Alright, dig it:
The girls all jockin’ at the other end of the bar,
Havin’ drinks with some no-name gwar
When they know that I’m the star.
So, I got up to find out what made them bitches blotto,
I asked the guy, why you so fly? He said, ‘Kinky Pink Moscato’…
I owe one to my Petoskey buddies Jeff and Dustin; Mackinaw Trails Winery Brand Manager and winemaker respectfully. Apparently, they send me a bunch of fruit wines and other lovely stuff that I promised to review and it never showed up. Bottoms up, UPS! Oh, and I also made the cringeworthy social gaffe of complimenting Dustin Stabile on the smokin babeliciousness of the pourerette at his tasting room and then found out that it was his sister.
So, here’s a freebie ad campaign/ t-shirt for the winery boys:
‘I Got Stoned In Petoskey’
Okay, so before the current moscato craze crests and passes into legacy and lore, the bandwagon still has a seat for Mackinaw Trails. Michigan moscato is a rare beast; only handful of wineries grow it in marketable quantities, although its popularity as an inexpensive, easy-drinking, often entry-level porch pounder is changing all that. In 2007, Michigan State University Assistant Professor Paolo Sabbatini, along with fellow grapehead Tom Zabadal (both of whose last names sound like Vinifera varietals), planted five kinds of muscat in an experimental vineyard: Orange muscat, muscat ottonel, moscato giallo, moscato canelli and valvin muscat. To people who find this sort of thing fascinating, valvin muscat is a very new hybrid (2006), developed by by grape breeder Bruce Reisch at the Cornell University New York State Agricultural Experiment Station as a cross between muscat ottonel and muscat du moulin. It’s called an ‘interspecific white grape variety’, more cold hardy and disease resistant than vinifera muscat, and best of all, it is said to be very, very muscatty.
Lake Michigan Shore’s Tabor Hill winemaker Mike Merchant knows from valvin muscat, as his 2008 vintage took gold at the Grand Harvest Awards in 2011. He grows other kinds of muscat too, but I can’t say which ones, because when I called to ask, whoever answered the phone kept asking me who I wrote for, and even though I kept telling her the name of this silly-ass column—and even though I have written about Tabor Hill many times in the past, three of them in the very year they won the award, she obviously was not ‘familiar’ with anti-journalism. Cool, I totally get that, but not for nothing, who cares whether I write for Intoxicology Report or Wall Street Journal? All I’m trying to do is give your winery free publicity, not sell you a vacuum cleaner or redeem your soul.
Anyway, Matt Moersch over at Free Run Cellars was more amendable to discussing muscat with a total stranger, especially when I told him that I was the managing editor of Wine Spectator. He has been growing vinifera muscat for years—ottonel and canelli—and babying it through tough springtime chills by using a specific pruning and canopy method called Scott-Henry, also developed at Cornell. He was originally reluctant to plant valvin because of its pedigree as a hybrid (he prefers to leave hybreeding to others), but now blends it into his ‘generic’, delicious, nicely sweet Lake Michigan Shore Moscato, which sells for around $17.
Good career move, Matt. As Paolo Sabbatini quips, “Moscato is the perfect wine for the American sweet tooth. It’s simple and doesn’t scare the new wine drinker. Michigan is strategically placed in a viticultural region where Moscato could be a signature wine.”
Lissen Up, Mackinac Trails Winery…
…who nearly derailed my article on Michigan moscato .
How? Why?? Well, I had intended to feature their newly released wine, ‘Kinky Pink Moscato’, which is best consumed funky, cold and—if you speak Arabic and are not afraid of being beheaded for consuming alcohol—in Medina.
But, the product threw a monkey wrench into the mealy machinations of my mental marbles, hard as that may be for readers to fathom. First, because Kinky Pink Moscato is not pink, and second, because Kinky Pink Moscato is not Michigan moscato: The grapes were shipped in from Northern California, and the name of the wine is ‘Kinky Pink’with ‘moscato’ tacked on that end, which may allude to the same anatomical gimcrack (pun) that Aerosmith sang about in ‘Pink’.
Or so I think.
Anyway, according to L’il Kim Marcus, the real managing editor of Wine Spectator, it will still appeal to ‘hip-hop tastemakers Kanye West, Drake, Waka Flocka Flame and DJ Khaled’, who have each ‘given the wine a nod in songs or videos…’ (February 8, 2012).
‘Fess up: I long to one day be as street savvy and gangsta name-droppy as Kim Marcus.
But even so, he fails to mention Tone-Lōc, whose career derailed faster than this column thanks to DUIs, domestic assault arrests and similar post-Crips skulduggery.
As for my Michigan mates Jeff and Dustin, the best I can offer Mackinaw Trails Winery beside a column dedicated to their non-Michigan moscato is more gratis marketing miscellany:
‘Try changing your name to Mack Daddy Trails Winery and see how the moscato flies off the shelves…’
That’s pretty fly, right? Am I there yet, Kim Marcus? Am I there yet??!