casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 278 – Love Is Blue

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shooting star blue francOkay–so, we’re dating ourselves, but we remember when musical conductor, Paul Mauriat came out with ‘Love Is Blue’ back in 1968.  The lyrics–good–the melody–AMAZING!  1968–what a year. . .and as young as we were, there was so MUCH going on in our world.  Bobby Kennedy–shot and killed.  Martin Luther King, Jr.–shot and killed.  The Democratic Convention in Chicago–a wasteland of bodies.  That same year. . .the Detroit Tigers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. . .who would have thought that Mickey Lolich would win three games that year when the Tigers were loaded with 31 game winner Denny McClain?  Ahhhh, history.  It has a way of showing us the path to a future that has yet to be carved in stone!

We still remember watching the Apollo missions–specifically Apollo 8–Christmas Eve, 1968–Frank Borman, who would later become President of Eastern Airlines with his crew–circled the Moon’s orbit before heading back to Earth.  It’s the stuff that legends are made of, but would PALE in comparison to Apollo 11 in July of 1969!  So, keeping that in mind, we opened a bottle of wine that Jean found at East End Wines.  A 2010 Shooting Star Blue Franc.  Now, we have to tell you that we’ve enjoyed Shooting Star Zinfandel and have been blown away by its’ flavor and profile.  So, when Jean brought home this wine, the anticipation was huge–given its’ namesake.

As a way of explaining, we’ve enjoyed many bottles of Shooting Star Zinfandel when Patrick and Grape Juice were in Ingram, Texas.  It was like Patrick knew EXACTLY what people wanted to drink and he bought it.  Whether from Lake County or Mendocino County. . .if it was offered by Patrick and called ‘Shooting Star’, then it must be good—and with this label of Shooting Star, it was GOOD!

Tonight’s wine is different than previous Shooting Star wines. . .it’s actually from the State of Washington!  Yep, or as the bottle label states, “Blaufrankish”—hmmmm, that’s a new one for us!  What a cool story—and, while we typically DON’T like to quote from wine maker websites, this wine seemed to scream for some additional attention, so from wine maker, Jed Steele, …”In 1975 I had the opportunity to travel to Austria and visit their wine-growing region on the banks of the Danube River. This country produces many great wines but until recently they were mainly for local consumption. One wine that impressed me was a red wine made from the Lemberger grape. This is an odd name and some growers did refer to it by its ancient name: Blau Frankisch, literally “blue grape from France.” These were very nice wines full of berry fruit flavors and great color but with little tannin or harshness.

Very cool when you think about how different these grapes are compared to what is ‘on the market’!  Blue Franc receives little, or no, oak aging. Some liken our Blue Franc, depending on vintage, to Pinot Noir in lighter years and Zinfandel in the riper vintages. Sometimes it is totally akin to a top-flight Gamay from Beaujolais. The wine is clean, crisp, and unpretentious with tons of fruit, including warm berry pie, complementing the traces of pepper, almond, cherry and cinnamon. Our Shooting Star Blue Franc has soft tannins, medium body, great color and is the perfect red wine to enjoy over the summer with any festive occasion. It is excellent with appetizers, cheeses, BBQ, and picnics. Recently we had the opportunity to try the Blue Franc on the deck with a toasted sandwich of smoked chicken, grilled onion, and avocado – quintessentially quaffable!  From our perspective,  the wine has the body, depth and flavor that many wines in its’ class couldn’t begin to offer.  It’s a wine that works!

Your job is to try a new, different wine and with Shooting Star, you have the PERFECT opportunity to try something new without trying a new label!  Paul Mauriat would never have known!  The Detroit Tigers didn’t know.  Mr. King and Mr. Kennedy didn’t have a clue–but, way back in 1968, there were people who made a difference in people’s present, future and past!

Please remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible.

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