background image: Body Heat (Warner Bros. 1981)

background image: Body Heat (Warner Bros. 1981)

M’s latest post triggered memories of the movie Body Heat…of Kathleen Turner, William Hurt, a dancing Ted Danson, Kathleen Turner,  Mickey Rourke, Kathleen Turner, a sweltering, foggy Florida summer, Kathleen Turner, all of them so incredibly YOUNG…  Let’s just say it’s a movie that tends to stick.  After a while I was surprised to find myself asking, “If Kathleen Turner in the movie Body Heat was a white wine, what would she have been?”  The answer came to me right away.


Now THAT would be some white wine!  A 1981 Kathleen Turner cuvee Florida Summer.  White Dress Vineyard.

Good lord, just listen to the some of the descriptions of each of those Factors from, turn off your air conditioner and tell me you wouldn’t want a case of this delivered to you in an hour.  Just make sure you imagine the wine as COLD.  No reds, just cold cold white wine.

Fruit 2 – succulent, warm and perfumed

Acidity 3persistently mouthwatering, sharp, nervous

Body 3rich, intense, voluptuous

Tannin 1soft feeling and silken

Sugar 2a bit of something sweet

After I came up with that Array I went on our site to see what we had for that setting.  (With over 300 possible Arrays there are a few – like some insanely sexy movie stars – that are rare and just really hard to find.  I thought this might be one of them.)  It turns out we do have a wine that fits that description, but only one.  Take a look at the description and see if it doesn’t sound like something with real cooling power, something that might jumpstart someone’s overworked and overmatched internal cooling system…someone who’s stuck in the city in summertime, or stuck in a 1981 movie in August on the Gulf Coast…someone who looks the way William Hurt did after he stopped jogging on the boardwalk to pull a Marlboro from the pack he kept tucked in his socks.  Ah the 80’s.

Anyway, I AM someone stuck in NYC in the summertime and it’s been Gulf Coast-like for much of July.  I was meeting a friend at the already tough-to-get-into Charlie Bird on King Street in NYC on a night when both heat and humidity were 90+.  I arrived first and sat trying to let the air conditioning reconstitute my ‘cool’ and I thought about what I wanted to drink.  Unlike my vastly more knowledgeable business partner M.,  I don’t love highly acidic wines UNLESS there’s a ton of other stuff going on to ease the sharp edges…tons of SUGAR (again, not really my thing) or loads of FRUIT and BODY (much more my thing).   I wanted something with some viscosity; antifreeze, not water.

OK.  Now I had an idea of what I was looking for… a white wine that’s got lots of body and enough other stuff to make it interesting.  Time to talk to an expert.  Time to ask the bartender.   I asked for something “white, lively and rich”.  A brief pause, a little smile (servers who like wine LOVE to recommend stuff) and then, “I’ve got two things I want you to try.”  The first choice was too lean and lemony so I asked for something just a little less acidic and with more BODY.  The second choice was just what I was looking for; cold, rich, mouth filling, thirst quenching, low voltage icy current applied directly to mouth and brain.  By the time my friend arrived I’d guzzled the first glass and was unceremoniously draining the second.

I hope it’s not anticlimactic that I don’t remember what the wine was; I never do.   I’m so much less interested in what it WAS than I am in what it was LIKE; plus, I have a terrible memory for names.  If you’re interested, go to Charlie Bird, talk to TJ behind the bar and ask for the same thing.   But, a word of warning; wine like that goes down too nicely at the end of a hot day when you haven’t eaten much and you sweat a lot.  And on a hot night in the city – or film noir on the Gulf Coast –things can quickly go off the rails.  You’d be surprised how easy it is to find yourself wondering if the woman you’re having dinner with might be someone who would ever rig a bomb to the door of a boathouse.