon's importing agents reads: "Meet
Their Leader. Learn Their Ways. Resistance is Futile."