Day 24.2: Detroit, The Paris of the Midwest
Putnam Weekley lives, works, drinks, and takes photos in Detroit.
Back in the year 2010, natural wine was it’s own backlash. And it continued, until all wine was renegotiated in natural terms such as “sustainable,” “organic,” “biodynamic,” “indigenous,” and “made from grapes.”
Thus the old narratives were replaced. What happened to “delicious with pasta and grilled meats.”
What did natural wine go with? What sort of company? What food? Did natural wine go with nature? Here, just north of Windsor Ontario, one saw nature, and art, but I’m not sure I could distinguish between them.
art – n. human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
So I see. Natural wine was really an art movement. It was a reaction and resistance to imperial plastic fantastic. Eventually natural wine makers would even seize upon naive industrial wine methods in order to contrast and emphasize nature.
Thus ownership of Wine was reclaimed, however briefly, with help from ironic oenology. Clones and copper, screw caps and chaptalization. Ultimately, all references to nature would be dropped and it would begin again.
Arthur Penhallow used to refer to the suburb across Eight Mile as “Fashionable Ferndale.” It was meant to be ironic; in the 1980s Ferndale was a tough blue-collar town. But by the late twenty-aughts fashion itself had arrived, and in 2010 Ferndale had the baddest-ass selection of natural wine in the region. No cool hipster worth his brine could then claim “Fashionable Ferndale” with pride anymore. It was too true.
Of course, Budweiser remained, in spite of nature.
art – n. a re-creation of reality according to the artist’s metaphysical value judgements.
In 2010 the town of Detroit lost its important import allocation of Thierry Puzelat and Tue-Boeuf wines. There were simply too many other motivated buyers with cash, in new markets like London, England, Osaka Japan and Asheville, North Carolina.
Detroit was using its cash instead to buy inches of detroit. Besides, local prices for nature, and all natural derivatives, were stagnant. Inventories were completely out of hand.
And this all struck some of us as, well, natural. Whatever was in our cup, whatever kept the planning meeting, block club or art orgy going was, if not natural, at least apropos.
Coda: I am keeping my eye on Bonny Doon, Circa Winery and 2007 Mas des Collines. These new Bonny Doon products in particular reward patience and ego-negative appreciation.
Note: This is a double post day. Check out https://saignee.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/day-24-slow-sunsets-spontaneous-cider-and-enjoying-life-naturally/
Follow day by day here: https://saignee.wordpress.com/32-days-of-natural-wine-links/
Up next: With Amy, or; Yeah it is kind of scary.