Sometimes too much of a good thing backfires – today is a prime example of this. We knew this was going to be a busy Saturday – a brand new event here in San Marcos (which we were pegged to volunteer at from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.) then the plan was home to shower and clean up (yes, we do that sometimes pretty darn well) – then off to Austin for Jean’s Christmas party with her co-workers and then the HIGHLIGHT of the evening – a trip to Vino Vino with the “usual suspects”. Needless to say, we were pumped for all the above – especially the VV visit.
It had been a long week, made a bit longer with Jean acquiring her annual sinus infection / cold. Lots of kleenex, cold and sinus medicine (not to mention the wonder drug – amoxicillin) made the week tolerable and by today she felt up to the challenge of the day. Brian on the hand, felt the effects of rapidly changing weather moving in on Friday. Yep, same symptoms – slightly different cough, but was heading downhill fast. However, being the troopers we are, off we went to the 1st Annual (have to stop here for a minute and jump back to college and Dr. Francine Hoffmann who would tell us “there is no such thing as a 1st Annual – if you have done at least once before it can be an annual event – must admit we think of her every time we see “1st Annual” anything) Pennant Chase BBQ and Chili Cookoff held at the Farm Club Baseball complex about 10 miles out-of-town. The event was a fundraiser for the Wounded Warriors, The 100 Club and the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce. It turned out to be a great day, good crowd of cookers, wonderful music, a few baseball games and just an all around grand time.
When the call rang out for judges, we raised our hands high! “Yes, yes, we’ll do it”, we shouted! Well, little did we know that we would get to judge Beans (9 entries), Ribs (11 entries), and yes Chili (13 entries). Ok, we really thought we had cast iron stomachs, and plunged in and gave judging duties our all. Well, all we can say is that by the time we got home around 4 p.m. – things were not looking good. The situation reminded us of our first dog, Calvert (named after the city in Texas where we plucked her out of a washtub at the age of 4 weeks). Calvert was a great dog – had her for over 14 years and she was very much part of the family. Anyway, Calvert had a habit of eating all kinds of interesting things and then needing to be taken to the Vet for what was called “dietary indiscretions” – translations, she ate too much junk and had an upset stomach for a few days. By now you get the picture. Bottom line here is . . . we overdid it – although enjoyed the experience and will most likely do it again – and paid the price. Sadly, we didn’t make the trip north to Austin and from the text messages received, missed a grand time. Lesson learned – plan better next time and learn to just say “no”.
So, by late evening we did open our bottle of wine – perhaps that would soothe the raging beast! We opened a bottle from Chile (thought that would be appropriate given the day!) We opened a 2009 Falernia Carmenere Syrah. The wine was “Inky ruby. ” We picked up aromas of blueberry, cracked pepper and dark chocolate. Juicy and very full–its flavors of dark berry with chocolate, smoke and vanilla. This wine could easily pass for a syrah, and a pretty good one at that. Finishes a little tangy, but as it opens up there is a sweetness to it, with lingering smokiness and definitely a good long finish. A Central Market purchase, this one came in at a regular price of 13.99 and with our sale discount, we paid 11.69. For the money, we’d definitely buy this wine again. It’s not like any of the other Chilean wines we’ve tasted and because of the Syrah element, this wine has loads of potential. Earlier vintages routinely earned 90-92 with Robert Parker and Wine Advocate.
So, on a day when we started a new tradition of BBQ and Chili Cook-Offs in Central Texas, we aptly chose to taste a wine from Chile. We’re fortunate in that the pepcid ac has kicked in as the evening has worn on and we’re ready for whatever tomorrow brings. As a value-priced wine, this is one worth stocking up for the holidays. It’s hard enough to come up with solid values under $15 a bottle in American wines, let alone wines from other countries. This one is a keeper.
As Sunday comes around the corner, we hope that you’ll enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.