x-fact ~ 'corked' wine is wine that has been tainted by a particular chemical compound thought to be infesting the cork. in short it is terrible tasting and considered undrinkable by most people. and by 'most' apparently i don't mean 'me.'
all right. so i had this wine some years ago. and it.was.awful. truly terrible. it tasted like badly roasted meat and horseshit. it was actually surprising how horrifying it was. i kept drinking it thinking it would get better and it never did. boy that was a chore to choke back. like work almost. my life, so hard.
anyhow, when i first realized how awful it was i said to the forever designated driver 'this tastes like badly roasted meat. and horseshit! like it was made in a stall!'
so i checked the back of the bottle and sure enough the vineyard was on land that used to be used to raise championship horses! ah ha! i should have known by the horse on the label something was up. BUT in my defense i like to believe that the label was different a few years ago. and besides, a horse on the label shouldn't mean it's going to taste like horseshit. (yes, i'm trying to see how many times i can work the word 'horseshit' in. is it even one word? in my world it is.) then i continued to read and it said it had a 'palate bursting with cherry, and blah, and blah, and SMOKED MEAT FLAVORS!' ah HA! and BLEH!
anyhow, so...so i drank it. and like i said, it did not get better. and it simply did not occur to me to A) STOP DRINKING IT. right? or B) that it was 100% totally certifiably CORKED. even with all i know apparently common sense isn't as common around here as it once was.
even so, while those 'flavors' were meant to be in there, i maintain there is simply NO WAY it was meant to be as bad as it was. even with my unrefined palate.
so. flash forward to a few weeks ago it was at the store and on sale and i said what the hell. let's give this sucker another try.
and you know what, i am so very glad i did. i mean i didn't drink it and start bursting into song or anything, but it's a good solid wine for the price.
it's got a subtle but clinging plum taste, and less so i can taste a little ripe berry. just a hint. certainly not juicy, but 'juicy adjacent' for sure. even as dry as it is, mostly it's pretty rich. hearty even. not heavily so, just noticeably so.
why you even read this i do not know. i clearly do not know what i'm talking about. sip. sip.
i know what i like, though, and speaking of juicy...the juicy, dripping legs down the glass coupled with the beautiful jewel tone and it's definitely a nice looking pour worthy of the table and glass sitting upon it. and not a hint of a horse pasture to be found. ahh.
this is a biggish sort of wine. bold. not for pairing with some dainty dish. well, unless you're into that sort of thing. i would like to serve this wine with the beef and mushroom stew i'm making later in the week. along with rustic bread and a simply dressed salad. perfect.
or better yet with a pakistani curry, the wine cutting perfectly through the spice and further complementing the flavors as they linger and mingle on the tongue. delicious.
tonight it's just me, long after dinner, in front of the computer at my perennially messy desk. even without benefit of a meal or proper aesthetics it's a fine choice this evening given the theme of second chances.
9 years ago tonight i began labor with my second child. a child by all rights anyone could understand me not wanting to have, let alone deliberately choosing to conceive. giving birth to my first child nearly killed me. well, there's some debate about the 'nearly.' as i could tell you story of me hanging out on the ceiling, floating really, watching the festivities below and making the conscious decision to come back down to earth. to give it a second chance. WANTING that second chance so badly i fought to get back down. it was a scary time complete with a debilitating and slow recovery.
then on top of that i got a taurus boy baby. oy.
but, i did give the whole baby having thing another chance. took the leap. and after 24 hours of labor, and only nearly 'nearly' dying the second time, i gave birth to one of the most awesome people this world has ever seen. and as i sit here i am basking in the beauty of choices, second chances, and my pair of awesome children.
so yea! to the second chance!
and while i sip this wine i'm imagining other possibilities. more possibilities of the gastric nature. the wild mushroom bourguignon i make only once a year and only during the height of mushroom season would be perfect with this. the toothy bite of the mushrooms and pasta enrobed in an earthy yet luxurious sauce would be a perfect partner with the boldness of this wine. or the pate de compagne i really have been dying to make and have not yet found the 'excuse' to. of course served with cornichons, mustard, a good bread, and this wine.
or a good friend, two glasses, and this wine. which to me IS the perfect 'meal.' the possibilities are endless. mais oui.
the second chance gives you so much more than the first. the opportunity to drop judgment and go forward with an open mind. the possibility of discovery, for the better. to put adventure in the place of fear. paving the way to finding out what you missed, what you didn't, and with either the chance to tie up any loose ends should you need to. in some cases, untying them.
the second chance is the do-over. the answer to the what-if. it's the end of the movie only this time you know what happens after he walked away. or ran. or she did. or, you did.
and isn't it so much more interesting to *really* see what's gonna happen? and then it does! and sometimes, a LOT of times, it's a whole lot more fun than the first time around.
the only thing that happened the first time i drank this wine is i got a headache.
this time around i'm happily sipping and planning future dates involving lots of good food and a few bottles of this wine. and hopefully more than a few good friends.
i'd like to believe we were all meant to be a little more forgiving and a lot more adventurous than we usually settle ourselves to be. that second chances can be the norm, and that we don't need to wait for them to open our hearts. to dissolve judgment. to make the leap.
that's what i'd like to believe, anyway.