Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wine crush

You probably think this post is about how grapes are crushed. You're wrong. I won't learn that until Vintage I with Shelby Ledgerwood, Wednesday nights starting in April.

This is about having a crush on a wine.

A wine crush is a special thing, tender and beautiful like a regular crush but better because it gets you drunk and you never have to think about text message etiquette. It's when you find a wine that you can't stop drinking and when you finally do, you can't stop dreaming about it.

I'm drinking one of mine right now.

(the background is a dress I bought for 1 dollar)

I first had the Charles Smith 2011 Boom Boom Syrah with my mom and brother. After a discussion with the waiter about how Mom and Sky don't normally like Malbec, he brought us a taste and they liked it enough for me to get a glass. The understanding that we were sharing the three different glasses of wine we ordered was undermined by the fact that I was really the only Malbec drinker. I got this. I have manners. My Mom and brother pay for everything when we go out because I am a poor, starving artist. They make a huge deal when I so much as spring for parking, as if I'm the most generous person on earth. I was obviously going to drink the Malbec.

But you know when you're obviously going to go out again with that really nice girl you met on JDate because she seems not full-on crazy and hot in a stable way, where she won't look totally different in the morning, and why not, she's nice and went to Brown and maybe her weird sense of humor will get less annoying over time, and then you meet a lady at a party and she's hammered and steals your hat but not in a cute way, she has no intention of ever giving it back, and she is T-R-O-U-B-L-E for SURE but you have to see her again, you just can't get enough of her, and old JDate just goes out the window?

Well, that's what happened to me when Sky ordered this wine.

(I rest wine atop health insurance rejection letters because I am the king of my own destiny)

I have never written down the info of a wine at a restaurant with the plan to buy it in the future. But then, I'd never felt this way about a wine before. I swiped Sky's glass again and again, not wanting to admit the hold it had on me and swapping our goblets for good. I was hooked. It stole all of my hats and I loved it.

And now, drinking it again, it's all coming back. After the first sip, I start to smile, giddy that it's as good as I remembered, happy that, on sale (!) at BevMo for 13.99 a bottle, it seemed to like me, too. At least enough to be priced reasonably.

To me, this wine is everything. Smokey with plenty of pepper like a good Syrah should be, it's also got layers of fruit and earth in there. Full, but lighter than most Syrahs, I swear, every time I give it a sniff, there's something new. A whiff of it still yields green bell pepper, blackberry, oak. Give it a swirl and there's black cherry, vanilla, smoke. It's got formidable tannins but a juicy quality. Its celebrity twin would be Beyonce: rich and complex and luscious, with so many acts in its career they just blend together elegantly, mysteriously, making you come back to see what its next talent will be. Ooh, just got some raspberry there.

And like a good crush, we don't even have to go all the way. Just sniffing for hours is a thrill, maybe tiny sips now and then. "You're bad," I giggle, as I take the slightest wisp into my mouth.

But it wouldn't be a crush if everybody felt the same. To me--ooh, did I just get leather? I think so--this wine is a straight up treasure. But to others, it's just a red. I looked this wine up to send a link to my dad, and the reviews on the first website I clicked may as well have been written by Negative Nancy and her lesser known friends Bleak Brenda and We Must Have Different Palates and Yours Sucks Janine. But that's fine--that was plum. Definitely plum--if everyone liked my crush as much as I did, I wouldn't stand a chance.

As for pairings, I'd say an open heart. Oh, and I just had it with a Reeses Peanut Butter egg and it was God damn delicious.

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