Got home from work this evening–really cold outside by our standards–and after getting into more comfortable clothing we turned on the TV and the movie, ‘Shrek Ever After’ was on. Now, this wasn’t exactly what we had in mind to ‘stimulate’ our minds for the evening, but admittedly, the scenes that we watched were entertaining and classic, Mike Meyers. His voice and the inflections in his tone are the reasons–in our opinion–that the series has been so successful. Well, that and some really good writing. But, as we’re sitting there listening to him speak in his Canadian, no British, no Australian, no…we’re not sure…accent, thoughts of Dr. Doolittle came to mind. AND, when the character, Donkey, played by Eddie Murphy came on, well the die was cast.
But, the Dr. Doolittle played by Murphy in two separate films–while very entertaining–pales in comparison to Rex Harrison’s portrayal in the classic, ‘Dr. Doolittle’. Released in 1967, the film had an impressive cast including Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Sir Richard Attenborough and Anthony Newley (Note: These are Hollywood names from a long time ago, but in the day-they were some of the best) who worked through horrible film locations and more than enough animals to beat the band. Apparently, the original budget for the film was around $6 million, but because of the challenges, it ballooned to more than 3x that amount. It opened to less than thrilling reviews, but the folks at the studio worked their magic and it was one of the Academy Award nominees for Best Picture, Best Art Direction, Set Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Music Score and Scoring of Music and finally, Best Sound. Not bad for a show that featured a man who could talk to animals. And, part of the film involves a gift–given to the good doctor, from Wiki, “Long Arrow, a friend of Dolittle’s, sends him the rare two-headed Pushmi-pullyu, a creature that looks like a llama with a head on each end of its body, from Tibet. Matthew, Tommy and Dolittle take the creature to a nearby circus, run by the lovable yet greedy Albert Blossom (Richard Attenborough), who makes the Pushmi-Pullyu the star attraction. Meanwhile, the doctor befriends a circus seal named Sophie who longs to return to her husband. He disguises her in women’s clothing, sneaks her away, and throws her into the ocean from some cliffs.” And for the rest of the story…you’ll need to rent the movie.
When we got home. . .and comfortable. . .we decided to try our first Merlot of the blog. Jean had picked this up on one of her stops at H-E-B scouting for another great wine, and because it’s from one of our favorite places–Paso Robles, California–decided that this might be worth a try. A 2010 Merlot called ‘Pull’ from the Broken Earth Winery in Paso Robles. This wine opens with ripe berry fruit with a hint of tobacco leaf. The palate is rich and the finish is cranberry-filled, with long and luscious tannins. There are hints of dark cherry with some coffee, which are similar to some French wines from the Bordeaux region. We enjoyed it with–believe it or not–chicken noodle soup! Guess what, it rocked the house! It’s amazing how well wines and foods go together even if they weren’t meant to be! Not being fans of Merlot, this wine changed our minds…no, we won’t go hog-wild and start reviewing a lot of Merlots, but the chances are good that you’ll see more than one or two in the next 220+ days.
It’s kind of funny, when we sit down to write these blogs, we never know what’s going to come out and onto the screen. Some days. . .it’s like lightening in a bottle. . .it happens fast and furious while others are like pulling teeth. . .without novocaine! Tonight, it was an easy transition and a great opportunity to try a variety that we’ve avoided until now.
We hope that you’ll step out of your comfort zone and try a new variety as well. Remember to enjoy your favorite varietal responsibly and recycle whenever possible.