casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 77: Sometimes You Need a Decoy . . .

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We’re just slightly overwhelmed by the “Black Friday” commercials proliferating television, radio, the internet and even print advertising.  All of this shopping after Thanksgiving has given way to shopping ON Thanksgiving.  What used to be a “safari” to go shopping as early as 5 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving  has turned into a nightmare on Thanksgiving evening.  Adding to the complexity of the “shopping experience” is the use of the internet to ‘supplement’ sales.  All in all, it’s gotten a little out of hand.

Now the stores – in the ever-enticing world of retail – have resorted to opening on Thanksgiving evening.  It wasn’t enough to digest your dinner in front of the television watching football, now we are expected to run out and jump on “Black Friday” specials on Thursday night.  While we’re certain the economy loves the marketing, we’re a little concerned about the human element, which seems to have been left out of the equation.  Thanksgiving was meant to be a family day – shared with loved ones, giving thanks for whatever we may have.  It WAS one of the few days in the world of retail when stores CLOSED.  Unfortunately, the ‘wizards of lightening our wallets’ have devised this new plan that pulls families away from each other as early as 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving afternoon in order to be ready for their 8 p.m. store opening.  So much for family. . .

Don’t get us wrong – we enjoy the thrill of the hunt, the opportunity to chase, but we enjoyed doing it on OUR terms.  You know, fill our bellies up on Thursday; digest everything in the evening and get up at the crack of dawn on Friday.  It worked.  It was exciting. It was the natural order of things.  BUT, things have changed and not necessarily for the better.  It’s like a ‘Black Friday’ decoy – “oh, we want you to shop our great Black Friday deals, but we want you to do it on Thanksgiving.”  Say What?  And to make matters worse, we’re falling for it – hook, line and sinker.  While Jimmy watches football and dozes in the lounger, Jill heads off to the big boxers for their “once in a lifetime” deals.  Even these lovers of Christmas-time are struggling with the latest in sucking money from the wallets.  It’s just plain wrong.

So, tonight we opened a 2010 Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon from Duckhorn Vineyards in Napa Valley, and even though it’s a young wine, it has a certain flair for the dramatic.  Not quite as bold as we expected, but the longer it was opened, the better it became.  Clearly, this wine is meant to be opened now and we were greeted with scents of raspberries, green peppers, cedar and earth-tones.  As the wine opened, the nose settled into a mocha and spice–very different from when it was first opened.  The taste is what caught us off guard–only because we expected less based on the nose.  No, it was full-flavored, soft-toned and the spiciness on the finish was pleasant and unexpected. In short, we were surprised.  Upon closer inspection, we learned that this 2010 Decoy Cabernet Sauvignon is 96% Cabernet, 3% Merlot and 1% Petite Verdot – clearly, the winemakers knew what they were doing.  The price was a good value as well–at it’s listed at $29.99 a bottle; however, at H-E-B, we were able to get it for under $18 .  .  . still high for some, but a value for others.  We can’t say that we’d necessarily recommend it on a regular basis, but as a ‘I need something nice – fast!’  This one might just work .  .  . but we can’t help but feel that we’ve been led to something better especially with its’ lineage from the Duckhorn Vineyards. It’s kind of like Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving.

Good wines are meant to be enjoyed with friends and family; we’d probably choose others to share with our friends and family, but in a pinch, this one could work.  We still struggle with the thought of people being required to work on Thanksgiving so stores can open up Thursday night.  There’s just something UN-American about that.  It smacks of ‘forced labor’ hidden under the glimmer of retail bliss.  Too dramatic?  Perhaps, but if you read this and you know someone in your family or friends of your family who has been told (not asked) to work on our day of Giving Thanks, then perhaps you’ll have some empathy for them.  Thanksgiving is Thursday – reach out and say ‘thank you’ to the important people in your world and enjoy a glass of your favorite wine with them.

Please remember to enjoy your wines responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible and to enjoy the weekend!


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