... in which we get paid by the word.
The “Harvest Moon” is the closest full moon to the autumnal equinox. Your ancestors would have known all about it! But you didn’t listen to them, because old people are boring.
That’s why you’re not only ignorant about the harvest moon, you also don’t know anything about your family history, or how to fix stuff, and instead your cerebral storage is at capacity with junk you found more interesting, like the complete lyrics to the GI JOE cartoon theme song, including the spoken part in the middle about “its purpose: To defend human freedom against Cobra.”
The harvest moon is named, of course, for the “har-vest,” a sleeveless hunting garment once worn by frontiersmen pursuing autumn game to feed their families. Traditionally made of bear fur—or “bar har,” in frontierspeak—the har-vest was both a practical piece of outerwear and an important symbol of its wearers’ hunting prowess. Though no one wears har-vests anymore, they live on in our lexicon: Hunters still talk of “harvesting” deer in the fall, as well as the importance of our Constitutional right to bear arms.
It is appropriate that Harvest Moon Estate and Winery would take their name from this important but largely forgotten piece of historical Americana, as they, being wine folk, are all into heritage and what-not. They grow, produce, and bottle their stuff in the Russian River Valley, which a lot of people think was named for the Russian-American Company that explored it, but which actually derives its name from the springtime mountain snow melts, during which the swollen river is “rushin’.”
Some of the Harvest Moon wines in this case pay tribute to the river in their names, the 2012 Pinot Noir and the 2009 Russian River Valley Zinfandel. Harvest Moon’s whole deal is that wines from their neck of the woods can hold their own with any fancy region in the world. That being the case, why wouldn’t they name-check their home river valley right there on the label, right? Personally, we hate it when drink-makers play sneaky with their names, trying to front like they’re from somewhere they’re not. For example, did you know AriZona iced “tea” is actually from Woodbury, New York? For real.
There’s no such shenanigans going on with these Harvest Moon wines. They’re Californian and proud. In fact, this whole mixed case is like a love letter to Sonoma County, written in wine instead of ink. Now, you might say: “That’s an expensive waste of wine, writing love letters with it! And probably not even particularly legible! They would have been much better off writing their letter with a regular old ball-point pen!” And you may be right about that. But you are also apparently an idiot, because there is no LITERAL love letter, we were trying to be poetical, obviously, duh.
Anyway, in addition to the Pinot and the Zin, this case comprises two bottles each of Harvest Moon’s light-bodied, bone dry 2012 Estate Dry Gewurztraminer, their 2011 Sonoma County RandyZin, the 2010 Dry Creek Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2008 Sonoma Harvest Red, a perfectly balanced blend for the dinner table.
Wine, as the Harvest Moon Estate gang knows, can be a great vehicle for learning about history, culture, and the natural world. Kick off your shoes, drain a glass of the RandyZin, and you’ll gain a better understanding of that seemingly paradoxical, fun-yet-substantive, casual-yet-ambitious California character. Or drink both bottles of the Gewurztraminer some evening by yourself, and learn something new about how the human excretory system works.
But then again, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll just swig these precious potables like so much grape-ade, since you’re obviously one of these people who regularly misses opportunities for horizon-broadening.
You know what? Why are we even wasting time sharing our wisdom and experience with you? Resume searching for clips of “Small Wonder” on YouTube, you obviously don’t care about real culture. We’re starting to wonder if maybe this Harvest Moon case is just wasted on you.
Of course, you could always prove us wrong. You could order and consume a case of your own, and show us that in fact it is you who are wasted on it.