You can take foxes outta the country but…

From the “just for fun” department…

Johnny OtisLife’s been a little stressful lately and there’s so much negativity going around right now in the world of wine that I thought it was time for some “just for fun.”

It had been a while since Tracie B and me popped any Movia. So Sunday night, we invited our friend and fellow natural wine freak Josh Loving over for Tracie B’s famous fried chicken and mashed potatoes and a bottle of Puro, which Josh — the consummate wine professional — ably disgorged (check out the video I shot below).

Dinner was served accompanied by one of my favorite records: Cold Shot! by the Johnny Otis Show. I love every track on that disk and “The Signifyin’ Monkey” is probably the most famous. But my favorite favorite track is “Country Girl.” Toward the end of the song, Johnny Otis doubles the following aphoristic chiasmus with his guitar: You can take foxes outta the country, but you can’t get the country outta foxes. It’s one of the mysteries of life but that line just kills me every time. Check it out, as Josh disgorges the wine:

You’ve probably seen Puro disgorged at Do Bianchi before but in case you haven’t, it’s really easy to do (as in the vid above). Winemaker Aleš Kristančič makes the wine using the méthode champenoise but he leaves the lees and sediment in the wine (i.e., he doesn’t disgorge before release). You store the wine upside down in your fridge (using a cardboard cylinder that comes with the wine) and then you disgorge it upside down in a basin of water. The wine will be totally clear (as in the photo below).

Although Bollinger remains the indisputable official wine of my band Nous Non Plus, we have been known to disgorge a bottle of Puro… or two.

Life could be worse…

In other news…

Today, “the absolutely fabulous Alice Feiring,” as Tracie B likes to call her, is up to bat at 31 Days of Natural Wine. Alice is a dear friend, a great lady, a mentor, and one of the few things — besides Katz’s pastrami and Barney Greengrass whitefish salad — that we miss about New York City. I love the wine she talks about and I can confirm what Cory writes in his intro, that “very Alice Feiring” has become a canonical wine descriptor. How cool is that?

incipit annus secundus vinorum alborum

Thus beginneth the second year of white wine… (IWG got me excited about Latin this morning.)

Last year was my first official “year of white wine.” Tracie B and I kicked off the second last night with colleagues at our favorite Austin wine bar Vino Vino.

The 2006 Santa Chiara by Paolo Bea was deep golden in color (the result of skin contact during maceration, no doubt) and showed gorgeously. My favorite vintage of this wine so far.

The 2005 Savennieres Les Clos Sacrés was oxidized and unctuous, “mouth watering,” in Tracie B’s words (I’ll leave you salivating for her tasting notes at My Life Italian).

And while I’m loving Josh Loving’s superb list at Vino Vino (and was very psyched to find out he’s a fan of my band Nous Non Plus!), the most intriguing wine was brought by one of my colleagues: Anas-Cëtta by Elvio Cogno, a grape variety I’d never tried before. Click here for the fact sheet.