…What Is Essential Is…

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There are times when I do this, that I wonder why I keep doing this.  I wonder if at some point I’ll become burnt out, or run out of fun wines to talk about.  The former is possible, the latter well..  There will never be enough time to try all the wine.  Hey!

After consecutive weeks of posts where all I did was review Whites and Rosé’s, it’s time to get back to what made me love wine in the first place, a simple, full bodied, and affordable red wine.

If it weren’t for dear friends of mine inviting me to dinner just hours ago, this may have been another white wine or Rosé post.  The dinner that we had could only be justified with something full, something powerful, yet something approachable.

My friend suggested an Australian Shiraz, and I agreed, with pleasure.  It didn’t take long to find something I liked. As a matter of fact, one jumped at me simply because of the label.

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The artwork and the beauty displayed from the 2014 Big Squeeze Shiraz by Evans & Tate will draw anyone in.  This depiction of animals, nature, and all the elements that are bright in the world sold immediately.

Its at this moment, that after $14 later, I so badly want this wine to taste amazing.   I already have a memory attached to it (its that dragonfly and butterfly, among all the other goodness), and I’ve yet to uncork (or in this case unscrew) this anticipatory bottle.

I’m so happy and grateful to report this wine was stellar upon opening, and got better with time.  And then it just kept getting better with time.  And this is all before dinner was served.

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So what is it about this wine, aside from the art?    It comprises everything I grew to love about reds.  First, I adore Shiraz.  Second, it’s the simple inclusion of plum, cherry, pepper, among the other easiest elements of the universe.    There’s lots of toasted oak too to almost make you think its a different season.  Almost.

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In short, this wine is approachable, medium bodied (in my tasters opinion) for a Shiraz that it almost tastes light, and is perfect for the Summer.   Yes you can have a red wine in the Summer and not feel bloated or regretful the next day.  It’s tremendous, it’s beautiful, and it’s what a red wine is supposed to taste like.

And my goodness this is pair perfectly dinner.  My friend was spot on with this call.  For a wine that with a beautiful label that represents goodness and the best parts of our planet, it only made sense that this meal (mostly comprised of local and organic elements would go with our wine.   Yes, our wine.   The expectations were so high that two bottles were actually purchased.

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Not only did the wine wow us all, but so did the food.  The meal which comprised of lamb sausage, pasta with homemade pesto and local basil, and local squash was a hearty yet the right kind of filling meal.  A fuller bodied Shiraz or any red may have undermined what were dining on.  It’s one of those things I realized while we were eating, and now as I write about this experience.

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And how could I forget the Caprese Salad?  Joyous emotions all around.   The tannin level on this wine leans towards the lower side, which in hindsight I appreciate even more.  As much as I love high levels of tannin, it wouldn’t work with this meal, at least in this instance.

I just found this to be so perfect.  It was so perfect, that the picture taking was limited. This was wine and meal I wanted to enjoy with my friends, and retain as many memories for myself and with my pals.

From when this wine was opened up until the conclusion of dinner was about an hour.  I can’t tell you how great the food was, and I can’t elaborate properly how this wine got so much better with each minute of breathing.   Some wines air out and then they settle into their intended taste for a while.  This one just kept getting better with each sip. But this wine is something special.

But everything factors into an awe-inspiring wine experience; the company, the weather, the food, your mood, and every other element the universe decides to present to us.

The conversation was great, it was necessary, and it was therapeutic.

Life is good but as much as I love wine on my own, great company is always a welcome thing.  And I’m grateful these folks are not only great company, but great friends.

And what wine is really that good if you can’t share it with good people.

Until today I’ve never seen this wine in my life.    To see if this wine is available near you, click here.  If not, you can also purchase this bottle online.    This wine is listed anywhere from $10-$14 and I feel it tastes closer to a $20+ bottle. That’s meant as a compliment.

There’s still plenty of time to write about all the other wines that identify with the Summer.  I sense this will resume next week.

So I’ll see you then.  Thanks so much.

Ideen

 

Money Ink

A dear friend of mine recently had a celebration of all sorts.  We were honoring his birthday, his pending divorce, an end of an era, and the start of a new one.

The party was one for the record books.  The food and libations were in abundance.  The site was a beautiful house in a secluded area of Baltimore County.  It was the perfect setting for a day of emotion, revelry, and merriment.   The congregation was at epic levels.

An in-ground pool, a slip n’ slide course, and a gaming lounge on the inside was provided.  The gaming lounge included table tennis, beer pong, card games, and any other drinking game an attendee was motivated to get folks involved in. There was to be an Olympic like obstacle course inspired by the program, Wipeout, but the weather postponed the event and emotional opening ceremonies for a later date.

Nevertheless, this was still a part for the ages.  Many good pals and friends came out to support our friend in his present and future endeavors.  And I was one of those people who almost no showed because of the torrential downpours.   I would have regretted that decision if I chose to stay home.  A great majority of invited guests still made their appearance and everyone seemed happy they did.

The eats were plentiful. We had burgers, hot dogs, chips of all kinds, hummus, pasta salads, and all kinds of various dips.   Those were devoured before any pictures were taken.

As for the alcohol, there was a beer keg, and plenty of various liquors for mixers.   However, I chose to mainly stick with wine, as did a few other folks.

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In honor of the ink being nearly dry on my friends divorce proceedings, I arrived with a bottle of Black Ink.   I didn’t realize at the time how apropos this choice was.

Bear in mind, I could have brought anything.  But in tradition of never coming empty-handed to a party, I grabbed a wine that looked fun and stood out from the crowd.  The guest of honor is a huge fan of Red Blends, so that factored into the decision.

The wine itself was just fine.   It’s as mysterious as the website itself, which explains nothing and has no links to click on.   Their parent company, sheds a little more light on it.  And here’s even more information.   I wouldn’t say it was my favorite, but it was a good bottle for the low price of $9.99.   There’s an image of a squid under the cap that I wish I had taken a photo of.

This is a melange of Syrah, Merlot, Malbec, and, Zinfandel. The smokiness was present, and some hints of spices and obscure flavors.   But as to what I don’t know.  It was a nice drinking wine by itself or with the food that was decimated throughout the party.   More photos would have been taken but I wanted to keep the mystery of the event just like the wine, at the right decibel.

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No fancy wine glasses for this one.  I was happy drinking from a cup.

For those that stayed longer, just when we thought the party was winding down, we kept going.   It was great to make new friends, reconnect with past ones we’ve lost touch with, and a celebration of life, enjoying the Summer, and feeling good.

Some of what transpired is too good for words and pictures.  It’s memories that we get to keep for ourselves and share with our loved ones that were there.

And just like the wine, the ink will soon be dry.

Best,

Ideen