Wednesday, June 15, 2011

BLOOD OF THE VINES: DOUBLE INDEMNITY


Blood Of The Vines

The heat’s killing me.  Just the short walk down to that crummy wine bar in Hollywood has soaked my shirt through.  It's not a good look for a pool boy, much less a hard-boiled insurance man.  Sometimes it's hard to to tell us apart.

I remember when I could walk down the street and get liquor.  I could get liquored up, if I wanted.  Now, wine bars all over Hollywood.  Even in Los Feliz.  One good thing about wine bars: you'll always find plenty of slick dames hanging around in them.  None like her, though.  None like Phyllis Dietrichson.  Nobody can touch her, or that honey of an anklet she wore.  Well, almost nobody.

Something was hinky about that Los Feliz iced tea she gave me.  I asked if she had a bottle of beer that wasn't working, but I guess they were all busy.  At my place, I thought she should have had some of that pink wine.  The kind that bubbles.  All I had was bourbon.  Bourbon was enough for Phyllis.

The room started spinning and I dreamed I slipped out of character and headed up to MacMurray Ranch.  It's in the Russian River Valley, prettiest place you ever saw.  I bought it in '41, as a getaway from troubles just like this.  After I'm done here, they'll probably sell the cattle and plant grapes.  Maybe avocados.  No, grapes.  The better for making wine.  Wine, to sell in wine bars to an everyman like me, Walter Neff.  Wine, to be lifted as a toast to a slick dame like Phyllis.  A slick dame like Phyllis who can have her way with a guy like Walter Neff.

How could I have known what kind of poison she was?  How could I have known that anklet she wore was like a sign saying "Bad dog - keep away?"  How could I have known wine bars would ever become so popular?  How could I have known something so sweet, rich and powerful could go so bad?

How could I have known that murder can sometimes smell like honeysuckle?

Blood Of The Vines suggests pairing "Double Indemnity" with the 2009 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley.  It features earthy cherry flavors - rich, sweet and powerful.  It retails for $35.


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