I have finished Off to the Side , and am wiser therefore.
Reading Jim Harrison has always affected me, usually hitting me with strong wanderlust, cabin fever, and a general dissatisfaction with many areas of my life. This time through I drove around a lot, explored those parts of Kent County of which I had always been aware, but never seen. I also tried purposefully to get lost, but what with the sun always directly south and the large number of large roads, this turned out to be impossible.
On Sunday I sat down with my dead-tree journal, an apple, and a bottle ($5.99) of Leelanau Cellars Autumn Red, a wine which has never disappointed. My idea was to enjoy the wine and the apple (which seemed an appropriate pairing) and, sip by sip, describe the experience of drinking.
And I discovered that this wine, which I have always quite liked, does not hold up all that well under close scrutiny. Granted that I am far from a connoisseur of wine, but this just tasted a little…off. Musty. Thick. If chilled in the refrigerator and drunk on a hot summer day it would more than serve, as it is quite dry, but slowly taken at room temperature with a tart apple it suffered.
The argument could be made that one gets what one pays for with wine, but last winter I picked up a case of, uh, some red wine for $20.00 which was excellent, light and dry and a steal at twice the price. Currently my favorite red is St. Julian Great Red ($5.99), which is difficult to beat at any price.
For some interesting writing about food -or using food as metaphor for sex, death, etc.- pick up Harrison’s book The Raw and the Cooked, a collection of his food columns from various magazines during the 1990s.
Next up is the Rowe book Living Philosophy , which should build my brain muscles up to where I can dive into Dostoyevsky after the Thanksgiving holiday.