Candy corn hangover
Wines for your November blues
By Tim Protzman email@example.com
Is that hangover from cheap whiskey or candy corn and cigarettes?
By now, the Baby Ruths are probably almost gone and all you’ll have are some mottled Junior Mints that stuck to the bottom of the pillowcase your kid trick-or-treated with. November comes in a lot like Ash Wednesday, the debris of the night before still soiling the streets.
And this year we had some scary wines to dress up as: The Argentinean cabernet with roid rage. That Pinot Noir from Veneto. The blue wine cooler. But Halloween also marks the passage into the holidays, the turn from whites to reds.
And the season of new wines. And I don’t mean Beaujolais Nouveau. Many wines are released for the first time after a year or two in the bottle. This week we did something we haven’t in a while. We had a wine tasting, a formal wine tasting with the Wine Rookies. You’re a wine rookie; be proud of it. You have the knowledge and palate to appreciate any wine in the world. That $8,499 dollar bottle of 1865 Chateau Montrose, no problem. I don’t care if the last wine you drank had an animal name, you have the ability to judge it. And your opinion counts! Remember if new cars had the disappointment rate that wine does we’d all be biking to work. I’ve found that over 60 percent of what I drink is unpleasant. Yet I keep going back. Searching.
I guess the bad bottles make the good ones better. I’m just glad my cable company’s not owned by a vineyard, or I’d never have service.
Here are this week’s wines:
Rather than list them, let me arrange them in the way I drank them — me, my son and Chris. The wine was free from Kendall-Jackson.
• 2006 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay ($9.99) This wine was heavy and sweet to my son. Chris demurred, but I found it nice in a Gewurztraminer way. Maybe America does want a touch of sweetness in their whites?
• Much more honest was the 2006 Kendall-Jackson Pinot Noir ($9.99). Very much like a Burgundy. Thin, austere with little fruit and nice tannins. This was like a French village wine that you get in an Auvergne roadhouse frequented by Gallic bikers and plump English women who cook. Honest, pure, just not an eye-opener. Would buy this wine again in a pinch.
• 2005 Termes ($29.99) from Toro, Spain, on the River Duero. This wine was too tannic and one-dimensional. I expected more. Made from Tinta de Toro grapes, the local version of tempranillo. Termas? No mas.
• 2006 Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco ($11.99). This wine’s the same as pinot grigio, but with a better pedigree. It’s DOC, which means all the grapes come from Alto Adige. It was light, ephemeral, lemony with a hint of butter. It was lobster and escarole. It was easy to drink and a little light for goat cheese. This wine shows why I should drink more whites. Dave thought this one was watery.
• 2003 Cenit ($26.89). From Zamora, Spain and classified lower than the usual Denominación de Origen. The Vino calificado y garantizado is for wine regions that haven’t yet reached world-class status. Cenit is an example. Tempranillo, which they call tinto.
• 2000 Colle dei Ventri Tufo blu Barolo ($32.99). A delicious nebbiolo from Piedmonte, Italy. Dried cherry, sage, licorice, Vick’s Cough Syrup and a strong tannic backbone that whispered there’s alcohol in here. One of the best wines I’ve had in a while. Just coming into its middle age, and doing great. Tufo blu means tough blue? I think it refers to the picture on the label of the abstract painting. I was confused this wine had the DOCG (the highest) classification on the front and just DOC on the back.