RICHARD: Uh Chase, can I get you a drink?
CHASE: Scotch, neat.
RICHARD: Uh, Glenfiddich?
Glenfiddich is a single malt whisky made by William Grant & Sons in Scotland since 1886 in the glen (“valley”) of the River Fiddich, hence its name. It is the world’s best-selling single-malt whisky, and has won more awards than any other brand.
Richard looks extremely unhappy with the dismissive way Chase accepts a glass of Glenfiddich as if it is nothing.
Louise suggests Starbucks to Paris as one of the places you could make out with a boyfriend like Tristan.
Starbucks is an American multinational chain of coffee houses, founded in 1971, and becoming profitable in the 1980s. There are more than 27 000 Starbucks world wide. There are eight Starbucks in Hartford where Paris could have made out with her hypothetical boyfriend.
CHRISTOPHER: What about last night? What did our having sex mean to you?
LORELAI: [sighs] It meant that Jose Cuervo still has amazing magical powers.
Jose Cuervo is a Mexican brand of tequila. It is the best-selling tequila in the world, and has a third of the American market.
Lorelai is making it clear to Christopher that she would never have had sex with him if she hadn’t been drunk. By saying that it “still has magical powers”, she also implies that was the case when they were teenagers.
When Lorelai, Christopher, and Rory arrive at the elder Gilmores’ house, Richard mixes the adults a martini, which became the go-to cocktail on Gilmore Girls. (In the picture, all the adults are holding martini glasses).
A martini is a cocktail made with gin and vermouth, garnished with an olive or a twist of lemon. Some trace its origins back to the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco in 1860, who made a similar cocktail named the Martinez; others to a bartender named Martini who worked at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York around 1911. The martini soared in popularity during the Prohibition era thanks to illegal gin, and was the predominant cocktail mid-twentieth century. They fell out of favour in the 1970s, but became popular once again in the 1990s.
This instrumental piece by Mexican band leader and composer Juan García Esquivel, often known by his surname only, is the “interesting music” which is playing when Dean first arrives at Babette’s and finds Rory in costume. It is from the CD that Rory got from Lane’s “miscellaneous” section, and which she described as “the weird one”.
Esquivel is considered to be the king of late 1950s-early 1960s quirky instrumental pop, or lounge music – Rory’s choice of his music shows that while she has tried to be faithful to period, she is doing so with her own idiosyncratic style, and subverting conventional expectations.
Esquivel’s music was released on a series of CDs in the 1990s; Flower Girl of Bordeaux is from the 1995 compilation album Music From a Sparkling Planet.
Notice how this is a slight callback to the “kick ass” Bordeaux wine drunk earlier in the episode; perhaps an allusion to how intoxicating Rory appears to Dean.
LORELAI: It’s [the wine’s] got a nice smell: earthy, vibrant. I can taste the Italians’ feet.
RICHARD: It’s a Bordeaux. It’s French.
A Bordeaux is any wine which comes from the Bordeaux region of south-eastern France, centred around the city of Bordeaux. It is the largest wine-growing region in France, and most Bordeaux wines are red. They can range in quality from ordinary table wine to some of the most expensive in the world. Richard and Emily probably have something from the higher end.
LORELAI Mmm. Kick-ass wine.
EMILY: How poetic.
LORELAI: It’s got a nice smell: earthy, vibrant. I can taste the Italians’ feet.
Lorelai is referring to grape-stomping or pieage, a traditional winemaking technique where the grapes are crushed by human feet – evidence of the practice can be found in pictures from ancient Egypt and ancient Rome. Since the Middle Ages this part of the winemaking process is nearly always done by machinery, and even in ancient times there were wine presses to do most of the work.
However, grape stomping has never been completely abandoned, and survives in small pockets. These days it is often a fun event at cultural festivals and wine festivals, and some vineyards will charge you for the pleasure of partaking in the activity.
The popular idea of grape stomping being part of the winemaking process can probably be traced back to I Love Lucy. In the 1956 episode Lucy’s Italian Movie, while on a trip to Rome a film producer suggests Lucy audition for his new movie called Bitter Grapes. Lucy thinks it must be about winemaking, so finds the only winery left in the area that still makes wine using grape-stomping so she can practice the technique in advance.
This probably explains why Lucy-loving Lorelai immediately connects the wine to Italian feet in particular.