There was a show called, “Schoolhouse Rock”; it started in 1973 . . . and according to our friends at Wiki, they were short, animated films that aired on Saturday mornings (duh, when mom and dad are asleep and the kids are eating handfuls of Cheerios watching television!) In fact, “the topics covered included grammar, science, economics, history, mathematics, and civics. The series’ original run lasted from 1973 to 1985, and was later revived with both old and new episodes airing from 1993 to 1999. Additional episodes were produced as recently as 2009 for direct-to-video release.” A couple of interesting tidbits about the program included the fact that Schoolhouse Rock was originally designed as a commercial advertising venture by David McCall, half of the Madison Avenue advertising agency McCaffrey & McCall. AND, that it was picked up by the head of children’s programming at ABC, Michael Eisner (who would later go on to become the head of Walt Disney). AND, Eisner brought longtime Warner Bros. cartoonist/director Chuck Jones to the meeting to also listen to the presentation. (Chuck Jones is widely regarded as the premier animation writer/producer/director and includes a few “recognizable” characters as part of his resume including Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn and Elmer Fudd). So, think about this little educational gem – Schoolhouse Rock . . . and the mighty ammunition of media power behind it. No wonder it ran originally for 12 years and has come back not once but twice. The power of media goes beyond the senses!
Thinking back into the early and mid-1970’s, this was cutting edge stuff! “The first season of Schoolhouse Rock, “Multiplication Rock,” debuted in 1973 and discussed all of the multiplication tables from two through twelve, with one episode devoted to powers of 10 (My Hero Zero) instead of multiples of ten. This original series was followed in short order by a new series which ran from 1973 to 1975, entitled “Grammar Rock,” which discussed nouns, verbs and adjectives along with one of the most well-known titles of the series, “Conjunction Junction.” To coincide with the upcoming United States bicentennial, a third series, entitled “America Rock,” airing in 1975 and 1976, had episodes covering the structure of the United States government (such as “I’m Just a Bill”) along with important moments in American history (examples include “The Preamble” and “Mother Necessity”). A fourth series entitled “Science Rock” followed in 1978 and 1979, and included a broad range of science-related topics such as Do the Circulation and The Body Machine (a play on The Body Electric), The Energy Blues, Electricity, E-Lec-Tri-City, to the most well-known of the series, Interplanet Janet (which is about the solar system).” Probably more than you wanted to know, but we thought it was not only cool for our kids to watch as they grew up, but it STILL has value today.
So when we decided to open a nice bottle of wine, we turned to the folks at Adelaida Wines from Paso Robles for tonight’s 2008 Schoolhouse Red. We only have two words to describe this beautiful wine that we bought through our good friends in San Antonio, Oliver-Pierre Ressel and The Grape Wine Company, OH BABY! This is not your ordinary blend of grapes; at Adelaida, they emphasized “the heft of Syrah and the lush berry flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon, its final form is shaped by the aromatics of Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc plus three other grapes. Through many blending trials this eclectic wine was ultimately based on quality and flavor, not expediency.” All we know is that it was as big a blended wine as some of our Australian favorites and so smooth – easy to taste–terrific feel in the mouth, on the palate – and the finish was oh, so smooth . . . like a hot knife going through butter! Yeah, it’s that GOOD and for around $20 a bottle you get a lot of goodness for the money. It’s a great way to enjoy a Tuesday evening especially when the wine was paired with a spicy chicken fried rice. It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that!
So, how many of you remember Schoolhouse Rock? Multiplication Rock? Bicentennial Rock? Hmmm, we didn’t think there were going to be too many, but the content has withstood the test of time; maybe it should be required viewing on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon or Disney? Maybe it should be required viewing BEFORE Honey Boo Boo . . . so that we can learn what is important in this world and not what is SHORT-LIVED!
Any way, remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible.