Wednesday, January 23, 2008
dry red table wine.
x-fact ~ this wine is described as a "young super tuscan". a "super tuscan" is simply any table wine from tuscany that is a blend of grapes.
dogajolo dry red table wine of tuscany 2006
i've had this wine before and it is delicious. this is a table wine which a lot of people assume somehow is "less than" or not as "good" as a regular wine. i disagree. but, i would.
i love a table wine. there's a certain satisfaction in a table wine i don't get with some other wines. i don't know if it's the blending of grapes, the sort of unfussy "bastardness" of it all, or just for the simple fact that when i drink a table wine i can imagine it plunked down in front of me with two glasses and no label in some cafe somewhere where i don't know and can't speak the language and i do not worry...because i know it will be good.
this bottle was purchased at my grocery store by the forever designated driver last week sometime and i can't believe it was still lying about untouched! a nearly unprecedented event i can assure you.
it's a gorgeous bottle. and even though it's still winter and my thoughts are daydreaming towards spring, the label brings to mind the bounty and beauty that is autumn. and if you can believe it, when i first bought it i grabbed the bottle just to look at it before looking at the price.
at first sip this is immediately wonderfully spicy and delightfully smooth. which is delicious, but i'll be the first to admit one must be in the mood for that combination. knowing the wine, i knew i was in the mood.
the second sip is juicy, not bursting or obvious, just a nice hint of juicy. and as your glass empties the spicy, smooth, and juicy give way, only slightly, to a luxuriously thick sip.
huh? to a whaaat?
okay, a know "thick sip" isn't a terribly palate pleasing term. but, it's the truth. some nights i like my wine to be my friend. hang out, laugh a bit, enjoy the evening. and some nights i like my wine to be in charge. i like a wine that lets me know it's there and it's got my best interests in mind, or at the very least lets me know i don't have to make one more decision for the rest of the evening.
for lack of a better term, thick sip. it's heady and intoxicating. it coats. you can feel it in your mouth and in your stomach right away. not a slowly spreading fire, but a bolt from the blue that can radiate without having to spread.
this wine is catching the eye of a stranger and realizing your plans for the evening have just been changed.
it takes charge and it requires you to appreciate the intensity. and as the bottle goes on, you especially appreciate that the spiciness becomes less spicy, but no less intense.
despite, or perhaps because of this intensity, i especially like to drink this wine while i'm cooking like i did tonight. cooking relaxes me. better still is cooking while enjoying a glass or two of wine. by the time the food is plated and served, i am relaxed and smiling.
better even still, this is a bottle to share while cooking. to share at table.
while a table wine, it is not in any way a pedestrian wine. this is a bottle to bring out when you mean to say something about the day, or the occasion, or the moment, but in your giddiness or shyness or lack of a better word you pour the wine and let the rest come.
this is the bottle for your first home together in some distant city. it's coming on fall, there's a crisp to the air, but not enough to close the doors or windows quite yet.
the soundtrack to big night is playing, not because it's easy, but because you LOVE it, and you're pulling your dinner from the bags you carried all the way home. a first big night in your first shared home.
fresh sausages from the butcher, a crunchy, chewy loaf from the baker, and a splurge of long, creamy tapers from the candle-stick maker.
there's cheese from that fancy shop you noticed when you first looked at the house, the tiny, cheap, plastic, chopping block you were forced to buy as a temporary replacement for the two you can't find, and this wine you grabbed for its fabulous label at the little neighborhood grocery (you have a little neighborhood grocery!) while rounding out your dinner shopping.
one of you locates the glasses and candlesticks while the other gets out the big pan.
garlic and onions and thyme. sip sip. fire roasted tomatoes and olive oil and just a pinch of sugar. sip sip.
with the sausages sizzling and the sauce bubbling and the water nearly at a boil, it's just you and your beloved and louis prima serenading you with what you both hope is the first of many collaborations in the kitchen and otherwise.
and as the meal and the evening wind down you re-cork the now long empty bottle and stick it up on the shelf above the stove.
maybe it will become a vase in a pinch during your housewarming party, maybe a candle holder during some romantic rolling blackout, or maybe just a reminder of some of the best days, and a really good wine.