"Fairy" was one of the nicer things they called him. He was
Helicopter Middle School's favorite whipping boy, the constant target
of harassment and ridicule from the other helicopters. He felt the
sting of their taunting, the pain of their insults, and even - when no
teachers were looking - the brutal slap, slap, slap of their rotor
"I'm gonna be a traffic copter when I grow up."
"I'm gonna go into drug interdiction like my dad." "Hey, guys, what
about Syma Fairy? I heard that tiny little cabin of his can seat twelve
gnats. Too bad gnats can already fly!" No, their insults were not
especially clever. But they still hurt - especially because he knew
they were true. The other kids ran on AvGas or jet fuel. He ran on a
Li-poly battery and 6 AA's for the controller. He knew he'd always be
different from the others. And he cried.
But then came that
fateful Christmas. A little boy in Kentucky wanted a helicopter more
than anything. But his parents absolutely forbade him to own a real,
full-size one. Perhaps their hearts were not warmed by the Christmas
spirit, or maybe they just didn't have room for a real helicopter.
Anyway, Santa Claus was hella bummed. "If I can't make that delightful
boy happy," he sighed to Mrs. Claus, "I may as well cancel Christmas."
just so happened that his faithful helicopter Vixen X-71 was just
outside the window and heard everything. Quick as an Airwolf, Vixen
X-71 sped off to Helicopter Middle School and found the undersized
little helicopter that his son Vixen X-72 had told him about. "Syma
Fairy, please help the little boys and girls of the world! Santa Claus
needs a helicopter small enough that this little boy's parents will let
him have it, or he's just going to wash his hands of the whole
Christmas deal. Santa didn't say anything about assorted colors, or a
three-channel transmitter that lets you fly three copters at once, but
I'm sure those features won't hurt. Please, please, won't you help save
Syma Fairy's little face lit up. At last, a chance to show the others what he was really worth. "Help you? Help you?
You people make my life a living hell because I'm different, and now
you want my help? You scumbags can kiss my tail rotor! The nerve!" Syma
Fairy went on like this for several minutes, using words that he
certainly didn't learn at Helicopter Middle School, laughing all the
And that's the story of how the Syma Fairy Remote
Controlled Micro Helicopter didn't save Christmas. Man, that winter
Here's Donati again, to carry us to the end of the week on a wave of white wine.
Pristine, austere, antiseptic white. Color of purity. Color of
sterility. Color of John McCain's hair and his voter base. Color of
lots of things, really. But not the color of these wines.
they're what are known in the oenic parlance as "white wines", but hell
if we know why. Any idiot can see they're actually golden, or amber, or
something else along yellow lines. Was everybody color-blind in days of
yore, or what? When we were younger, it was this sort of thing that
made us think that the world depicted in black & white movies was
actually black & white.
Still, Donati could call these
"plaid wines" and it wouldn't detract one jot from their refreshing
summer-friendly pleasure. The Donati 2007 Pinot Blanc even has the
French word for white in its name, so it's lying in two languages. But
its distinctive minerality and tangy hints of vanilla and apple tell a
greater truth. Grown from 40-year-old vines on a 5-acre smidgen of
Donati's Paicines vineyard, this silky seductress is ready for seafood,
shellfish, or sushi. Wait, aren't those last two covered under
Not that it matters. Not when the Donati 2006
Pinot Grigio gives us something so much more interesting to talk about.
Descending onto your palate from a high-elevation vineyard at the crest
of the Paicines Hills, this is lusher, more riper, and just plain
better than the run of the mill PG. It's those cooling afternoon
breezes, you know. Or maybe it's the slow, cold stainless steel
fermentation. The result is a rich, nutty white that's just perfect for
all that pistachio biscotti you've got laying around.
may consider Chardonnay the training wheels of the white wine set, like
a Fisher-Price My First White Wine or something. These unnamed cynics
clearly have never indulged a gulp or ten of the Donati 2005
Chardonnay. Allowed to thoroughly ripen on a steep, gravelly,
limestone-laden hillside, the tiny, concentrated berries produced a
Chardonnay that you won't find on the menu at Denny's. Flavor and
acidity intertwine in such a delightfully sensual way, you may even
feel a little embarrassed - like watching those two snails in Microcosmos.
You'll enjoy it with roasted chicken, salmon steaks, grilled summer
vegetables, or just about anything else with char lines burned into it.
way back when, they couldn't agree on exactly what shade of yellow this
kind of wine is, so they just said "screw it, white is close enough."
Or maybe there's a more duplicitous motive. Maybe the early yellow
winemakers didn't want their product associated with the color of urine
and cowardice. But the whole kerfuffle makes us realize that as long as
we're being plied with spectacular wines like this Donati three-pack,
we don't mind being lied to.
2007 Pinot Blanc
25.5 Brix/ 3.73 pH/ .47TA
14.1 % alcohol
100% stainless steel
100% Pinot Blanc
Over 40 year old vines
2007 Pinot Grigio
Harvest: 23.4 degrees
Brix: 3.6 pH
Total Acidity: .61 g/L
Blend: 100% Pinot Grigio
572 Cases produced
Harvest: 25.1 degrees
Brix: 3.34 pH
Total Acidity: .79 g/L
80% barrel fermentation French Oak, 20%
Stainless steel fermentation with partial malolactic fermentation