The Tribeca vino hall and music venue City Winery (which, it must be said, moves pretty damn fast) owned by Michael Dorf of the defunct Knitting Factory, hops on the tribute train tonight with a wine and music pairing featuring five wines –- one for each MJ era -- and 25 songs.
How is Michael Jackson like a bottle of wine? Winos will appreciate being able to talk about the King of Pop’s “smooth textures, developing into deep and complex personalities and funky tastes” in a way that even the poet Tony Hoagland (who wrote of "the Cabernet of rent checks and asthma medication") would appreciate. Hopefully the loud music will keep such chatter to a minimum. What could be better? How about trying to sing along to “Thriller” while holding a balloon glass full of Pinot?
Kudos to City Winery for organizing this event on the fly, but did they really have to say "Michael Jackson's flavors will be lingering in our minds and age for long after he is gone" on the invitation?
City Winery's Michael Dorf responded to accusations that the tribute might seem a tad insensitive coming so soon. "Charging money puts a commercial slant on the tribute, which is the biggest challenge," he said in a statement. "But we can’t give away wine for free and what makes our facility unique is the ability to pair wine with a theme--be it music or food. We hope to elevate the experience by focusing attention on 5 themes in Michael Jackson's musical history all for a very reasonable price. This was what we felt was a thoughtful approach to celebrating Michael Jackson through music and wine. It will not work for all people and for any who are offended, we are truly sorry."
Then he went on to give a list of things the Winery will not be doing:
"And to respond to people’s accusations, here are the 3 things we will not be doing:
-We will not be serving 'Jesus Juice'
-We will not discuss the skin of the grapes
-We will not focus on the nose or fragrance of the wines"