Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wine Blogging Wednesday #49: End of an Era?

Today's Wine Blogging Wednesday is hosted by dhonig of the wine blog 2 Days per Bottle. A Renaissance man, dhonig is part wine blogger, part cartoon artist, and part political commentator--and that's not all. But for this month, all we need to know is that he's our leader for Wine Blogging Wednesday. For his theme he's asked wine bloggers to consider the following: "What will you drink to toast the end of the Bush era?"

There were a number of ways to go with this one, and dhonig suggested several different angles in his announcement. But I decided to select a wine that that is suitable not only for this election day and inauguration, but for every subsequent election day and inauguration: the 2005 Great Whatsit Stolpman Vineyards Syrah brought to you by the good people at domaine547 ($20 on introductory special from domaine547; normally priced $25).

Let me explain why this wine was my choice for WBW #49 before I tell you about the wine.

Every four years I sit in front of a television, alone or with friends, and watch the election returns. Often, my candidate does not win. I am always shocked and somewhat horrified when this is the case, and then go through several months if not years of depression watching the news and wondering how people could have made such a colossal error.

Then, I remember that this is the entire point of this little experiment in self-governance we call America.

My family has been here a long time; a really long time. If you shake my family tree out will fall people persecuted for their religious beliefs, outlaws, rebels, poets, harborers of men who had executed a king, and heroic women who managed hardscrabble farms and families of eleven in the boondocks of Massachusetts and Connecticut in January while their husbands went off to fight in this war or that war before there was text-messaging or running water.

What they all lived and died for was their unshakable belief in the self-evident right of people to make their own bad decisions.

Bottom line is this: we never know what will happen on election day, or whether the person the majority of Americans have or have not voted into office will be an utter disaster. It's a mystery. Every election day we're left opening Pandora's Box and facing the great unkown. Who will it be? What will they bring? We never know. And that's why I chose this wine.

The 2005 Great Whatsit Syrah is a wine selected by domaine547 and made from fruit grown at Stolpman Vineyards. You can click here to find out why domaine547 called their "mystery in a bottle" wine The Great Whatsit. Kudos to domaine547 for selecting this excellent QPR wine for us ! The 2005 vintage is a little bit red (state) and a little bit blue (state) in its appearance: i.e. it's dark purple. This wine is as smooth as Barack Obama's prose, and as spunky as a hockey mom or pit bull wearing lipstick (your choice).There were aromas smoky enough to fill any room in Washington, and some rich plum and spice notes, too. I loved its cinnamon-inflected spiciness and its warm fruit flavors of blackberry, black cherry, and black plum. The wine had a nice lift as it went over your tongue, which was almost enough to lift your spirits as we head into the final 40 odd days of the campaign.

I think the wine will continue to mellow out over the next 1-3 years, or until the next presidential campaign begins (which could be as early as February). Even now it's plummy and drinkable, and perfect for pairing with burgers, bbq, or even a pizza while you watch the election returns. I loved this wine's complexity, its drinkability, and its clever packaging. If you're having an election party, what better wine to serve to your guests as you await the outcome?

Thanks also to dhonig for an excellent theme to get us thinking about wine and politics. And if you're still thinking about wine and politics, don't forget to join us for the 5th edition of the Wine Book Club in late October.



Rebecca Rethore said...

GREAT selection,Dr. Debs! And always a delight to read your musings. Our candidates and other esteemed leaders could take a page out of your prose book, too!

Strumerika said...

Very nice metaphors in there! hehe. I'll have to try the Great Whatsit.

Jill said...

Thanks for the review! I'm really happy that you enjoyed the wine.

In reading your thoughts, I also realize that The Great Whatsit fits nicely into the "end of an era" theme on another level: it's a reference to the 1955 Robert Aldrich film, Kiss Me Deadly, that is said to be the final Film Noir of the 40s/50s Noir genre cycle.

Kiss Me Deadly is, perhaps, the ulitmate Cold War Noir. The anxiety reflected in the film is pretty applicable to today's political mise-en-scene. It's worth seeing for those of you who haven't yet had the pleasure.

Here's to drinking AND thinking!