casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 361: The Day We Learned Something New About Wine . . .

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Dubonnet BlancSo, the last couple of days we have been here, there and everywhere – with D#2 in town, we both took some time off and spent it with her.  Yesterday, Jean and D#2 had lunch with Bill (aka Jean’s Dad) and then hooked up with D#1 in Austin to play catch up and have a snack.  It was a wee bit of driving, but rewarding nonetheless.  All party’s seemed to have a grand time and be back at their own Casa’s at a reasonable hour.

Today, Brian and D#2 hit the road to the Woodlands to check on Grams (aka Brian’s Mom).  They headed out in time to rendezvous for lunch – rumor has it and a bit of shopping . . . thank goodness for the Woodlands Mall!  Jean took the day off as well – a scheduled local business lunch was in order, so no road trip for her today.  But, a busy and productive one it was.  Times like these are to be just plain cherished – time is zipping by way to fast, and we all need to just stop and smell the roses every so often.  If you haven’t taken time lately to do so – stop and take a whiff, it does the soul good.

Tonight we opened a wine that has been hanging around for a while – a 2010 Dubonnet Blanc Aperitif Wine that Jean found it on the closeout shelf for $8.00 at the Twin in Kyle a few months back.  Being a Blanc, it was easily shoved to the back of the fridge in the hopes of being forgotten.  But, in our rummaging around last week, it was uncovered somewhere amidst the leftovers in the fridge. So, we had to do it – as they say . . . “for the sake of the blog”.  Trust us, that is the only reason it made it to the front of the line.

So, we must freely admit that we really didn’t know what to expect – and even after drinking weren’t too sure what it was.  The screw top cap (we don’t hold that attribute against any wine – some of our favorites has screw tops) gave way to a very golden nectar.  We say nectar, because it was ever so sweet and had almost a musty taste.  We really didn’t care for it – and actually after a short taste almost added it to the sink, but hesitated and thought – maybe it would be better tomorrow.  In preparation of writing tonight, we looked it up and found out something ever so interesting about this concoction.  It reminded us of a plum wine that we tasted at a Chinese Restaurant in Ballwin, Missouri. . .the owner was an extremely friendly man who delighted in our appreciation of their menu, and when dinner was OVER, provided us with a palate cleanser, Plum Wine.  To this day we’ve never forgotten his service!

From their website . . . “From its origins with the French Foreign Legion to the legions of modern mixologists still using it today, Dubonnet Rouge Aperitif Wine has been a staple on the cocktail landscape since its introduction in 1846. Created by Parisian chemist / wine merchant Joseph Dubonnet as a means to make quinine more palatable for the soldiers battling malaria in North Africa, Dubonnet’s mix of fortified wine, a proprietary blend of herbs, spices and peels, and the medicinal quinine is a recipe that has earned it legendary status in the world of sophisticated drinks.  Nearly two centuries after its introduction, Dubonnet is the number-one selling aperitif brand in the United States, and still made according to the original family recipe. Its 19 percent alcohol content ensures a refreshing drink in the summertime, while its port-like flavors promise a hint of holiday in the winter months.  In addition to the more well-known Rouge, Dubonnet Blanc also makes a unique cocktail, as well as an excellent cooking ingredient.”  Ok, so WOW – who knew . . .

Just a bit more . . . “What is an Aperitif?  Originating from the Latin word aperio, aperitifs were originally conceived to “open” or prepare the appetite for a meal. While there are different styles of aperitif, aperitif wines such as Dubonnet make up a special class called “aromatized” wines – fortified wines that have been flavored with herbs, roots, flowers, barks and other botannicals.  Though there is evidence that the ancient Egyptians believed in drinking a small amount of alcohol before a meal, aperitifs didn’t peak in popularity until the late 19th century – and caught on in the United States by 1900. By the turn of the century, Dubonnet was producing more than three million bottles a year and was exported throughout the world.”

Now we have to admit, we like what the ancient Egyptians were thinking – what a novel idea . . . a glass of wine BEFORE dinner! Apparently there are recipes – most we found were for the Rouge, but one made with the Blanc sounded interesting:  1940’s Wedding Belle . . . 1/4 Orange – 1/4 oz. Wild Cherry Brandy – 3/4 oz. Burnett’s Gin – 3/4 oz. Dubonnet Blanc.  In a mixing glass, stir well with cracked ice and strain into three ounce cocktail glass. . .turn out the lights the party is over!!!

Don’t have any of the ingredients, but will give it a try and let you know.  Bottom line, it’s not just for drinking solo . . . AND you can teach old dogs new tricks.  Post got much longer than expected tonight – tune in tomorrow for how to submit your Top Ten Bondy Deck WinesUntil tomorrow, remember to enjoy responsibly and recycle whenever possible.

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