March 4th, 2010

I heard, recently, a story about Ernest Hemingway. It’s a famous story, so probably a lot of you have heard it already, but for those of you who haven’t, it’s worth boring the rest. He was drinking in a bar as, it seems, he kind of liked to do, and someone challenged him to write an entire novel in six words. On a cocktail napkin he wrote: “For sale, baby shoes, never worn.”

It’s said that Hemingway struggled his whole life to look like a manly man, always recovering from having been dressed up like a girl as a child. The terse, brutal writing style he developed, even, was part of the attempt to be cool and masculine, or so I was taught in college. I think that if Hemingway were to pick a wine from our bar it would be Turnbull’s Old Bull red. There’s the very obvious bull reference to start, plus the story behind the name of the winery, a man saving a king by causing a stampeding bull to turn. Then that their motto is Audaci Favet Fortuna, or fortune favors the brave. Plus that the name of the wine itself is just Old Bull. This is a strong wine, a man’s wine. This isn’t wine to sip slowly, picking through flavor references. This is wine to drink by the bottle, perhaps even from the bottle, though we won’t let you do that in our bar.

This wine, it seems to me, could make a man look rugged and hard. I’m sure that all of our guests are above such considerations, but, anyway, we always keep Old Bull behind our bar.

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