Saturday, December 10, 2005

New URL for Mondosapore

Please go to the new address for mondosapore:


Shameless Self-Promotion

For the past few years I have been working on a novel entitled Catch of the Day. I have posted about one quarter of it on another blog site, Writer at Work. If you like stories about 40-year olds coming of age, then this is one for you. Thanks.

Blurb: He Walked the Line

In 1957 Bill Blake, a 40-year-old rockabilly-loving drunk and novelist, runs away from his mother in Massachusetts and his failures as husband, father, man and artist. He winds up in a little town on the Maine coast, where he encounters Douglas Broadwood, a male spinster who harbors a passion for Jack Kerouac, an old friend who’s about to hit the literary big time. Into this repressed world comes a movie company to shoot a risqué soap opera of small-town shenanigans. With the cast and crew Bill blazes new trails in Downeast debauchery. Problem is, love starts to get in the way. Just as Bill realizes what happiness lies in store for him, Douglas Broadwood, the self-effacing innkeeper, stands in the wings, ready to snatch it away from him. Catch of the Day is a joyfully cynical look at a time and place confronting the limits of its own presumed innocence and its self-deceptions. And it shows Bill and Douglas engaged in a struggle for the thing they value most and acknowledge least: A ticket to Easy Street.

Camden, Maine in 1957, the model for Selene Harbor

Friday, December 09, 2005

Those Crafty Buggers in Albany

The New York Times reported today that, despite the passage of a New York State bill allowing consumers to order wine from out-of-state wineries, the bill has not yet been activated. The old three-tier system of distribution is safe for at least this Christmas, and the status quo can sleep easily, dreaming of eternal control of all wine sales. Yet why was I able to order fantastic gewurtztraminer from a Rhode Island winery, Sakonnet Vineyards, without no hassles and no delays? How closely is this decrepit old law being monitored or enforced anyway? "Al, hold onto your hat. They got a 'Patriot Act' now."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Wine Diary #1 /// Diario del Vino No. 1

I, we, drink a lot of wine every week. Most of it at home, where we eat most of our dinners. Most of it pretty unpretentious stuff--usually $15 a bottle and LESS. And all bought with our own hard-earned samoleans. (Except when it's a gift, which isn't often enough.) So anyway, I decided to post a wine diary every once in a while, to chronicle our descent into Noetic unintelligibility. I would have started it a bit sooner, but we went out a couple of times last week and I have no idea what we drank, aside from generalities like "Tuscan Vermentino" and "Rosso di Montepulciano." I promise to be much more conscious of what I soak up from now on. This wine is what we actually drink with dinner or as an aperitif, never part of a "tasting." Io, anzi noi beviamo molto vino ogni sera. Per lo piu' a casa, dove mangiamo la maggior parte delle cene. Questo vino non ha pretensioni, jamais de la vie. Quasi sempre costa meno di $15, e ne compriamo tutto salvo quando e' regalo (quasi mai, purtroppo--benche' sia meglio non ricevere regali come bottiglie di vilissimi Shiraz australiani, Yellow Tail e roba del genere). Comunque mi sono deciso di fare un diario del vino, e lo postero' ogni tanto, per fare cronaca della nostra discesa nello stupore di Noe'. Questo l'avrei cominciato a fare prima ma, la settimana scorsa, ma siamo andati a ristoranti dove non avevo ben notato quel che ho ordinato, nonostante la memoria di generalita' come "Vermentino toscano" e "Rosso di Montepulciano". D'ora in poi saro' piu' consapevole dei miei eccessi. Questo vino e' cio' che beviamo, non "degustiamo." Parte essenziale dei nostri pasti.

Sat., Dec. 3 /// Sabato, 3 dic.

Zaca Mesa Chardonnay 2003 (California) -- pretty good aperitif, oaky but redeemed by acidity /// assai buono come aperitivo, troppo rovere ma "ridento" dall'acidita'

Villa Appalaccia Toscanello 2002 (Virginia) – Cabernet Franc 65%, Sangiovese 25%, Primitivo 10% -- not very Tuscan but light, soft, very pleasing, ate it with pizza and salad /// non "toscano" ma morbido, gradevole, ho bevuto con pizza e insalata

Sun., Dec. 4 /// Domenica, 4 dic.

Chateau de Campuget, Costieres de Nimes 2003 (France) – OK after a rough patch when first opened, does the job but high in sulfites? /// Rozzo ma poi OK, fa "il dovere" ma sulfitatissimo??

Mon., Dec. 5 /// Lunedi', 5 dic.

Veritas Cabernet Franc 2003 (Virginia) – Soft tannins, rather low in acidity but sort of charming in its light way, a soft ladylike personality…Constant Companion liked it better then I, since he tends to hate acidic wines with puckery tannins. /// Tannini morbidissimi ma un peu charmant, personalita' da donna BCBG...a mio Compagno Costante piu' piacevole che a me, perche' a lui non piace molto vino acidico con tannini pronunciati

Tues., Dec. 6 /// Martedi', 6 dic.

leftover wines (believe it or not) -- Zaca Mesa and Veritas Cabernet Franc

PLUS an Anjou:

Chateau des Fesles 2003, Anjou, France -- different take on CF, pronounced tannins, a little vegetal, wonderful /// diverso dal CF Veritas, tannini piu' potenti, vegetale, buonissimo con il salmone al forno