Horticulture is a word that most of you winefolk know and love; it’s the branch of agriculture that deals with growing, improving, marketing and using produce–and grapes, of course, are produce.
Horrorculture is, perhaps, less familiar to you, probably because I just made it up. But henceforth, it refers to the branch of literature that deals with the art, science, technology and business of scary shit.
Whereas horticulture concerns itself with the propagation of life, horrorculture involves snuffing life out, then burying it, then waiting around to see if it reanimates.
If it doesn’t, horrorculture digs it up to see what went wrong.
Halloween: Wine and Writ
Birmingham, MI; Oct 31, 2016:
It’s October, when (as Danny Boy’s mistress reminds us) all the flowers are dying, and by now, most of the grapes are harvested and the vintage is in the books, the barrels, the cans or the concrete eggs. It’s time for us wine people to put away our childish summer toys and fully embrace the dark heart of autumn.
For those of you who have retained brain matter through the zeitgeist of iPhones and Netflixes, this may occasionally involve the reading of a fiction book. If you have been even a fair-weather follower of this column you know that writing fiction may not be what I do best, but it’s what I do most. Ragging on and on about wine is a merely placeholder in my personal dementia, and becoming regularly lost inside a labyrinth of pathological nightmares is actually how me and my keyboards spend our quality time.
As such, I’m releasing Black Tongue Speaks, my fifth book of fiction, on October 31, 2016, at Elie Wine Company, 1601 E 14 Mile Rd, Birmingham, MI 48009 (248 398-0030). The titular black tongue is my own; these are seventeen short stories in the style of my favorite creepy tales from childhood—works in homage to the masters, Poe, Blackwood, Jackson, Lovecraft, Bierce, et al.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t claim to be swimming in the deep end of the literary pool with these cats, but after thirty plus years of publishing horrorculture, I am infinitely comfortable that we’re in the same murky waters.
You may well be the sort that likes a little blood with your wine, and if so, we will gather in your name on Halloween night at Elie Wine Company between 5:30 and 6:30 PM. I’ll read a selection from Black Tongue Speaks and we’ll tipple from Elie’s superb portfolio.
And for Halloween, What Better Than Graves?
Nothing, of course. Elie will pour Château Carbonnieux, one of the first estates included in the Graves wine classification of 1953 and known for production of both whites and reds. We’ll do 2014 for the former and 2012 for the latter.
Elie Boudt has been at the forefront of both the fine wine and the fine arts movement in Detroit for as long as I can remember. He specializes in top-drawer French, Spanish and Italian wines and runs the best wine shop in the city, and also features local artists in his brochures and in displays around the store.
He’s been a longtime patron for all that’s good in this somewhat dystopian ville, and actually, I am quite honored that he has volunteered to bring a little culture to my horrorculture.
Elie Wine Company
1601 E 14 Mile Rd, Birmingham, MI 48009 (248) 398-0030