When it roars it purrs

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Like the rest of the nation, I’ve been sheltering in place trying to avoid the most virulent contagion in recent memory—Tiger King. In my limited space here, I won’t bother explaining what this Netflix phenom is all about except to say it’s a streaming docu-series about an eccentric private zoo-owner, whose story is aptly summed in the show’s subtitle “Murder, Mayhem and Madness.” ’Nuff said—if you need more, read Sarah Summers’ exclusive “Before You Watch ‘Tiger King’ Tonight, Read This” at Bohemian.com. 

Being the editorial professional that I am, I thought I should at least know what Summers’ excellent article was about before running it so, yes, I risked my wellbeing in the interest of journalistic integrity and cued up Tiger King. But before doing so, I also thought it prudent to inoculate myself with some wine. Ergo, I opened a bottle of my regular Wednesday night go-to—the Eric Kent 2018 Appellation Series, Sonoma Coast, pinot noir. 

I usually sip this fine, complex red while ensconced on a couch at La Dolce Vita Wine Lounge but alas, sheltering in place precludes me from doing so. Fortunately, the proprietor makes her stock available for no-contact pick-up outside the Petaluma wine lounge at a discounted retail price (about $25). Brilliant. So here we are and this is where the eerie synchronicity begins: On the back of the wine’s tastefully appointed label is an image, one that draws its inspiration from Dada, Surrealism and Pop Art (my holy trifecta), and one that also suddenly took on added resonance—yep, it’s a tiger.

Now, I’m not one to get woo-woo about a picture of a cat on a wine bottle just because there’s one on TV, but my Jungian hackles do get up when, within minutes, I receive a random email with William Blake’s The Tyger copypasta’d in it.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Neither my hand nor eye was immortal enough to frame such fearful symmetry, and suffering a childlike propensity for being Jung and easily Freudened, I stood a chance of having a full-blown panic attack had the remedy not been readily at hand—the lush red and black fruit, hints of Asian spice, a whisper of French oak and 14.2 percent alcohol already in my glass. 
“This inaugural bottling is already very pleasing and we’re certain it will reward some near to mid-term cellaring (if you can keep your hands off it),” reads the wine’s romance copy. “Sonoma Coast Pinot lovers will not want to miss this delicious gem.” Here, here. Pair with Joe Exotic, Blake and perhaps Jacques Tourneur’s 1942 film Cat People.

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Daedalus Howell is the author, most recently, of Quantum Deadline and is the writer-director of the feature film Pill Head. He is the editor of the Pacific Sun and North Bay Bohemian.

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