Yesterday was the Super Bowl. I took the day off from writing about what’s going on because I didn’t have much to say. I spent my time listening and observing. It was interesting to listen to the weekly morning talk shows and listen as Tavis Smiley said – watching Mike Pence tie himself in knots to explain what the Trump administration was and had been doing. The amount of simple denial of reality, gas lighting, or – to be kind, which I don’t really have much truck with, the ability to see things in a very different light.
There was talk of the Super Bowl Budweiser ad, which illustrated how German immigrants were disliked and persecuted. It was said that Hillary supporters were more likely to drink Bud then Trump supporters. A fact I find hard to believe. Then if not Bud, what beer are Trump supporters drinking? Also, interestingly German immigrants were the ones that started brewing beer in America. It was considered low class and it was beer that caused the rise of the temperance movement. Who knew? What were the other Americans drinking, whiskey? Also, the last time a second language was proposed for this nation it was German.
There were illustrations both on TV and social media of Trump supporters taking a twisted kind of joy in exclaiming (trumpeting???) the fact that they won and you lost – ha, ha, ha. Various essays and graphs tried to show how Obama hadn’t done a good job, but Trump was going to turn things around, etc. There was talk of how Trump was “fixing” non-existent problems and that his fixes might actually create the problems he claimed he wanted to fix, then he could really turn up the heat on his fix. This was compared to how fascists worked in the 1930s, and actually how they always work. Speculation, ran as to whether this was the plan, and if so all fingers pointed to Bannon, whom reports late in the day said Trump was furious that he learned he had signed an order appointing Bannon to the National Security Counsel.
There was an article in the latest issue of Rolling Stone that chronicled the meanest of Mike Pence toward the poor and oppressed in Indiana. How his religious fervor and ineptness plus outright lying, and two faced hypocrisy all contributed to this. There was discussion on social media and radio about the protests in Berkley. What seems clear now is that the racist guy who was kicked off Twitter for saying such offensive things that Twitter couldn’t allow him to stay on was scheduled to speak at Berkley. There were protests and a fire. The talk was cancelled and the Republicans on campus bemoaned the fact that freedom of speech had died. It is now clear that 150 masked people, not students, showed up on campus and caused the violent part of the protest and the fire. This is right out of the fascist playbook. (Just sayin’)
I have been taking a Great Course entitled “Peoples and Cultures of the World.” Yesterday’s lecture dealt with language. All languages can be used to communicate, some communicate certain ideas better than others, some “don’t have a word for it.” Some have many words for say snow or lava, depending on whether you are an eskimo or a Hawaiian. Some languages tightly couple meanings to certain words, some are looser. An example of a very tightly coupled language (and that was not the term the professor used, but I think it was the idea) was the language described by George Orwell in his book “1984” where the state proclaimed a new language and that language had particular meaning and if you spoke that language only those meanings could be discussed and others would not; not be discussed, allowed, permitted, or even thought about. Interesting, that I should listen to that lecture at this point in time.
Let’s get to something fun and exciting, shall we? I’ve been curious about Trump Wine, ever since it was rudely shoved in my face by a prominent display in a grocery store that is now going out of business in our area. (Coincidence? I think not. But you never know, right? Am I right? Lemme hear an Ah Men! isn’t that the way it’s said?)
I’ve never been impressed with Virginia wines. I’ve tried. I went to Monticello and saw a beautiful winery on the next hill, complete with NAPA style adobe stucco tasting room and cute girls to ladle out the stuff. Not having time to taste I bought several bottles and was disappointed in all of them. The stuff just wasn’t very good. Not as bad as some Maryland wines I’ve had that seem to feature a heavy concentration of what I can only think is a preservative, suitable for using in you RV to keep lines from freezing but otherwise why buy it? Patricia Cornwell, a Richmond native, has also written unflatteringly about Virginia wines, so I’m not alone. But let’s dig in, first the back story as revealed in two minutes of googling.
The Donald bought the Kluge Winery. Why he didn’t keep the name is beyond me. He claimed the property was once listed for $100M, was 1300 acres, and one of the largest wineries in the state. He got the place for $6.2M. It had a mortgage of over $20M on the place and it’s not clear who got stiffed. The acreage is really 776, whether he bought some other property to make it up to 1300 is not clear, but I could find no evidence that he did. He doesn’t drink, and turned the operation over to his son. They kept the Kluges on to manage the operation, not sure if they are still there or not. As far as being one of the largest wineries in the state; it’s not. They have 200 acres under vine (is that a term? I don’t know. I just decided to use it, sounds cool, like “It’s a good read.”)
I had to noodle around to find a review of someone who actually tasted the wine. The main taster in the article is a woman from New York City who is in the restaurant business. No doubt, she’s a liberal Trump hater because all people in New York City are Trump haters, am I right? Well, it’s the only review I could find. Actually, it was the first one and I said that was good enough. BTW if you google Trump Wine and ask for wineries in the area their winery gets the lowest rating, except for some guy who appears to have a shack in the woods that he calls a winery. (Again, Just sayin’) But for those of you who might think a Clinton would hate this wine please be informed that Kluge wine was served at Chelsea Clinton’s rehearsal dinner.
Okay onto the reviews, I’m only going to pull out adjectives and phrases that describe the wine tasting experience, and let me just say right up front, I was not disappointed. It was everything I expected, and more!
Let’s start with the whites:
- The Blanc de Blancs 2009, $24 – “Isn’t bad, acidified, like it’s been toyed with, kind of Botox-y, disjointed, trying to be a champagne.”
- The Viognier 2014, $24 – “actively dislike, like being sprayed in a department store with cheap perfume”
On to the reds – After her experience with the above whites she commented, “I’m terrified of the reds.”
After tasting, she commented, “They both taste the same.”
Let’s break it down:
- Heritage 2014, $24 –
“on the nose. I’ve smelled worse.” (Note: I think ‘on the nose’ means she smelled it. Love the term!)
“This could actually be much more offensive. not great, nor is it terrible.” (Don’t you wonder how it could be ‘more offensive’?)
In a blind tasting “I would think it a cheap Bordeaux,” “tastes super cheap, really boring, painfully boring,” and “a porch pounder” (which means something you guzzle on the porch, pounding it down.)
- New World Reserve 2013, $30 –
“Still disjointed, feels played with,” like lemonade made with Splenda “weirdly sweet”, “just feels off.” There was a discussion of “artificial tannins” being added, not oak chips, but “a big bag of white stuff”
Also “tastes expensive,” but “has no soul”
I think Trump Wine is a perfect reflection of Trump in general: disjointed, cheap, no soul, Botox-y.
Here’s the article from vinepair.com.