I thought I’d start a series based on what I’m reading and drinking. Tonight, I’m reading The Great Gatsby and drinking Cloudy Bay’s sauvignon blanc. Both are classics in their respective fields.
The book was something I “read” in high school, meaning I skimmed the first few pages so I could participate enough in the class discussion to get my points. It didn’t impress me then and so until recently, I thought it was just an alright book. I continue to find it funny that the high school curriculum forces teenagers to absorb flowery language and plots with adult neuroses. It would be so much better if they had to read Harry Potter or Twilight.
I’m about 2/3 of the way in, and I love it so far.
I relate immensely to the narrator, who has a rather timid demeanor and gets pushed around by rich people with strong personalities and low emotional intelligence. Not much has happened so far, except a few lavish parties. Unless there’s a crazy twist ending, I find it hard to believe some people consider it the great American novel–it’s incredibly witty, but not epic. It reminds me more of Three Men in a Boat rather than 1984. But I do not regret the time I have spent with it. P.S. No spoilers if you have read it!
And now for the wine.
The Great Gatsby goes with a Bordeaux, for sure (the narrator drinks a “rather corky claret” in the first chapter) , but I don’t have one. Second best would be a Long Island wine (the setting of the novel), but I don’t have that, either. So I’ll have to settle for this other really good one instead.
Cloudy Bay is considered a benchmark of New Zealand sauvignon blanc and a winery that exposed the world to the country’s unique style–grassy, fruity, lively. Before 1985, the big name was the more restrained Sancerre in France, but Cloudy Bay led the way for New Zealand to make a big dent in the market. Though I don’t have the stats in front of me, a quick look at any grocery store shelf can tell you that NZ sauvignon blanc probably outsells French in the U.S.
This is my first time trying it. Here goes.
Bottle: 2015 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc
Color: Pale, like a pinot grigio
Nose: grassy, farmy, earthy. Underripe honeydew melon, button mushrooms.
Palate: an orangey acidity with a peppery salinity, hot carroty finish. Gooseberries. Dry–could be riper for me. Lemon and grapefruit pith.
Mind not blown, but it’s a nice wine. It’s missing the drama of some of its sweeter, riper imitators. Maybe I have to get used to this. 87/88 points.
What do you think? Have you read The Great Gatsby? Have you had Cloudy Bay? Let me know in the comments below.