It’s always nice to meet up with friends for a glass of wine or two on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Such was the case today with an opportunity to try a new Malbec, taste some good food at Cody’s Bistro in San Marcos and enjoy a warm, sunny afternoon. For a Groundhog’s Day, it was about the best February 2nd we’ve seen in a long time. So, if the groundhog saw his/her shadow today and supposedly that means six more weeks of winter, then we guess we’ll take whatever comes our way. Sitting on the back deck late this afternoon, we had to wonder if the groundhog has any relevance in our part of the world? Think about it. . .if you live in the northeast or midwest, the emergence of the groundhog could ‘prognosticate’ the potential weather for the next six weeks. BUT, living in the south and west, we submit that it’s really not applicable.
Consider that for the month of January, we’ve enjoyed multiple days in the 70’s and a few in the 80’s and today’s beauty at 75 degrees was tough to beat. Yes, we’ll still get hit with at least one more winter blast before turning the corner on Spring, but for the most part–around these parts–once the calendar turns to February, the chances of more winter begins to diminish. Two years ago, this wasn’t the case. After a beautiful late January, a very cold front swept through the area on February first followed by snow and a month of way below normal temperatures. We’re talking highs in the 30’s and lows in the upper teens. . .pretty unusual for this time of year, but not out of the realm of reality. On February 2nd that year , the groundhog didn’t see his/her shadow which indicated that an early spring was on the horizon. Yeah, right.
So, it’s even more appreciated when two years later (today) when the temperature hits 76 degrees and there is no wind and lots of sun that we can open a bottle of wine and enjoy it out on the deck. Our 2011 Graffigna Malbec Reserve is a young wine with a heritage of good quality for a good price. Available for less than $15 a bottle, this wine has a great nose that screams fruit, cedar and cigar box. The taste on the front palate is fruity and balanced. However, the wine falls apart after that with virtually no mid or back palate taste and the finish is flat–almost nonexistent. It’s a pretty wine with a deep, dark color and when poured into a wine glass we got the sense that this young wine was going to be something worth sampling. A swirl or two seemed to confirm the initial observations, but the taste just didn’t measure up. Unfortunately, even as the wine opened up over the course of an hour, the taste didn’t open up with it. We tasted it with tomato basil soup, a couple of different salads and roasted garlic and chicken pita sandwiches. . .the food was great but the wine didn’t come along for the ride! Fortunately, this Malbec, like many from Argentina, are low in cost. This one just misses the mark on taste. We know that there are a load of different Malbecs to choose from with some being exceptional for the price, we’ll attempt to locate them for future discussions, but for today’s selection, we’d probably suggest finding a different wine.
While the groundhog may have seen his/her shadow today in our part of the world, winter is slowly turning to spring. As we mentioned, there is still time for one or two more blasts of cold air and even frozen precipitation, but the further into the month we go without this, the less likely it is to happen. We’ll just sit back and soak up the sunny skies and warm temperatures for as long as we can and do that with our favorite wines. Please remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.