Wine Review: 2015 California Shiraz, Bota Box

House buying is serious business, this box of wine didn’t stand a chance.

The week before last was nerve wracking with my work cohort being on vacation, but it’s not quite the same as watching my future hang in the balance while trying to get approved for a mortgage.

It’s been awhile since I bought a house and, when I sold it, I thought I would never want that kind of burden again. Of course that was just silly talk because I hadn’t yet spent two and a half years living in a 4th floor apartment with an over abundance of neighbors and a conspicuous lack of elevators.

Forty-one steps up, forty-one steps down. Forty-one steps up, forty-one steps down. Forty-one steps up, forty-one steps down. Forty-one steps up, forty-one…. you get the point.

Murphy requires many trips to the great outdoors everyday and he loves bounding up and down the stairs.

 

As for myself, I can do it but I wouldn’t say I love it.  Incidentally, each glass of wine adds ten steps to the count. Two glasses in and I’m climbing a skyscraper. The time has come to live closer to the ground.

If you’ve ever bought a house then you know the application process requires a good bit of wine. All the hurry up and wait would drive anyone to drink.

This 2015 Shiraz from Bota Box is sassy and bold, especially for boxed wine which tends to be more on the mild side.  There’s nothing toned down about this Shiraz, it’s big and beautiful. Cherry and black pepper, orange peel and blackberry plus 13.5% alcohol to calm an anxious mind.

Yummy.

Effective.

 

Wine Review: Limited Release Double Down, Dark Horse

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It’s been one hell of a week. My counterpart at work is on vacation and it is only her presence that brings order to the madness. The minute she leaves, it’s like ordering a late night pizza and a sparkling water for the mogwai. The chaos that descends over everything as she walks out the door is not the result of anything I’m doing wrong, but rather the awakening of gremlins who have been hibernating since her last vacation.

I’m not even kidding. The random shit that goes awry when she’s not there is enough to rattle even the calmest of chains.

By Friday, I was torn between going to work or jumping off my balcony. I opted for work but only because I promised myself a bottle of Dark Horse Double Down as a reward for walking on hot coals all week.

Bring on the wine!

Double Down is a delicious Limited Release from Dark Horse; a red wine blend consisting of Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, Tannet, and Teroldego. I don’t even know what the last two are but it’s really beside the point. I mean, you don’t need to be familiar with all the components in the remote control to que up the next episode of Midnight, Texas.

Speaking of which…

Last night Xavier and I killed a bottle of Double Down, paired with Chipotle (the rich man’s Taco Bell) and caught up on the last three episodes of Midnight, Texas. I love Midnight, Texas because, while they try to pretend that the show takes place in Texas, it is obviously shot in New Mexico. I watch it because it reminds me of home and because Charlaine Harris’s supernatural novels are cool.

So, about the Double Down…

Bold and full bodied. Luscious and full of toasty oak. Mellows to a pleasantly smooth finish. All too easy to keep refilling the glass, would be very dangerous if it came in a box. 14.5% alcohol. Pace yourself.

Wine Review: 2015 Malbec, Black Box

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I keep thinking that wine from Argentina should be better than it is.

I mean, this Malbec from Black Box isn’t bad. To the contrary, it’s far better than the previous bottle of Argentinean wine that I bought, but it’s not particularly special either. I wouldn’t walk a mile for a Camel if you know what I mean.

It’s a solid glass of “ok”.  Xavier and I enjoyed it while binge watching Supernatural.

A little tangy, a little fruity, pleasant finish, woody but not overtly oak. You could certainly do worse for the price. On the other hand, you could also do better.

Wine Review: 2015 Limited Release Zinfandel, Dark Horse

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Like a dust devil of love notes, this Zinfandel has all the glorious taste of Friday night on the couch with a bowl of ravioli and old episodes of Bored To Death.

“Bored to death, plus expenses…”

I always had the hardest time deciphering the lyrics to the theme music so I looked them up.

“Bored to death, kanab and lonely”, that’s what it sounds like but it’s actually, “Bored to death, cut, mad and lonely.”

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The little dog and I love shows about a guy pretending to be a detective.

Ok, but for realz, this is a very nice Zinfandel from Dark Horse.

Creamy and full of oak. Jammy with dark fruit, leather and spice. Oh yes, it’s all of those things plus 14.5% alcohol. I had three glasses and gave the stinky little dog a bath before the Xavier got home from work.

No headache but, on Saturday morning, I did kinda wish that I had stopped at two glasses.

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Future New Mexicans

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My Dad and Xavier standing on the site of our future home.

Our time here in Maryland grows short. Big transactions are taking place and in a few months our new house (from Clayton Homes) will be delivered to this land near the Manzano Mountains in New Mexico.

It is what keeps me going day after day.

I grew up on this land and it’s time to go home and be near my family.

I can’t wait to visit all the local wineries and be able to buy wine at Costco and Trader Joe’s (can’t do that in Maryland). Did you know there is a winery in Albuquerque that has both red and green chili wine?

Most importantly, Xavier and I want an actual home that is not an apartment. We want to have our own space, our own yard, a workshop; our very own hippie homestead with wind turbines, solar panels, and rain collection barrels. (And Wi-Fi… don’t forget the Wi-Fi)

But we want a certain type of lifestyle too.  We want to fly light.

That means living with low overhead. Buying a home that is easily affordable instead of barely affordable. We’re minimalist in that regard. We want to spend our money on adventures and experiences instead of on unnecessarily inflated bills.

At first we had planned to buy a tiny house but that proved to be impractical for a whole host of technical reasons, like zoning laws say for instance. As it turned out, it made a whole lot more sense to buy a manufactured home. It’s still small but not so tiny that it has a weed sprayer shower or an electric hotplate for a stove plus I won’t have to be hoisting my dog up a ladder every night when we go to bed.

I really didn’t want to hoist my dog up a ladder.

Anyway, New Mexico awaits, the wheels in the sky are turning and all we have to do is stay the course.

September

October

November

So long Maryland and hello New Mexico!

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Wine Review: 2015 Inferno, Apothic

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Now this was $15.99 well spent and, like the McRib, you better get one before they’re gone.

Inferno is a small batch, limited release, from Apothic. Aged for 60 days in whisky barrels and achieving an alcohol content of 15.9%.

“And the Lord sayeth unto thee, ‘pace thyself’.”

Not a slurper, that would be uncivilized, I recommend serving it in a brandy snifter.

Bourbon in the alto and tenor, wine in the bass.

Excellent finish of dark red fruit, maple and spice.

They don’t reveal the varietals but Apothic has surely mastered the alchemy of turning Smurfs into gold.

Trust me, you’ll want to be on the drinking-end of this one.


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