Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Find, July 20th

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

For Nietzsche the Greek tragedy was the highest form of art, particularly in it's earlier forms before reason came along in and ruined things.  It's roots in the ancient festival of Dionysia; Greek tragedy came to symbolize the human condition, a balance between mankind's Apollonian and Dionysian natures.  The two progeny of Zeus representing in Apollo our tendency towards order, logic and reason and in Dionysus our animal impulses of sexuality, ecstasy and intoxication. The interplay and battle between these two are a constant struggle between succumbing to our impulses or turning towards order and separating ourselves from our emotive or carnal forces.

For Nietzsche it is this true essence of our humanity that has never been captured since. Perhaps as society has become more complicated we've moved to either side of the dialectic, either the orderly and staid Apollonian or the rambunctious and drunken Dionysian side has dominated. Rather than capturing that interplay of dark and light, carnal and practical that is a part of all of us. Art too has often taken on the role of keeping that Dionysian element alive in an all too Apollonian world and in so doing, it's one-sidedness fails to capture that complete humanity and thus by Nietzschean standards falls short.

This weeks Friday Find is a single vineyard Merlot from Washington state for $13, yes for real.  The Bacchus Vineyard Merlot from The Independent Producers and the wine-score-hating folks on Red Mountain at Hedges Family Estate. This is a really wonderful wine for the money on a number of counts, one it's not oaked to the gills and structure comes through substantially. Rather than loads of barrel spice or toast you are offered a fair bit of earth and herbal qualities. There's definitive fruit characteristics and for me, if it's Merlot and Washington state it's a good chunk of blueberry on the palate and aromatics, along with smoke and cedar. The wine sets up perfectly for food and it allows you to get a sense of what the Bacchus Vineyard from the Sagemoor Vineyards really has to offer.  Again, for $13 I'd recommend you pick up a couple bottles. Bacchus was the Roman counterpart to Dionysus and I'd think that your carnal side would appreciate the wine experience while your Apollonian side would appreciate the frugal better judgment you displayed in purchasing it. Hell, this wine might redeem Nietzsche's hope in humanity.


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