1986 Château d’Yquem Sauternes

1986 Château d’Yquem Sauternes

In the State of Washington—“The Evergreen State”—Seattle is “Rain City.” In Idaho—“The Gem State”—Boise is “The City of Trees.” In Montana—“Big Sky County”—Bozeman is “Bozangeles” and “The Bozone.” In Wyoming— “The Cowboy State”—Laramie is “The Gem City of the Plains.” In North Dakota—“The Roughrider State”—Drayton is “The Catfish Capital of the North.” In South Dakota—“The Mount Rushmore State”—Leola is “The Rhubarb Capital of the World.” In Nebraska—“The Cornhusker State”— Hastings is “The Birthplace of Kool-Aid;” Omaha is “The Big O.”

In Minnesota—“The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes”—Duluth is “The Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas.” In Iowa—“The Hawkeye State”—Cedar Rapids is “The City of Five Seasons.” In Wisconsin— “The Badger State”—Milwaukee is “The City of Festivals.” In Illinois—“Land of Lincoln”—Chicago is “The City of Big Shoulders.” In Indiana—“The Hoosier State”—Elkhart is “The City of Musical Doings;” South Bend is “The Lotion City.”

In Michigan—“The Wolverine State”—Detroit is “The D,” Pellston is “The Icebox of the Nation;” Sault Ste. Marie is “the Soo.” In Ohio—“The Buckeye State”— Cleveland is “Believe-land;” Toledo is “The 419.” In Pennsylvania—“The Keystone State”—Hershey is “The Sweetest Place on Earth;” Philadelphia is “The City That Loves You Back.” In New York—“The Empire State”— Albany is “Dirty Albs,” New York is “The City That Never Sleeps,” Rochester is “Ra-Cha-Cha;” Utica is “Handshake City.”

In Vermont—“The Green Mountain State”— Rutland is “RutVegas.” In New Hampshire—“The Granite State”—Manchester is “ManchVegas.” In Maine—“The Pine Tree State”—Lewiston is “Little Canada.” In Massachusetts—“The Bay State”—Boston is “The Bean,” Framingham is “The Dirty Ham,” Lowell is “The City of Spindles;” Scituate is “The Irish Riviera.” In Rhode Island—“Little Rhody”—Pawtucket is “The Bucket.” In Connecticut—“The Nutmeg State”—Bristol is “Clock City.”

In New Jersey—“The Garden State”—Metuchen is “The Brainy Boro.” In Delaware—“The Loophole State”—Wilmington is “The Chemical Capital of the World.” In Maryland—“The Free State”— Baltimore is “Charm City.” In West Virginia— “The Mountain State”—Wheeling is “Nail City.”

In Virginia—“Old Dominion”—Norfolk is “The Fuck;” Virginia Beach is “Neptune City.” In North Carolina—“The Tar Heel State”—Cape Hatteras is “The Graveyard of the Atlantic.” In South Carolina—“The Palmetto State”—Columbia is “Soda City.” In Georgia—“The Peach State”— Atlanta is “Hotlanta;” Macon is “Maconga.” In Florida—“The Sunshine State”—Key West is “The Conch Republic;” Tampa is “The Big Guava.”

In Kentucky—“The Bluegrass State”—Louisville is “The Ville.” In Tennessee—“The Volunteer State”—Nashville is “The Protestant Vatican.” In Alabama—“Heart of Dixie”—Montgomery is “The Gump.” In Mississippi—“The Magnolia State”— Oxford is “The Little Easy;” Port Gibson is “The Town Too Beautiful to Burn.”

In Missouri—“The Show Me State”—Kansas City is “The Paris of the Plains;” St. Louis is “The Lou.” In Arkansas—“The Razorback State”—Dumas is “Home of the Ding Dong Daddy.” In Louisiana— “The Pelican State”—Gueydan is “The Duck Capital of America;” New Orleans is “The City of Chefs.”

In Kansas—“The Sunflower State”—Dodge City is “The Queen of the Cowtowns.” In Oklahoma— “The Sooner State”—Oklahoma City is “The Big Friendly.” In Texas—“The Lone Star State”—Austin is “The Blueberry in the Red State.” In Colorado— “The 420 State”—Fort Collins is “The Napa Valley of Beer.” In New Mexico—“Tierra Encantada”— Santa Fe is “Yootó.” (Yoó is Navajo for “bead;” is Navajo for “water” or “springs.”) In Utah—“The Beehive State”—Salt Lake City is “The City of the Saints.” In Arizona—“The Copper State”— Wickenburg is “The Dude Ranch Capital of the World.” In Nevada—“The Silver State”—Las Vegas is “Lost Wages;” Reno is “Neon Babylon.”

In California—“The Golden State”—Berkeley is “The Athens of the West,” Castroville is “The Artichoke Capital of the World,” Long Beach is “Iowa-by-the-Sea,” Los Angeles is “Shaky Town,” Oakland is “O-Town;” San Francisco is “The City.” In Oregon—“The Beaver State”—Portland is “The City of Roses.”

In Hawaii—“The Aloha State”—Honolulu is “The Big Pineapple.” In Alaska—“The Great Land”—Anchorage is “Rage City.”

Which brings us to the 1986 Chateau d’Yquem Sauternes.

In the glass, the 1986 Yquem dares you not to fall in love. The bouquet suggests that falling in love may not be a choice. On the palate, confusion sheds its negative aspects. Being overwhelmed emerges as a state of grace. The finish refuses to go quietly. Instead, it becomes a memory of afternoons when the light fell a certain way, of evenings when darkness and vision threw caution to the wind. The French say: Il fait la queue du paon—“It spreads out like a peacock’s tail.”

The difference between a name and a nickname is like the difference between a myth and a dream. Myths are collective dreams. Dreams are personal myths. In a myth, the hero tends to be either a god or the son or daughter of a god. In a dream, no matter how it ends, you are the hero.

One Bottle is dedicated to the appreciation of good wines and good times, one bottle at a time. You can write to Joshua Baer at jb@onebottle.com.