Thursday, May 6, 2010

Walt Whitman on Champagne in Ice

TONIGHT I PLANNED to review the Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Cabernet, 2007. I'm drinking it now and it's pretty tannic: like the other '07 Cab I recently had, it's nice and fruity but seriously austere, and probably worth laying down for at least three more years before trying again.

Instead of a full review, I give you a bit of wino history:

Whitman manuscript from the New York Public Library
Walt Whitman, ms. from the Oscar Lion Collection, New York Public Library.

"Champagne in ice." To my knowledge, an unpublished poem by the world-famous New Yorker (who died, tragically, in Jersey), Walt Whitman. Walt loved ice cream and he loved champagne, apparently; for a contradictory view (do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes, homeboy!) see Whitman's anti-drinking novel, Franklin Evans.
We even get a glimpse of Whitman's palate: the champagne is "cold and tart-sweet drink'd from a big mug half-fill'd with ice." Oenophiles today would be shocked by the ice--but give it a try: you'll doubtless feel that freedom and joy the good gray poet talks about!