Saturday, June 18, 2011

Second String Sommelier

Screw it.  I'm going to start talking about wine.  It's embarrassing, or it seems like it would be -- I wouldn't know because I don't actually talk about wine in front of anyone but Josh (until now) -- embarrassing to misuse the insider vocabulary, or to get the taste completely wrong.  But then, think about that: get the taste wrong?  That's ridiculous.  I like wine.  I taste what I taste.  I'm going to describe what I taste.  Weekly.  We open (at least) a bottle each week, and lately I've been experimenting, reaching for something new, trying to learn and ask questions when I do.  Plus, after reading this review of the wine I chose this evening, well, I can't possibly sound that ridiculous:

"Inky ruby. Spicy black cherry, tobacco, minerals, licorice and menthol on the nose, all lifted by a floral topnote. Taut, focused and quite primary; today this is all zesty dark fruits and seems quite unformed. Impressively nervy and dry, with chewy extract and emerging notes of graphite, herbs and Indian spices. This very fresh, slowly evolving wine finishes with sneaky tannins and firm mineral-driven persistence." -90 points- Josh Raynolds- International Wine Cellar

WTF?  "Inky?"  "Emerging notes of graphite?"  Does he chew on writing utensils? I cannot associate a taste with those descriptors.

We cracked this guy open while the kids brushed their teeth, and let it sit until they were in bed, then poured it up for a little Saturday night toast.  2008 Luna Beberide Finca la Cuesta...  LUSH. That's the word that first rushed to mind, taking a big nosey whiff inside the glass.  Lingering on the smell, I'd call out dark cherry and herbs... oregano, even.  If I'm feeling brave.  Oak.  On the taste, it's dry, with more than a little blueberry and spice.  "Indian spices," I'm not sure... maybe. A little peppery, for sure.  But smooth and enjoyable, too, without too much bite on the back of the tongue.

There you go.  My first wine review.  Oh, the grape was a new one for me, too.  I've been focused on Spanish wines lately (garnacha, tempranillo, and monastrell), but have yet to see this one: Mencia.  This wine is a single vineyard mencia, sourced from 60 year old vines.  It has officially earned the Dish Seal of Approval.  $20 range, and worth it on a Saturday night spent at home.  I would pair it with spicy mole chicken.  On the hors d'oeuvre side... almonds, a rich goat cheese with cracked pepper, dried cherries and seedy crackers.  Go for it!

1 comment:

  1. Well done! You've developed a sophisticated palate since I first introduced you to fried calamari by calling them fried onion rings when you were about 7 years old...