Nebbiolo

Right near the end of Against the Day, we witness Dally and Kit reunite with Reef and Yashmeen in Turin. There’s a little wife-with-ex-lover tension, but the whole thing basically seems to go very nicely. Page 1073: To celebrate they all went out to dinner at the Ristorante del Cambio, known locally as “the old lady.”…

Chianti Rufina

We’ve been at this long enough now that some branches once heavy with low-hanging fruit are looking a little sparse. Lots of wine remains undrunk, but more and more of it is challengingly obscure and/or pricey. But never fear! I’m resourceful enough in hunting down obscurities and sufficiently irresponsibly profligate with my funds that the…

Italian Beer

On page 724 of Against the Day, we find sinister (likely orange-faced tiny-handed) plutocrat Scarsdale Vibe touring northern Italy with his faithful manservant Foley Walker hunting bargains in Renaissance art. The hunt involves regular humiliation for Foley, not a day going by that he doesn’t “find himself carrying out some chore better left to a performing monkey.” Page…

Montepulciano

Drunk Pynchonette and I ordered a couple of (enormous) glasses of this last night then only realised halfway through ’em that the name’s familiar ring owed itself not to my comprehensive knowledge of Italian viticulture but to Pynchon’s most alcoholic of opuses, Against the Day. So it was camera out, non-Instgramming restraint and decency away, and time for…

Primitivo

I finished Against the Day more than two months ago now. Or that’s when I read the last page anyway–who really ever finishes a Pynchon book. Drinking through it is sure going to take a while. The list is longer than for V, Gravity’s Rainbow, and Mason & Dixon combined. And it’s fun stuff, distillations of many of the books…

Nero d’Avola

Early in Bleeding Edge, Maxine pays a visit to the VC (which I’m assuming is venture capitalist) who’d supported hwgaahwgh.com (which address now conveniently directs one to the book’s wiki). The VC is Rockwell “Rocky” Slagiatt, who’s dropped his surname’s terminal vowel in order “to sound more anglo,” despite then “becoming disingenuously ethnic again” in Maxine’s…

Chianti

Sticking with V for another: it’s 1899 and we’re in Florence with a “seedy looking Calabrese” called Cesare. Cesare’s mates have just commandeered a barge loaded with crated Chianti flasks, throwing the captain into the Arno. Cesare waved. “A riverdeci.” Soon they had disappeared, dissolved in the darkness. Cesare put his hands in his pockets and started to…