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Eugene Weekly : Wine : 7.7.11

 

On Modesty & Greed

What would Karl Rove not drink this holiday?

By Lance Sparks

Were feelin the buzz: Fourth of July, Art and the Vineyard, high summer (on the calendar, at least). Im ready, my whole family is ready, so lets celebrate some. It doesnt have to be much, a smidge of smile-inducing hoopla.

Like most Americans, our slice of American Dream Pie is rather modest. Our work is satisfying, and were perfectly willing to slog long hours over many years to plate our thin wedge. We live in a warm, dry house with a thriving garden (though soggy and sun-hungry), have happy/healthy kids/grandkids. We have enough to eat and decent wines to slurp with dinner. OK, my Honda is ancient, but it hums, its economical and its paid for. And, sure, my Pulsar is no Rolex, but it marks times fly-by, meaning that although my wife is youthful and lovely, I could probably benefit from a few cosmetic surgeries, some "procedures” ã but I wont.

I just dont suffer from that kind of ego, get no jolt from feeling better, bigger, stronger, richer than anyone else; in fact, Im saddened to see others struggling, destitute or in pain. Im a sucker, maybe, for people holding ragged signs on street corners. I consider it my duty ã and my good luck ã if I can help neighbors when they need a hand. And we dont mind paying our taxes, contributing to our community.

All this is prologue to saying ã confessing, I suppose ã that I just dont understand greed. Last night, Kat and I watched the HBO documentary Hot Coffee and were appalled by the Karl Rove-inspired corporate attacks on Americans rights in court. But it wasnt only the unrelenting attacks that bothered me; rather, it was the smug self-satisfaction of the corporate-rich, their glee at crushing all opposition through strategies that are vile, bordering on criminal and certainly sinful (if they actually believed in God or divine justice, which clearly they dont, though they piously beat their breasts to assert their faith when it serves their political purposes).

If the Rovians and allied Bush-leaguers have their way, well see the establishment of nothing less than global fascism ã or "corporatism” as Mussolini called it just prior to WWII ã starting with the U.S. Even the illusion of democracy will be gone. The current Republican attack on voters rights is part of the battle. At stake are chances to sweep up trillions of dollars in tax breaks and public funds, including Social Security and Medicare.

The chilling question, of course, asks what we can do to stop them, if anything. On that note, and as our segue, we wonder what wine Karl Rove drinks. Probably not these modest lovelies:

Eve 2008 Chardonnay ($11): Another fine, accessible wine from Washingtons Charles Smith Wines, producers of a broad range of superb wines, many at affordable prices for common people. This chard is fresh and clean, the flavors of apples and aromas of white flowers given a deft touch of oak ã delish with chicken and picnic chow (screwcap opener an added virtue).

Alex Eli 2009 Gewurztraminer ($15): Just say "ga-vertz” and be happy with this crisp, zippy and zesty white from a family production in Molalla. Juicy, jazzy grapefruit flavors invite matching with cheesy pastas, even traditional potato salad.

Domaine Saint-Nabor 2010 Gris de Gris ($10): Its one of the most charming and invi ting rosés weve encountered this season, in one of the prettiest packages. Its French (duh), from the Rhone Valley, pale pink but blessed with lingering flavors of early raspberries with hints of orange zest. Outstanding value, for many summer foods.

Crowley 2009 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($23): Summers not usually time for red wine ã except for pinot noir, •cause its always time for pinot noir, especially for an aromatic blast of roses and cherries, followed by a mouthful of lush, ripe raspberries and black cherries, carefully crafted to match with meats, cheese, warm breezes, whatever; gimmesum.

We close with simple wishes for your summer and beyond: Duck the greedheads, share your love.