Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I am So Disappointed!

I should have known better. I have always been a lover of the grape, but it's been so hard to find quality red wine. Most American red wines have an unpleasant, mouth puckering, high tannin content, and other than an occasional Beaujolais Nouveau, most of the French reds I have tried, had a moldy taste and aroma, reminiscent of Dracula's crypt. No wonder he never drank wine. But (I know, you're not supposed to start a sentence with a conjunction. Well, screw you!), about five or six years ago, I discovered Australian red wines, and for the first time, I found out how good an affordable red can be.

Normally I buy Lindeman's Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Shiraz in 1.5 liter bottles, at a cost of about $11.00 each, which I can easily afford, but this week while at the grocery store, I got the wild idea to go bargain shopping. I saw some Bota Box wine in a Shiraz, and a Merlot; 3 liter boxes, that turned out to be a dollar a bottle less, than the bottles of Lindeman's I had been so happy with. Now ostensibly, the advantage of boxed wine is that it is supposed to last longer than bottled wine, because no air, or light ever gets into the collapsible bag inside the box. I decided to buy one of each.

Tonight, with great anticipation, I opened the box of Shiraz, and positioned the plastic push button spout. I held my glass under the spout, pressed the button, and a beautiful deep dark red liquid began to shoot from the box, into my glass. It really looked quite lovely! Then I took a sip. Initially, while flowing over the front of my tongue, it tasted pretty good, but when it reach the nether regions of my palate, its tannic bitterness became sorely evident. I continued to drink, hoping that my palate would adjust, but after a glass, my mouth felt like I'd been sucking on a sock soaked in alum! :-p I then tried the Merlot, and got a similar result.

What to do? I had just spent almost $40.00 on two boxes of wine I couldn't drink. I wouldn't be able to get more until the following week, so I had to find a way to make them more palatable. I still can't believe I did this, but I actually opened up a packet of Splenda artificial sweetener (sucralose), and poured it into the glass of wine I was drinking. My Merlot now tastes like a cheap port, instead of mosquito repellent.



The Crossdresser's Girlfriend said...

Waste not, want not!

Stephanie said...

I learned a long time ago (pre-marriage days!) that I should never, and I mean NEVER!, drink wine. I have no idea why, but it is the only type of alcoholic beverage that turns me into a wanton whore! Other intoxicants just numb me enough so that I don't care what I'm doing when I do it. If I drink wine, I'll go looking for sex, any kind, from anyone, as much as I can get.

Now you've been warned, and if we should meet, keep me away from wine. Unless...! lol


Lucy Melford said...

Never been in Dracula's crypt myself. Must be a sociable guy, though. I hear he gets around and likes a drink.

Melissa, I think you're a VERY funny lady with a nice dry sense of houmour!

As to wine, I personally enjoyed the stuff you can sample and buy in New Zealand, where vineyard-visiting seems to be a national craze. And back in the UK we seem to import some quite palatable things from Chile and South Africa, which might suit your taste. I wouldn't know about availability where you are located, though!


Suzi said...

Lucy, do you really think Melissa has a nice dry sense of humor? Hmmm...I think it has more of a fruity flavor, with a hint of oak. Either way, she's more of a wine connoisseur (thank you spell check) than I am. I actually like a couple of wines we grow right here in Texas. There is a vineyard about 40 miles from me called Kiepersol Estates. My wife has been bugging me to take her there for a tour...and undoubtedly some free wine tasting.

My preferences generally are more in the beer section of the stores.My new favorite is Sam Adams' Blackberry Witebeir. Wrap your gums around that sometime...lol.

I'll give you my address if you want to send that last box to me Melissa...we won't be able to taste the dirty socks. :)Suzi

caroline said...

They say the female palate is more sensitive! So now you know why you are so fussy!

Caroline XXX

Lucy Melford said...

Yep, I do think Melissa has a dry sense of humour, but with perhaps more than a hint of sweetness, and a piquant bouquet. Whereas I'm oak-matured.

Note that this time around I was able to spell HUMOUR correctly! (Correct for Sussex, England, that is!)

Getting back to Dracula, one of the named favourite books in my profile incidentally, I seem to recall that he wouldn't touch food either. Beats me how he was able to fix nice meals at the castle for Jonathan Harker. You'd think he would be averse to the cooking smell. Yes, an inconsistency there that I would have taken up with Bram Stoker. Wonder if he liked black pudding? (A North of England delicacy composed of blood and fat)

caroline said...

The best black pudding in the world has to be from Normandy served with fried slices of apple. Now my tummy rumbles and I am trying to control my diet!

Caroline XX

Melissa said...

@ Stephanie,


@ Lucy,

I've tried some of the Chilean wines and they were not bad. Haven't seen anything from South Africa though in stores around here. I'll have to take a closer look.

@ Suzi,

Fruity? What? Just because I like to sashay about the yard in a sundress? *wink*

@ Lucy & Caroline,

Re: Wonder if he [Dracula} liked black pudding?

According to Andy Warhol, only if it was made from the blood of a virgin.

Melissa XX

Calie said...

Most American red wines have an unpleasant, mouth puckering, high tannin content, and other than an occasional Beaujolais Nouveau, most of the French reds I have tried, had a moldy taste and aroma, reminiscent of Dracula's crypt. No wonder he never drank wine.

Um...Melissa, we need to talk. Did you ever hear of the state of California? You know, the place where everyone eats bean sprouts, is blonde, surf, etc.?

Well, we also produce good stuff made from grapes. And, Melissa, today is your lucky day! Your friend, Calie, LIVES in wine country. As a matter of fact, she has her own vineyard and may be producing drinkable stuff in a few years. Throw away that merlot, girl, and try a good California cab or zin.

Oh, and you know, even bad wine has alcohol. Take the bad stuff, and make some wine coolers.

Calie xxx

Melissa said...

@ Calie

How do you remove those purple stains from your feet, after pressing your grapes? ;-)

With wine it's all trial and error. They are like a box of chocolates (shades of Forrest Gump here), you never know what you're going to get. If you can recommend a California red that's within my price range, I'll be happy to try it. When you drink two or three glasses of wine a day, you don't want to pay an arm and a leg for it. Trying to find something that's both good, and affordable is my dilemma. I'm not made of money, so refuse to pay more than $6-7 a bottle for wine. Any more than that, and I feel like I'm throwing my money away. At $10.99 for a 1.5 liter bottle, Lindeman's from Australia, is the best tasting, affordable table wine I have come across. It has a clean and fruity flavor, with none of the unpleasant bitter, or astringent after tastes, that many inexpensive wines have.

Melissa XX

Calie said...

Well, Melissa, I guess I can wear matching purple nail polish on my toes?

Look for some of the Amador and El Dorado County Zins. These are very good wines, if you can find them, and generally at a reasonable price because they don't have the "Napa Valley" stigma to them.

Although not one of the best, Renwood's wines are not bad and I believe they are more available at the discount stores. Renwood is an Amador County winery and they do produce a decent Zinfandel.

Calie xxx

Naukishtae said...

Melissa, I don't know if it is available where you are, but some time ago I encountered blend.. Cab. and Merlot.. it was from Chile
and was really great.. it had the body of the Cab. and the sweetness of the Merlot.

May the Goddess you..