Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wine + astrology

If there's one field more doubted than wine tasting, it's astrology. I spout off about aromas of wet stone and petrol and quince and even I don't really buy into it. To be fair, part of the reason I don't believe in astrology is because I decided to get into it at one point, got an online reading of my astrology and numerology, and was told my life is going to continue to be a disappointment until its early end. You know how psychics only ever give you good news? Internet astrologers don't have the same tact.

But on its most simple and fun level, astrology is all about character. And so is wine. Wines age. Wines have layers. As far as beverages go, they're pretty human. And so, knowing pretty much nothing about astrology but at least as much as the astrologist at Seventeen magazine, I thought I'd give recommend wines by star sign. Because that's the other thing drinking wine has in common with reading your horoscope: why not?


Characteristics: competitive, impulsive, independent, dynamic, quick-tempered, domineering, trusting, honest
Symbol: Ram
Element: Fire
Wine: A strong and spicy wine that steals the show with its bold, straightforward flavors. Try this 2009 Amitage Red Blend with steak and potatoes and saying it to their face. Maybe a little punching, too.


Characteristics: patient, dependable, practical, determined, artistic, loyal, stubborn, self-indulgent
Symbol: Bull
Element: Earth
Wine: There's more to you than meets the eye, like the fact that you love the finer things in life even though you're down-to-earth. Pair yourself with something equally indulgent, complex, and stubbornly delicious like the Herederos Del Marques De Riscal 2006 Rioja Reserva. And the popcorn I paired it with isn't a bad idea for you either--air signs can lighten up earth signs, just like popcorn can help the flavors in this wine sing.


Characteristics: curious, versatile, expressive, persuasive, changeable, clever, restless, talkative
Symbol: Twins
Element: Earth
Wine: I'm a Gemini. It's the easiest star sign to bullshit, because people just say, "oh, well there's two of you." So basically any personality trait goes. I say this is a wine wildcard. But since I'm bubbly, talkative, and will leave you with plenty of regrets in the morning, I'd say pick up some cheap champagne and pair it with this Miranda Lambert jam that just fucking gets it. I also like candies.


Characteristics: tenacious, emotional, intuitive, sensitive, sympathetic, traditional, moody, manipulative
Symbol: Crab
Element: Water
Wine: Traditionally, white wine pairs well with shellfish, and this wine in particular brought on the waterworks when I drank (the whole bottle of) it. Get emotional with this hot little number, the 2010 Cut the Fluff.


Characteristics: dramatic, dignified, idealistic, ambitious, proud, generous, romantic, overbearing
Symbol: Lion
Element: Fire
Wine: To pair with that proud and dramatic personality, check out this properly bold 2011 Darkhorse Cabernet Sauvignon. Like the ideal Cabernet, it'll go well with your best home-cooked meal and some Passionate Feelings.


Characteristics: Gentle, industrious, dependable, methodical, soft-spoken, humane, sincere, easily worried
Symbol: Virgin
Element: Earth
Wine: I was a virgin not so long ago. But I popped by Gewurztraminer cherry with this delicious one from Cupcake. Sweet and straightforward and downright delicious, this one could get even you talking. Pair it with Indian like I did, or a tart and earthy pear and goat cheese sandwich on hearty whole grain with a drop of honey and some afternoon friendship.


Characteristics: Cooperative, careful, artistic, persuasive, diplomatic, logical, indecisive, fickle
Symbol: Scales
Element: Air
Wine: If there's one person open-minded enough to judge Chardonnay, it's you. I've never reviewed one, but this Le Ferme Julien 2011 white blend with a hint of oak is a good place to start. And the fact that I paired it with The Voice, an exercise in excellent judgement (sometimes. Except when they eliminate people I like. They they are MONSTERS), is even more perfect!


Characteristics: Passionate, penetrating, private, resourceful, loyal, determined, temperamental, intolerant
Symbol: Scorpion
Element: Water
Wine: Hey, weirdo. I mean that in a good way. I find Scorpios to be weird of it and proud and super into astrology. They're kind of like Gemini, in that any personality trait goes. But here, instead of duplicity, the connotation is depth. This layered, passionate 2011 Boom Boom Syrah is delightfully confusing as well. Pair it with a stew as complex as your personality.


Characteristics: Generous, honest, daring, friendly, confident, enthusiastic, argumentative, blunt
Symbol: Archer
Element: Fire
Wine: Well aren't you just sass and a half! Definitely cheerleader wine (2011 Callaway Sauvignon Blanc) for you. Take this wine to the beach, you little bitch, share it with your hot friends (because of course you have hot friends) and then crush it at drunk windsurfing.


Characteristics: Cautious, focused, responsible, serious, conventional, reliable, hardworking, unforgiving
Symbol: Goat
Element: Earth
Wine: Goats will eat anything. And someone this hardworking deserves to drink anything. Might I suggest this charming Merlot? It's nothing if not reliable...


Characteristics: Independent, tolerant, unpredictable, strong-willed, curious, perceptive, progressive, temperamental
Symbol: Water bearer
Element: Air
Wine: I bet you throw one hell of a party. I mean, that's what a modern-day water-bearer would do, right? So keep it as light and refreshing as your conversation with Reggiano Lambrusco Le Grotte, a super crowd-pleaser, and these blood mimosas you can make from it, which are unexpected and unparalleled.


Characteristics: sensitive, compassionate, imaginative, adaptable, intuitive, idealistic, secretive, vulnerable
Symbol: Fish
Element: Water
Wine: The rich and bold Cocobon might seem a little fish-out-of-water (see what I did there?) for the quiet Pisces, but a bigger sweetheart of a wine there is not. Luscious and sensitive and full of secrets (the secrets are all that crazy mocha flavor), serve it with a box of chocolates and an evening of introspection.

But really, just taste all these wines. I mean, why not? They'll get you drunker than your horoscope.

Star sign info courtesy of infoplease.

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