I came to Frank O'Hara years ago through his iconic poem, "Having A Coke With You,” and was instantly hooked. He seemed to understand the fundamental rhythms of New York more than any other writer. Never mind that he was writing 60 years earlier. The way his words flow, especially in that poem, are like the nonstop energy of the city, the transience of a night that turns to morning; others are like its staccato sounds, the pitter-patter of hurrying feet, the stop-and-go of cabs. It’s timeless. And what could be more New York than the way he name-drops without explanation, like you just should know what/who he’s talking about. (Or else who are you anyway?) That was my favorite poem for a long time, until I found "Animals." Perhaps because I'm in love now, the last words really get me: "I wouldn't want to be faster / or greener than now if you were with me O you /were the best of all my days." This is why I love poetry—different poems speak to you at different times in your life. I read it often and love it every time.
I came to this bottle of wine by accident, too, a favor from a wedding at Brooklyn Winery my boyfriend went to that then sat in my wine fridge for months. Despite living in the same neighborhood, I'd never been to Brooklyn Winery. And Zinfandel (especially one from California grapes, which this is) isn't what I normally drink. But when I opened it during a stay-at-home dinner date with said boyfriend, I was so pleasantly surprised. It's luscious and velvety thanks to malolactic fermentation (actually deployed well here). Though it seemed sweet at first with vanilla and plum, after a minute, it bloomed: Earthy, tobacco, like standing outside a bar in the rain when someone is smoking a cigar nearby. With a lingering finish and just enough tannin, it's one of those wines that invites another and another—kind of like O'Hara's poetry. You want to be swept up in this world forever.
A serendipitous note about this book: I’d somehow never owned any O’Hara. Then recently I saw this on display in a California bookstore while on vacation and opened it—right to “Coke.” I bought it on the spot. Some things can’t be denied.
📘: Selected Poems, Frank O’Hara
🍷: Brooklyn Winery Old Vine Zinfandel 2014
🍇: 90% Zin, 10% Petite Syrah
🇺🇸: Lodi, CA
Purchase through Brooklyn Winery.