casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 143: Puff The Magic Dragon . . .

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Cigar BoxHa . . . remember the song made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary?  It was the classic 60’s anthemn . . . puff, the magic dragon . . . yeah, right!  If you were a teenager or even a twenty-something, you KNEW exactly what they were talking about . . . right ;-)?  When we were in school, this song was one of the songs that “got away” with talking about drug use.  In fact, according to Wiki, “After the song’s initial success, speculation arose — as early as a 1964 article in Newsweek — that the song contained veiled references to smoking marijuana. The word “paper” in the name of Puff’s human friend (Jackie Paper) was said to be a reference to rolling papers, and the word “dragon” was interpreted as “draggin’,” i.e. inhaling smoke; similarly, the name “Puff” was alleged to be a reference to taking a “puff” on a joint. The supposition was claimed to be common knowledge in a letter by a member of the public to The New York Times in 1984.”

However, the research piece goes on to say, The authors of the song have repeatedly rejected this urban legend and have strongly and consistently denied that they intended any references to drug use Peter Yarrow has frequently explained that “Puff” is about the hardships of growing older and has no relationship to drug-taking.  He has also said of the song that it “never had any meaning other than the obvious one” and is about the “loss of innocence in children”.  It’s tidbits like these that make conversation (and wine blogs) so much fun to talk about and read about!

We thought about that tonight when we opened a 2011 Reserve Malbec called Cigar Box from Mendoza, Argentina.  Although still relatively young, this Malbec can stand up to anything it’s got a terrific nose and lots of cranberry, earthiness and just a small hint of vanilla on the nose.  The taste to us was full bodied and fruity . . . something that we’d enjoy on the deck with a roaring fire or with good, spicy food.  Tonight’s dinner was homemade pizza and the wine paired exceptionally well – especially with the jalapenos on Brian’s side of the pizza!  One of our favorite comments was from which posted, “Drink with grilled meat or salmon, or alone in your room with the door locked… you are the boss!”  Something strange yet funny about recommending one to enjoy it in a room alone with the door locked . . . let your minds wander!

Cigar Box is yet another fine example of the quality wines coming from Argentina–especially Malbecs.  We’ve come to really enjoy Malbecs ever since Patrick from Grape Juice introduced us to Alamos Malbec way back when!  Since then, we’ve learned to appreciate this beautiful grape and the wine that is made from it.  We also remember when staying at Barr Estate this past fall and they were harvesting Malbec grapes for the 2012 vintage.  Wine making is hardly like ‘puffing on the magic dragon’!  No, we’re just kidding, but still remember it like it was yesterday.  The music back then spoke to a cause–and with all do respect to music today, that tends to be focused on doing one thing only–at least it was music with REAL musicians and lyrics that could actually be UNDERSTOOD!  Sorry, we’ll get off our soapbox!

Enjoy this wine. . .at less than $14 a bottle, you’re going to have trouble finding a better Malbec for the price.  In terms of value for the dollar, the 2011 Reserve Cigar Box Malbec is above the competition and worthy of an addition to your wine closet–or wine garage–or wine shelves.

Regardless, enjoy this wine or any others you really like – responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.


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