How I Got Radicalized

I never thought I could be the star. Barbra and Fanny showed me the way.

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Photo illustration; source: ullstein bild/Getty Images

There is something both horrifying and awe-inducing about the chorus girl. As a young girl, I was enraptured by this sort of pageantry, from the serene statues of the Ziegfeld Follies to the army of women in Busby Berkeley musicals. I loved the way the chorus girls, like rows of soldiers, swiveled and kicked in unison. I admired their commitment to bold lips, lashes, and pearls. They were glamorous and cool, with long legs and finger-curled hair — and yet somehow they were unbearable to watch, no better than pattern makers, metal casts of the same MGM Studios-manufactured woman.


Zweigelt is one of Austria’s most popular wines—and its namesake was one of the Third Reich’s most successful viticulturalists

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Josef Bürckel opening the Weinstrasse in 1935. Photo illustration. Image source: Imagno/Getty Images

Whether or not we want to admit it, we are consuming a lot of alcohol while in quarantine. Nielsen, the market research firm, estimated that online sales jumped 243% during the prime stock-up weeks of the pandemic, with wine sales alone increasing by 66%. After a year of declining alcohol consumption, responses to Covid-19 have effectively undone last year’s teetotalist trends and made alcohol easier to get. Wine shops and restaurants have begun liquidating their inventories, increasing the number of weird, natural, and rare options for wine drinkers to explore at home. Many of these come from unusual places like…

The role of Demeter certification in biodynamic wine

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Photo: Irina Gavrich (Gut Oggau)

There’s no set definition of what makes a wine “natural.” Yet the concept reigns in many coastal cities and even a few Midwestern college towns. Those who choose the less doctored juice have come to expect their wine to mean more, represent something wholesome, something raw and real. Step into a shop specializing in natural wine today and you’ll see lots of different gradations of what natural means. Labels use buzz words like “skin contact” or “unfiltered” or “native yeast” or “wild fermentation.” Some will even claim to be certified organic. …

Jenny Lewis, a decade, and me

Jenny Lewis has dropped her trail mix. She’s standing in front of me at the Whole Foods 365 in Silver Lake, wearing a wide-brimmed rodeo hat, bell bottoms, and a rusty red-colored suede jacket with arm fringe that runs all the way down to her thigh. I cannot see her face, but I am well aware that it is indeed Jenny Lewis. Still, I want to really make sure that it’s her, so I wait a moment to see if she will dip or pivot to retrieve the snack herself. I feel somewhat guilty…

Leah Rosenzweig

Writing about wine, cultural history, books, and more. Words in GEN, Slate, Eater, LitHub and more. I am extremely freckled.

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