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Where wine is on the table everyday

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Day 255 – Stairway to Heaven

slow dancerBeing products of the 70’s, we still remember Homecoming dances and others that always—repeat—always ended with Stairway to Heaven.  By the mid-70’s, Led Zeppelin was at the forefront of rock in America.  Even though Stairway to Heaven debuted in late 1971, it was the mid-to-late 70’s before it really caught on with the ‘disco’ generation!  And, with all due respect to the composers, it was one of the most difficult songs to dance to–especially if you’re a high school senior!  The song, running eight minutes and two seconds, is composed of several sections which increase in tempo and volume as the song progresses. The song begins as a slow acoustic-based folk song accompanied by recorders before electric instrumentation is introduced.  As rock-n-roll songs go, it’s one of the classics.  What is remembered most about this song is that you’d start out slow dancing–shoes were checked at the entrance so it was socks and stockings–but the tempo ramped up and you’re left hanging there like–OKAY, what am I supposed to do now???  Since it was usually the LAST song of the night, we were caught in a crossfire of dancing. . .fast? slow? close? apart?  C’mon man, this isn’t easy when you’re geeky teenagers!!  BUT, if you stop—and listen to the music, listen to the lyrics, it’s an amazing song.  Often referred to as one of the greatest rock songs of all time, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and company put this song in the stratosphere of music legend.  To this day, we can’t hear this song and stop to reminisce about days gone by. . .it’s that GOOD!

Looking back over the years, who would have thought that a song first introduced by Neil Sedaka would become an anthem for classic rock?  It’s really not the stuff legends are made of–unless the music rocks and the lyrics kick butt.  Thanks to the guys in Led Zeppelin, this song does BOTH!  The problem with a song like this is that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to dance to!  We love the tune, but from slow to fast to an amazing guitar crescendo…we remember dancing to the music but it really wasn’t dancing to the music!!  Ahhh, the past, it’s a wonderful excuse to talk about the things we were a part of but didn’t quite see eye to eye!!

Which is why tonight we opened a really nice bottle of Slow Dancer Cabernet Sauvignon…we bought this at our local H-E-B and while we thought it was going to be a cheap; lousy tasting wine–we were surprised!  Think about this—-close your eyes—Slow dancing in the moonlight, that’s what this Cab is all about. Put on the soft music and let this tango of cassis, plum and vanilla-caramel flavors sway you.  Yeah, it’s got a really nice nose and a really nice taste, but the finish–oh, the finish is really amazing.  Lots of fruit–lots of oak–lots of mellow goodness that should be reserved for a wine much more expensive than this.  We really enjoyed Slow Dancer.

Led Zeppelin defined a generation of rock – n – roll lovers.  Stairway to Heaven defined a generation of rock – n – roll lovers that loved Led Zeppelin!  We still remember the lights coming on in the gymnasium after school dances because this song was the LAST SONG of the night.  BUT, more importantly, we know that whether it’s wine or music or both—when you let your senses take control—anything is possible!

Thanks for reading our blog and remember to enjoy your favorite wine responsibly and recycle whenever possible!

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Day 120 – Sometimes You Need to Chill. . .

First TimerNope . . . not us.  We are NOT first timers!  But, anytime we see a wine that catches our eye, chances are good that we’re going to pick it up and give it a shot.  Turns out, we’ve been down this path before, but we’ll try it one more time.

Do you remember the first time you tasted a really good glass of wine?  You know, the one that gave you the ‘aha’ moment?  Or, do you remember your first dance?  Was it in high school?  Or maybe — if you were ahead of the curve — middle school?  How about your first kiss?  Was it in the gym?  Or your parents’ sedan?  There are so many ‘first times’ in our lives that we sometimes forget to stop and appreciate them.  We’ve become a media-driven society and the drive seems to have cheapened the ‘first timer’ mentality.  We don’t think so . . . in fact, we love first timers . . .

When we started this blog, we were first timers – never blogged before, but now, we love it.  Since we’ve started this blog, we’ve helped sort grapes at a winery in California, we’ve helped make our house more of a home and we’ve tried to become better stewards of our time together with our family . . . okay, that’s not a first timer thing, but we think it’s really important.  It’s all good; we know that, even at our ‘advanced age’, there are still plenty more ‘first timers’ yet to be  had, and we’ll appreciate them as they’re given to use!

Tonight, from the same folks that brought us Chain Gang and Guard Shack, we have our 2011 First Timer blend . . . It was a really nice little bottle of wine–young, but it had a lot of pinot noir traits to it – light, fruity and a wine that gets better as it opens up.  There isn’t a lot of structure to the wine, but its’ muscle is in the taste and the finish.  Even though it’s  a young wine, it still has the chops to be a decent wine, and we both agree that, as it gets older in the bottle, it has potential to be better.  In fact, we laughed at the description about the wine, “This won’t be the last time you give in to this captivating blend of classical California varietals.  You’ll find that the deep, dark, intense flavors of blackberry, black cherry and cassis combine with zesty notes of pepper and sweet vanilla to imprison your senses and lock down a finish of lush pleasure.”  What makes it funny is that the other two wines we’ve tried and blogged about have virtually the same description.  So, we’ve learned that labels aren’t always what we think they are, and some wine makers love to put the same product in the same bottles with different labels.  While we can’t “comment”, we can only observe the similarities and wonder . . . D.C.Flynt M.W. Selections has a vast array of labels, varietals and blends from all over the world, and while they are different in name, we can’t help but wonder why they insist on producing lackluster product with the same themed-names.  They’re hardly first timers from our perspective . . . Thanks to HEB for carrying this great wine – and for selling it for under $11.

So, we remember the LAST dance at Homecoming . . .  you know, Stairway to Heaven – a Led Zeppelin classic – back in our day, it was the song to wrap up any dance!!  Yeah, first timers are fun to remember.  As we get close to wrapping up 2012 and are staring the new year smack in the face, we hope that you’ll have a year filled with ‘first timer’ moments – from first kisses to first steps and from first houses to first child and everything in between.  So, you see, even if the wine is less than a home run, the name gives us something to write about!

Enjoy your ‘first timer’ wine tonight – or your multiple-timer wine tonight, but please enjoy it responsibly–we want you reading well into next year–after all, 365 days is quite an endeavor and without you, it won’t be nearly as fun!  Also, when you recycle whenever possible, you help make our world just  a little bit better than it is today!

Until tomorrow. . . Cheers!