I love it when life imitates art and vice versa. What am I rambling on about now? Well, I’ve been reading (am still reading) a book about the modernist composer John Cage. He was an interesting guy. I suppose he’s best known for composing a piece of music that is four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence called 4′ 33″. Of course, that wasn’t his only composition. He explored lots of new avenues, including electronic music when electronic music was brand new. And he is credited as the inventor of the prepared piano. A prepared piano is one in which the strings have been manipulated with additional items being attached to the strings to create very different sounds. But the sounds are carefully planned and created. Some of his pieces also rely on what he called indeterminacy – and that’s a whole other ball of wax I won’t get into here.
Anyway, Mr. Cage did a lot of traveling during his career. At one point he spent some time in Italy and rented a flat from a woman named Fontana. While in residence there, he composed one of his more famous pieces and named it after his landlady, calling it Fontana Mix. Imagine my surprise and delight when I recently found this bottle of Pinot Grigio on the shelves of my local grocer!
Winemaker: Fontana Candida
Wine: Pinot Grigio delle Venezie
Appellation: Venezie IGT, Italy
Notes: Bottled in the winemaker’s cellars at Monte Porzio Catone, this Pinot Grigio was a pale straw color in the glass. On the nose I smelled citrus (lemon), grass, honey and floral notes. The body was light and acidity was good. At 12% alcohol, this Italian white is a little off dry, but the acidity helps give it balance. On the palate I tasted light flavors of lemon, grass and artichoke with a touch of honey. There is also lemon zest which lingers on the fairly long finish. I liked it. I’ll have to look for the 2012 on the shelves as this was on half price markdown – to move the last few bottles in stock, I assume. Yep, that means I paid $5.49 this time around. But I’d gladly pay full price if the next vintage is anything like this one. Thank you, John Cage, for giving me the inspiration to try this bottle of Italian vino.
Here is a rendition of John Cage’s Fontana Mix for your entertainment and edification. If you have the time and inclination, head over to Youtube and read the text accompanying this video which explains the piece and it’s “indeterminate” composition.