casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 14 – What is Red and White and Kind of a Puzzle?

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Did you know that on this day in 1901, the 42-year-old Theodore Roosevelt was suddenly elevated to the White House when President McKinley died from an assassin’s bullet?  Hard to believe that his rise to the Presidency was tied to something that he had no control.  Also on this date, “I Shot the Sheriff” hit No. 1 on the music charts. While the song had been written by reggae legend, Bob Marley the previous year, it was Eric Clapton’s version that ascended to the top of the charts – BUT he did not shoot the Deputy!  And finally, “The question of who invented rock and roll will be never be answered authoritatively, but one of the handful of names that belongs in any discussion of the topic is Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as Little Richard. He has called himself “The Architect of Rock and Roll” – a title he has every right to claim by force of both his music, which played a critical role in moving early rock and roll toward its now-familiar sound, and his personality, which helped create our basic expectations of rock-and-roll performers and performances. The combined power of those forces was unleashed upon the world as a result of the events that took place on this day in 1955, when Little Richard walked into a New Orleans recording studio and gave birth to a record called “Tutti Frutti.”

So much history – so little time!  It’s enough to make you feel like you’re in a conundrum . . . you know, a ‘conundrum’ – “anything that puzzles” !  And our wine tonight is a blend that is named, appropriately enough, 2009 Conundrum, a proprietary blend of California Red Wine from winemaker, Charlie Wagner II (that’s right, he’s from the same family that makes Caymus Wines) and Conundrum Wines, Rutherford, California.

What’s cool about this wine is that the red wine, which we sampled tonight, is the FIRST Red vintage, and offers amazing fruit flavors.  According to the Conundrum website, “Conundrum Red is quite the quandary; almost floral on the nose with velvety chocolate flavors and silky smooth tannins that add richness and complexity.”  All we know is that when you add cheese, crackers, sausage and prosciutto ham, the wine gets structure, incredible taste and the nose,?  Lions, and Tigers and Bears – Oh my!  And, whether you’re marrying this wine with glazed pork chops or sitting on the deck, it is time to enjoy some!

Bamn – we were johnny on the spot and tended to agree with the tasting notes from the winery – “the nose is almost floral with tones of lavender, dried berries, baking chocolate and bacon bits.  Aromas are rich, velvety and wonderfully appealing.  The taste is fruit driven both before and after the high tannin middle core.  The finish is long and deserving of a second sip”.  When he really liked something,  Teddy R. was known to say – “Bully” – when it comes to this wine, we couldn’t agree more! 

We saw that it was regularly priced around $17 – $19 per bottle, but found it value-priced at Twin Liquors during their 75th Anniversary Sale for under $15. This price for a blend with the pedigree of Caymus behind it should be worth the price at double the current retail price!  But, what ‘puzzles’ us is that the red is only in its’ second vintage and their white blend has been around for a while . . . guess it gives us yet another opportunity to talk about a different white wine in the future !

We loved the color, taste and structure of this wine and heartily recommend it for sitting around on a Sunday evening or breaking out the cheese and crackers with friends.  Once you’ve tried it, you won’t be puzzled any longer.

Here’s to a weekend! (that really doesn’t start until we both finish work functions tomorrow, but Cheers nonetheless!).

Remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.

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