Penal Grigio, the big house brew

Today’s Wayno / Piraro Bizarro (Wayno’s title: Big House Brew — an alternative would have been Big House Hooch), with an outrageous pun on Pinot Grigio:

(#1) A vintage cellmate (if you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are in this strip — see this Page)

The model is the wine noun Pinot /pínò/, the pun is the prison adjective penal /pínǝl/: pretty close in sound, worlds apart in meaning (which is what makes the pun outrageous).

About the wine. From Wikipedia:

Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, or Grauburgunder is a white wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. Thought to be a mutant clone of the Pinot Noir variety, it normally has a grayish-blue fruit, accounting for its name, but the grapes can have a brownish pink to black and even white appearance. The word pinot could have been given to it because the grapes grow in small pinecone-shaped clusters. The wines produced from this grape also vary in color from a deep golden yellow to copper and even a light shade of pink

(#2) Color variations among different styles of Pinot gris. (l-r) Italian Pinot Grigio with a straw yellow color, Alsatian Pinot gris with a lemon color, Oregon Pinot gris with a copper-pink color (Wikipedia photo)

… Pinot Gris is grown around the globe, with the “spicy” full-bodied Alsatian and lighter-bodied, more acidic Italian styles being most widely recognized. The Alsatian style, often duplicated in New World wine regions such as Marlborough, Tasmania, South Australia, Washington, Oregon, and South Africa, tends to have moderate to low acidity, higher alcohol levels and an almost “oily” texture that contributes to the full-bodied nature of the wine. The flavors can range from ripe tropical fruit notes of melon and mango to some botrytis-influenced flavors. In Italy, Pinot grigio grapes are often harvested early to retain the refreshing acidity and minimize some of the overt fruitiness of the variety, creating a more neutral flavor profile. This style is often imitated in other Old World wine regions, such as Germany, where the grape is known as Ruländer, or more commonly, Grauburgunder.


3 Responses to “Penal Grigio, the big house brew”

  1. Geoffrey Nathan Says:

    I’m reading Neal Gaiman’s American Gods. There’s an incredible description of exactly this substance (although not named that way):

    ‘The drink was a tawny color. Shadow took a sip, tasting an odd blend of sour wine and sweet on his tongue. He could taste the alcohol underneath, and a strange blend of flavors. It reminded him of prison hooch, brewed in a garbage bag from rotten fruit and bread and sugar and water, but it was smoother, sweeter, infinitely stranger’.

    Turns out to be mead, ‘the drink of the gods’.

  2. Robert Coren Says:

    I had never heard or seen the German name (“gray Burgundy”) of this grape before.

    Me being me, I had half expected/hoped that you (being you) would find a way to “penile grigio”.

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      Oh, I immediately found my way to “penile Grigio” — that Grigio, what a louche cutup he is, always waving his dick around! — but didn’t see how to work it into the posting. Probably should just have gone with free association.

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