Label Memoir I

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This would have been purchased in 1997 at the Ann Arbor Whole Foods on Stadium, which is now a Trader Joe’s. Speaking of which, Zaccaro’s/YeOldeButcherShoppe location should eventually become a Trader Joe’s, if the Germans can handle Detroit. What am I saying! Germans love Detroit.

The wine.

This was from the era when Fred Cline actually owned the winery. Somewhen in the early Aughts he sold the brand to one of the behemoth fine wine bottlers. I noticed an immediate dip in quality, which was – sort of – recovered later. This pattern is typical. See Rodenbach beer, Pyrat rum, and – fuck – Tom’s of Maine? Burt’s Bees? Anyway. This is a pattern.

I didn’t save the label because it was decent wine. I saved the label because it blew me away. Thick. Chocolately. Intense. Like a gravity trick, percolating with kinky laughs and robed in crushed velvet. Maybe the vines that produced it are still cared for. Are they in service to some corporate blend? Utterly diluted with stretch juice? Or have they been siphoned off to serve hipster boutique egotism? Anyway, this doesn’t exist anymore. It’s one reason I find California wine so impossible to take seriously. All the layers of invisibility and commodification. You can’t trust a label.

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