Wine, Vines, Superman, and Sunlight



The effect of all the movie buzz lately has been a rekindling of my childhood fascination with the Man of Steel.  Wine is my profession, stories are my hobby, and much can be said about the comic world’s sun empowered demigod, but it is unlikely anyone will deny there is an abundance of story and mythology–both great and terrible–surrounding him.  It is with myth in mind and storylines all aswirl I here embark on an exploration of how Superman relates, in my brain, to wine.




It is at the intersection of human, plant, and super-person interactions with the sun that I begin associating Superman more with a plant than with a human.  Similar to the Man of Steel, the ways in which plants interact with energy from the sun are varied while human interaction, at least when it comes to our anatomy, is focused in Vitamin D conversion. Starting with the basics, Superman gets his power from our bright yellow star.  He was born on a world with a dimmer red sun, and so, similar to the way plants absorb sunlight and photosynthesize, Kal El‘s body processes sunlight and makes him strong, impervious, capable of flight, and other stuff depending upon which book you’re reading in what time period.  Grapevines also process sunlight, absorbing it through their leaves and using the energy derived from it to grow and ripen fruit.  The intention, whether or not the vines are aware of it, and I like to think that they are, is to create delectable, juicy, seed-filled treats irresistible to the animal kingdom so that birds, humans, deer, coyotes, chickens with super hops, and as much other fauna as possible will consume, process, and deposit grape seeds across the wide earth.

For me there is something conceptually profound and viscerally exciting about the concept of the sun as a direct power source.  I have mentioned this on the blog before, and I just can’t get enough.  I believe that in the comfort of modernity, with solar panels as an obvious exception, we think of this only peripherally.  We worry about the sun and how it burns our skin, environmental news has been abuzz for decades about how our practices down here are trapping too much of the sun’s heat up there, and amid all that (valid!) noise it is easy to forget that something as simple as a seed sprouting is fundamentally reliant upon the heat and light our star provides.

So, for me, Superman and sunlight are inspiring, and not just because I like plants and mythology.  It is easy to find the state of the world daunting, but I find great hope in the small details of how our world functions.   And it is within the arena of hope that Syper-type Mythology is most appropriate, as with a few exceptions it is not Superman’s powers that make him inspiring.  Instead, it is the greatness and the seeking toward greatness he fosters in those around him, and in his stalwart insistence upon the potential for good in the mess that is humanity.  By fostering joy, and connection between people, wine has a similar, if somewhat less flashy efffect.  It is with this on the brain I say cheers and thank you to wine, the sun, and to Superman for making this morning a little brighter.

Below are a few recommended Super-reads and some suggested pairings from our current offerings:

All Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Suggested pairing:  2012 Côtes de Paso Blanc.  You can truly taste the sunlight in this wine and sunlight is also the crux of the storyline in this epic.

Superman Birthright by Mark Waid, Leinil Francis Yu, and Gerry Alanguilan.  Suggested pairing:  2010 Syrah.  This wine, and this re-imagining of the Superman origin story are both absolutely delicious.

Commentary on Both books from excellent YouTuber CBG19:  If you enjoy comic commentary, look no further.  I usually pair this channel with either some chilled Côtes de Paso (yes the red) or some Vin de Paille if I’m feeling decadent.

For the final course in this word meal, here is our own Super-Winemaker Kevin Sass discussing why Halter Ranch is such a unique and excellent place.  This pairs with any and all Halter Ranch offerings.

As always, thanks for reading!  Expect some new and exciting musical activity on our blog and facebook page soon.  Until then, Up UP and AWAY

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