"The cough-syrupy Umbrian passito wine is made in the same fashion as Recioto from the mysterious and sappy Sagrantino grape. These powerful, sweet reds seem to have originated as sacramental wines, and they continue to inspire reverence among a small cult of hedonists, myself among them. This practice of drying grapes goes back thousands of years; there are references to drying wine grapes prior to fermentation in Homer and Hesiod. ("When Orion and Sirius come into mid-heaven," Hesiod advises in Works and Days, "cut off all the grape clusters and bring them home. Show them to the sun for ten days and ten nights.") I like to imagine that these dried-grape wines resemble those that were drunk at Plato's symposium or Caligula's bashes—although chocolate wouldn't appear in Europe until the sixteenth century, Columbus having stumbled upon a stash of cacao beans on his fourth and last voyage to the New World."
-from A Hedonist in the Cellar: Adventures in Wine by Jay McInerny
I don't take my wine this seriously, of course. I don't think I've ever uttered the word passito (if I did, it wasn't with a straight face and likely involved eye-rolling) and I sure as hell have never said Recioto.
However. I am the sporadic Wine Novice and I am in serious need of a vacation. But I've got little time and I lived in San Diego for so many years that any wine trip down there feels like...regression. So: off to Santa Barbara for a few days of rest and hedonistic wine-ing. I suspect there will also be whining when I'm forced to return from vay-cay back to the land of work.
Yet, I have a few things to look forward to: I'll be reading this and returning to attend this. (I was told there will be cake, but I can't quite determine if this is in fact true or if this is a rip of sorts on Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake.) See you Sunday for vermin and...cake?