Sunday, April 27, 2008

Giving a Packie Another Try

Taster B wanted to do some food shopping. Most of the time she doesn’t want me along. When I shop it’s like executing a football play. Head for the produce, swing by the meat, pick up some pasta, cut over to the dairy, check for salsa sales and I’m done. With Taster B, it’s more like painting a landscape. Dabble over here, work on this section over there, and back to dabbling. This isn’t to say it should be done my way. No, we’re different. I drive her nuts. In order to preserve marital harmony, I proposed to go into the packie next door.

We’ve been to this packie several times, it’s a great place to buy beer. The last time we were in there was after our last trip to Sonoma. There was a young gal running a tasting of a couple of wines. She was keeping a smile on her face, but it was a tough crowd.

After a string of beer patrons verbalizing their dislike for the wine, I figured that she could use some good wine conversation. She was admittedly inexperienced and was fascinated with our evaluation of the chardonnay. “Hmmm…citrus, pineapple, pear, apple, oak…” I could see Taster B’s eyes roll in her head with that “there he goes again” look.

Behind the counter was a man in his early twenties. He had a Boston Red Sox cap on, a big fellow. He was interested in what we were discussing with the young lady. We purchased a bottle of the chardonnay. (It was actually nice, refreshing and good for the price.) The clerk behind the counter said, “I’m going to have to take a course.” That was last November.

When I went in, the same man was there with his Red Sox cap and we struck up a conversation. He asked me if he could help me find something. “Well, I’m interested in trying something different. I haven’t had much Malbec, what would you suggest.” Then he started to talk about the different Malbecs (with certainty and enthusiasm) and pointed out the Bundini and admitted that he didn’t know much about it. Then he pointed the Gascón Malbec and recommended this one. Something was different with this guy.

Click to enlarge. (c)2008 SmellsLikeGrape

Then we small talked a bit. Seems that his boss has been sending him to a wine course, two hours per week and he’s learning about geographical regions, soil types, grapes…wow. Kudos to this him for doing this and I’m happy this packie is taking wine seriously.

Let’s see how he did with his recommendation.

Click to enlarge. (c)2008 SmellsLikeGrapeMalbec
Mendoza, Argentina
Vintage: 2007
Alcohol: 14.2%
Price: $12.99

Color: Deep Garnet
Aromas: Pomegranate, cranberry, plum, violet, smoked meat
Flavors: Blueberry, mulberry, pomegranate, olive, charcoal, earth, anise, allspice, oak coffee, chocolate
Body: Full
Sweetness: Dry
Tannins: Leather
Finish: Long

Summary: A little tight at first but decanting opened it up. The flavors are rather striking. The dark Bing cherry, blueberry, mulberry, pomegranate and mocha are predominant. Decanting brought out the spiciness. This wine is bold in its flavors and is a little rough around the edges which decanting helped. This is a 2007 (keep in mind that Argentina harvest is in our springtime).

Tonight, we had authentic Mexican burritos. The Malbec paired perfectly. The wine is complex enough to be interesting. The color is marvelous. It is young and brash and demands food of this nature. Enjoy it with friends.


Carol said...

I love that you worked "packie" into your title. Having lived most of my life in WMass, I heard "packie" all the time. In NY? Not so much. The Malbec sounds nice too.

Taster B said...

we wouldn't buy this Malbec again. Too purple.