Subject: Viridian Note 00104: Viridian Wine-Tasting

Key concepts: green energy, Fetzer wines, oenophile
aesthetic judgements, literary discrimination

Attention Conservation Notice: Basically, it's about a bunch of boozers at a Texas writers' workshop guzzling cheap wine.

Entries in the Viridian Solar Switchplate Contest: This contest expires November 20, 01999.

New Viridian Individual Projects: From:^^* (Robert Church) "I took the liberty of creating a Viridian desktop theme for the X Windows window manager BlackBox, and uploaded it to, a repository for desktop themes for X Windows."

From:***** (Reid Harward)
"Check it out! I figured out how to make the EPA's environment map a little more dynamic, by adding a field on my web page where the user can type in a zip code. Now, instead of a static link to one map, the user can fly over the entire U.S.A. and check out the damage nationwide!"

As you know, we Viridians are determined to solicit honest, design-centered assessments of today's cutting- edge Green products.

Let's be perfectly frank about this: excellent environmental policies don't make your product taste any better.

Since the Fetzer wineries recently expressed their intention to run their enterprises on 100% renewable power, we painstakingly purchased an extensive representative set of Fetzer's product. These modestly priced vintages put a suspiciously small dent in the Viridian party budget. We then assembled a testimonial panel of semi-willing guinea pigs. Critical highlights follow.

Fetzer Sauvignon Blanc '97:

"Feels like a base for a spiked fruit punch." "Characterless."
"Sickly -sweet. A bust."

Fetzer Sundial Chardonnay '98:


Johannisberg Riesling '97:

"Fruity, full-flavored, a great backseat teenage date drink."
"An order of magnitude better than the Sauvignon Blanc."

White Zinfandel '98:

"Evokes underage, broke teenagers on the beach. I can almost taste the sand."
"Thin, watery, inoffensive." "A real seven-dollar wine."

Fetzer Valley Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon '97:

"Chalk made out of skunk droppings." "I wouldn't drink it regularly, but if it came out of a restaurant carafe, I wouldn't be that unhappy." "This vintage is a long way from coming into its own, not that I'm anxiously waiting."

But the all around consumer winner was, without question, the Fetzer '97 Merlot. It was widely accepted, if somewhat grudgingly. Perhaps the most sincere compliment is that this was the only Fetzer bottle found empty next morning. The rest had to be cermoniously decanted down the Viridian Vatican's kitchen sink.

Eagle Park Merlot '97:

"Comparable to any analogous Texas vintage."

"Keep trying! Not any worse than wine from environmental offenders!"

"Woody. Mouth-filling. Has some character. Either this is pretty potable, or it's getting drunk outside."

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