Two things come to mind as we write about Day 222. . .the first dates us a little (or a lot) depending on your age and whether or not you paid attention to such things. There was a television show that started in the late 1960’s and ran through the mid-70’s called Room 222 and it starred, Karen Valentine and Michael Constantine, both of whom won Emmy’s in 1970 for their roles in the show. The series focused on an American history class at the fictional Walt Whitman High School in Los Angeles, California, although it also depicted other events at the school. Located in Room 222, the class was taught by Pete Dixon (played by Lloyd Haynes), an idealistic African-American schoolteacher. Pete Dixon delivered gentle lessons to his students in tolerance and understanding. Students admired his wisdom, insight and easygoing manner. The themes of the episodes were sometimes topical, reflecting the current political climate (the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s such as the Vietnam War, women’s rights, race relations and Watergate). However, most plots were timeless and featured themes still common to modern-day teenagers. As youngsters during this time, we still remember Friday nights and Room 222 . . . so it’s appropriate to remember the show on Day 222 of our blog.
The second thing that comes to mind is a game show that had numerous reincarnations from the 60’s to the 70’s to the 80’s, the 90’s and beyond . . . yep, we’re talking about The Match Game. As game show junkies – well, not really, but it sounds good – we’ve actually spent time watching the Game Show Network! Yep, there was a time not that long ago when the whole family watched Chuck Woolery hosting Lingo! Anyway, The pilot for the original version of The Match Game, created by Goodson-Todman staffer Frank Wayne, bore little resemblance to its more famous descendant. Taped December 5, 1962 with Gene Rayburn as host, Peggy Cass and Peter Lind Hayes each headed a team of two non-celebrities who attempted to match answers to simple questions. Part of what made it famous–and saved it from cancellation–was the addition of certain questions…in 1963, NBC cancelled the series with six weeks left to be recorded. Question writer Dick DeBartolo came up with a funnier set of questions, like “Mary likes to pour gravy all over John’s _____”, and submitted it to Mark Goodson. With the knowledge that the show couldn’t be cancelled again, Goodson gave the go-ahead for the more risque-sounding questions – a decision that caused a significant boost in ratings and an “un-cancellation” by NBC.
It’s a classic to this day and the re-runs are even better . . . but it’s the name that brings us to tonight’s blog wine. We found this wine while hunting through a West Austin HEB. Tonight’s wine is a 2009 Match Book Tempranillo from Crew Wine Company in Zamora, California. This wine is amazing–another California wine find for less than $13 a bottle and worth a lot more than the price suggests. An award winner, this wine has earned 91 points in the California State Fair and is a Best of Class and Gold Medal winner at other competitions. We found this wine to be absolutely beautiful upon opening. We love that deep, ruby look when we pour it into a glass and then we get the first glimpse of what’s to come by smelling the wine. An amazing array of berries, earthiness, oak and vanilla tempt the nose and made us want to taste–this wine shows its California upbringing in the aromas of blueberries, spice and herbs of Provence. Rich flavors of red and black berries, cinnamon and clove are followed by toasted oak, vanilla and cocoa powder. Tannins hold it all together in this seamless, well-balanced wine. Serve with a beautiful crock pot roast with brown potatoes, carrots, onions and corn, it was the PERFECT wine.
So, whether it’s Room 222 or The Match Game, we’ve found something that crosses both generations . . . a wine called Match Book from the state of California. . .yet, another example of wine production in a state where new varietals are exceeding expectations.
We hope that you’ll give this one a try, but remember to enjoy it responsibly, and recycle whenever possible.