Thursday, February 14, 2008
x-fact ~ don't judge a wine by its label.
house wine columbia valley red wine 2005
i bought this wine after not buying it for some time. honestly, the label turned me off. i know, i've proven myself a sucker for a label, BUT this was just too *ironic*. when i saw it i felt tired. weary. been there, done that.
(i grew up during the time when you could actually go down the aisle of a grocery store and see beer, and nothing else on a beer can. cereal, and nothing else on a box of cereal. i lived in seattle at the heyday and height of grunge. aaannnnd, you get the generic picture. ahh, the good old days. so much of my youth has become a marketing ploy, i get a bit weary, understandably so. probably one of the reasons i do like my wine. but, where was i?)
and after passing it by for a few years just because of the label, i bought it this time simply because i read a very cool review of the wine maker and his new project in the paper. the same paper that has refused to print another brazilliant letter to the editor of mine TWO letters in a row now, but that's another story for another bottle of wine.
oh, but it's good. you know i love a red table wine or a red blend.
what's not to love? no fussiness, no pretension, it's like a big deep skillet of red sauce as opposed to a saucier of hollandaise.
each has their merit, clearly, but what's better than a big hunk of bread ripped from a fresh loaf and dunked into red sauce bubbling on the stove? and they say almonds or ambrosia or somesuch is the food of the gods!
there is never not a good time for a simple red wine. (i know, i said that about boone's too, but don't worry, they won't both be tattooed on my ass. mainly because it's not yet big enough. i'll get back to you on that)
this wine is predominantly a cabernet sauvignon, with a healthy dose of merlot, a bit of syrah and a whisper and a kiss of malbec and cabernet franc.
cabernet franc? say what?
cabernet franc is a parent grape of cabernet sauvignon that can stand alone, but is basically meant for blending. thin skinned and bright red, i call it the lolita grape because it buds and ripens early and needs a bit of fussing.
wine isn't always pretty, folks.
and, being a bit thin skinned myself, i do love the cab franc.
it's so drinkable, this wine. i'm not saying i'd stick a straw in the bottle and call it good, but that's only because i have to put these high dollar glasses to use and i don't have a straw that long.
my life. so hard.
seriously, about wine. if you enjoy it, then do your homework. read the wine page in your paper's (generally) weekly food section. familiarize yourself with all the fluffy language, but mainly with what's out there. sure perhaps you may not be familiar with what's being written about, or what's offered in the This Week's Wine Deals column, but once you start getting familiar you've got an edge.
and then when you're wandering the wine aisle like a lost soul trying to look like you're not, you'll see a familiar name, or a label, even a word and that's a start.
it's not unlike going to a singles mixer. find what looks familiar and all of a sudden you're jumping in!
or. not. depending on the other singles. and who goes to a mixer anymore?
you get the idea.
back to this wine. i do have to disclose that at the first bit of sip before it even registered as a full sip there was a bit of the um, hit at the back of the throat. a bit bracing. but good lord, if i wasn't looking for it, it wouldn't be there. and i didn't get that again. in fact, it only got smoother.
and i have to say, there is something about getting the wine from the bottle into your glass and then holding that glass. then, that wine in your glass in your hand warms in a very organic way, with you. unlike marble that registers 11 degrees below the air around it and thus is good as a foil to rolling the fussy and demanding pastry it's subject to, wine becomes part of who you are with holding it.
you know all those books and movies about the cooking and the chocolate making and the feelings and the ideas that come with consuming what is concocted purely of the acute sum of the creator's *being* at that exact moment, well, dear reader, so goes the drinking of wine.
be mindful of your wine and it will reward you beyond your wildest dreams. (drinkers note: straws in bottles and other amusee' of that nature fall under the *spirit of the moment* clause. in layman's terms, generally, behavior of this sort is not held to other, more stringent, wine drinking standards, and thus, it's best to just go with it. do quote me if need be)
it's interesting that i had this tonight, as i had the opportunity today to watch my state's house of representatives present a terribly important bill for my neck of the woods. and afterwards, given the chance to meet with four of my area's elected officials working on this bill, i was impressed at how polished and knowledgeable and yet at ease and accessible they were.
being a cynic and having no experience with politicians i figured they'd be a lot like the politicians one sees on t.v.
you know, all hat and no cattle.
perhaps it's because my state has a citizen legislature (they all have outside jobs) or because we're just a more laid back folk here, but i have to say, the accessibility and shared concern was more than refreshing.
as a cynic, i was mightily impressed. and felt heard.
so don't be shy about your government representatives! you've just got to know when to go, make yourself known, be aware and present. there was banter, questioning, and yes, some really good answers. go with questions or ideas! be a part!
especially now, we must never forget how much politics matter. and how much our elected officials are there because we put them there. they work for us. and we need to exercise and take advantage of that fact a bit more as john q. public than we do. a LOT more.
i feel the same about wine. especially this wine. wine need not be fancy and high dollar to be good. no hard to pronounce names or fancy glasses needed for a fabulous and enjoyable glass of wine. like politics SHOULD be, wine SHOULD also be for the masses.
me? i like things i *get*. and can just keep on getting. that ask of me, but not so much as to ask that i am under some sort of delusion about how things are. i don't like a willing suspension of disbelief unless i'm watching a tom cruise movie.
wine and politics? give it to me straight.
and straight up, this is the kinda wine i like. accessible, but something to rave about. affordable, but worth the price and then some. and handsome at any gathering.
and, it's local. made right here in my state, by a local boy made good. well, *local* in that we share a birth region as well as a (temporary) transplant location. so he's as local as anything else i guess.
bring this wine to a housewarming, or, better yet, serve this wine at your own housewarming, saving the bottles your guests bring for another time. (perfectly acceptable etiquette wise)
we have to remember that this is our one wonderful life! make your voice known! take chances! make choices!
make your voice heard!
drink this wine!
because no matter how it all pours out in the end, you always have a voice, and there is always wine. hell, even if it doesn't pan out how you like, take advantage of your options and keep your fingers crossed.
and, really, this beloved country has MORE THAN PROVED that while 8 years can seem like 80, this too, shall pass.
sigh. double. sigh.
and hey, in the meantime, in matters of drink and politics, USE IT OR LOSE IT!