I have to admit that sometimes my prose sounds like it was borrowed from Damon Runyon or Dashiell Hammett, and I guess you can blame it on my youth and my environment. People actually talked that way and it even filtered into the Sixties, because of all the generations that were influenced by Warner Brothers films of the Thirties. I don’t have a crystal ball for the future, but I wonder how the next generations will talk like, provided that language skills are still necessary. All this is a prologue for the word “tout” that I use quite a bit, in every day usage. In the parlance of the day, there were colorful figures that loitered around racetracks and betting halls and they would offer advice on a race to an individual. If the proffered tip proved valuable, they would then approach that person and expect a gratuity for the knowledge that they passed on, and hope for the largesse of the individual to make it worthwhile. These colorful individuals eventually named “touts,” because of their touts. Think of the three individuals who open up the musical Guys and Dolls in Fugue for a Tinhorn, who all read the same racing sheets and all come up with different horses to tout, or some of the peripheral characters from the “Thin Man” movies.
Well one of my dear colorful cast of characters, Ms. Yoga periodically touts wines to me through the use of the modern phone. Not the phones that I grew up with that were either mounted on a wall, or were on a cord, and the handset had a squiggly cord that was attached to the base. I am talking about the little things that everybody carries on their person as another piece of clothing. When I was a kid, who would have thought that a Dick Tracy wrist watch would actually become true. I digress again, well Ms. Yoga sends me photographs of wines that she enjoys while she is out at a restaurant or when she is entertaining clients. Some of the wines have been real winners, and others are just moderate, but I guess it also depends on the restaurant that she is at, for the moment, and we have all been out for dinner, where we pick the lessor of two or three evils, when it comes to wine, especially in those places where the waitress says that they have a red and a white wine.
The first wine that she touted me, I could barely find any information, in fact one source that I trust said that it was part of a larger wine umbrella company, but when I went to that site, this wine was not listed. Fog Banks Vineyards Chardonnay 2013 was this wine that has defied my research, not that I am a Rhodes Scholar. The only thing I can tell you is that from the label that the wine was sourced from the Central Coast of California, which is quite a large expanse, but then there are a lot wines with that same listing. The second wine that she touted has a bit more history and is from a part of California that I have not been to, actually there are plenty of areas in California that I have not been to, but I digress again. The Santa Barbara Winery Cuvee 33 Chardonnay 2015 sounds very interesting to me. The winery began as La Fond’s Santa Barbara Winery in 1962 and they were the first new winery since Prohibition in the Santa Barbara County and it is still owned by the family. Here is a wine that is a blend of sixty-seven percent aged in Stainless Steel and the balance is aged in barrels using the Sur Lie method and then the wines are blended together. The fruit is from the Los Alamos, Hilltop and La Fond Vineyards. Once again Ms. Yoga has supplied me with some new wines that I can perhaps one-day encounter and then drink to her good health, but I guess that I may welch on the gratuity.