casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 126: Drive For Show, Putt For Dough . . .

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Ben HoganNow that we have your attention with our headline and the bottle of wine that we’ll talk about in a bit, we’d like to take a moment to remember six years ago when Daughter #2 was in junior high in Kerrville, Texas.  On first inspection, not all that important—however, as she points out, that year, she–and a number of other junior high kids ran track at the middle school.  It turns out that one of the kids running track with all of the others was one of the football players named, Johnny Manziel.  Just to be clear, there are no skeletons in the closet from this story other than a tangible reminder that we ALL come from humble beginnings and what makes US great is what WE do.

With tonight’s Cotton Bowl shellacking of the Oklahoma Sooners, the rest of the country had the opportunity to see why the Heisman Trophy went to a redshirt freshman from Kerrville, Texas.  The kid can flat out play.  BUT, one of the side notes from the game was that Manziel was a three-sport player in high school—football, baseball, and golf.  Golf?  Really?  Some research has uncovered a common denominator in athletes; many football, baseball and basketball players in high school and college have an affinity for golf.  Go figure.  As many times as we’ve been on the course and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings–spoiled by the little dimpled ball, who would have thought that athletes love this game.

Golf is a game of honor and honesty; it’s also a game of skill and mental toughness.  It’s a perfect game for those who aren’t built like a brick wall, but it’s also a game that can be played by people built like brick walls.  As we have followed major league baseball players, it’s amazing the number of guys who love to play golf on their days off.  The same goes for hockey players and football players.  We still remember playing in a charity golf tournament in St. Louis and former St. Louis Blues hockey player, Kelly Chase was on the course–the whole place couldn’t wait to see him. . .and he was a pretty cool guy to talk with.

Anyway, tonight we broke out one of our favorites from our trip to Paso Robles this past October.  It seemed appropriate for a number of reasons–mentioned above–and for the fact that today was the opening round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.  Unfortunately, for today’s players, rain washed out the round and it will be played from the beginning starting tomorrow, but our wine was good from the start–today!  The 2008 Ben Hogan Carnoustie Tribute Series wine seemed like a perfect fit for the first Friday in January, and the minute we opened the bottle, we knew that this was a special wine.  A beautiful cork unveiled a beautifully scented wine – the pour yielded a deep, dark purple and the nose was amazingly fresh with a hint of oak.  This wine is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot, and each offered its own attribute to the blend. Syrah is rich, ripe and forward with a mouth-filling texture while Cabernet lends strength and ‘backbone’ to the wine. The addition of Merlot binds this wine together with its ripe middle palate weight and length of flavor.  The finish was smooth as glass and just melded into your palate.  What makes it special from our viewpoint is that it’s a big, bold, flavorful wine that–until today–was only going to get better!  Accompanied by a garlic pasta, roasted red pepper and chicken dish, the wine seemed to melt its way around the food for a perfect compliment to the meal.

Wow, a great way to start the weekend.  A great game of football at the Cotton Bowl–Johnny ‘Football’ proved to the country that his Heisman Trophy wasn’t a fluke–this kid’s the REAL DEAL.  But, he’s also just a kid whose enjoying a ride on the ‘game of life’ and whether he played high school football or ran middle school track, he’s just another kid.  He also happens to love playing golf, and with the start of the 2013 PGA Tour season, another challenging tournament schedule is underway.  We certainly enjoyed our salute to all of the above with our 2008 Ben Hogan Carnoustie Series wine and hope that if you have the opportunity to drive for show and putt for dough, you’ll make it happen.

Until then, enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.


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