Bleeding Edge doesn’t see to be many people’s favourite Pynchon. A bit too narrow in its concerns maybe, or a little too careful with its tone; not grand enough to compete with the bigger books, not zany enough to stand up to Lot 49 or Inherent Vice. Not saying I dislike it though. The tender homage to millennial New York thing is charming, and the lens on the September 11 attacks is intriguing.

Plus also: the book delivers us a couple of pretty luscious wines. This one, a Tignanello, is a real ripper. It’s a beautiful deep garnet colour. Tastes like blackcurrant, with undertones of dark chocolate and tobacco, silky and soft but held together with some real grippy tannins. My version is the Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Tignanello Riserva 2015.

Tignanello appears on the menu at Enrico’s Italian Kitchen, where Maxine is lunching with Rocky Slaggiat, of VC firm Streetlight People. Rocky appears to be hitting on her in a style half Cary Grant half mobster. For whoever is compiling the Every Meal in Pynchon list, Maxine orders “homemade strozzapretti with chicken livers” and Mr Slaggiat the osso bucco. Maxine makes a call on the wine:

“How about a ’71 Tignanello?— but then again with all the wiseguy dialogue, maybe just, uh, li’l Nero d’Avola? small glass?”

“Readin my mind”

Bleeding Edge, p. 66.

OK OK so they don’t actually drink it. Maxine seems to suggest it just to provoke a reaction, to see how Rocky will respond to the “pricey supertuscan.” He doesn’t seem too fazed, but they go with the Nero d’Avola instead. They’re missing out! This is good stuff!

2 responses to “Tignanello”

  1. Salman Rushdie likes Tignanello too. It’s mentioned twice in his autobiography, Joseph Anton a memoir.
    He also describes a meeting with Thomas Pynchon around 1992 in NYC in the same book, but not what they ate or drank.

    • I also remember reading that scene in Joseph Anton hoping he’d mention what they had to drink! Ridiculous preoccupation obviously… Salman is most welcome to write a guest post here on the topic should he wish

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