Wine Review: 2015 Winemaker’s Red Blend, Casillero del Diablo

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I found a new wine from The Devil’s Locker, on sale at Walgreen’s for $8.99.

Casillero del Diablo from Chile is one of my all time favorite winemakers. In fact, every wine I’ve had from Chile has been great but Casillero del Diablo is at the front of the pack.

This bottle was also from Saturday night’s dinner party with Shelly. She brought the Witching Hour Red Blend and I brought the Devil’s Locker.

Casillero del Diablo wines are typically rich and full bodied. Nothing weak or watery here. One glass of anything from The Devil’s Locker and you’ll need to find a nice chair to accommodate the slightly spinning room.

The Winemaker’s Red Blend is rich and velvety. Velvet doesn’t reflect light and neither does this deep red blend. We paired it with baked chicken, potatoes, carrots, and sautéed onions. All dinner guests were glassy-eyed and happy.

Dark fruit, dark chocolate, toasty oak in a rich and smooth concoction of grapes. Appropriate for any gathering of wine drinking friends. Truly, you can’t go wrong with this one.

 

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Wine Review: 2015 California Red Blend, Witching Hour

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Shelly and her husband brought this bottle of wine with them to our house last night and the four of us made short work of it. She said she got it on sale from Total Wine for about $5.00.

I say it’s an excellent value for the price. Nice notes of vanilla and chocolate with a touch of oak, very drinkable.  I can’t find much information about Witching Hour wines because their website is defunct but I would guess there is definitely Zinfandel and Syrah in this red blend, it kind of reminds me of Apothic Red Blend.

We paired it with chips and salsa but the poor bottle didn’t make it until dinner. No joke, with four people this bottle disappeared in less than half an hour. I would certainly buy one of my very own if I saw it on the shelf.

Wine Review: 2014 Pinot Noir, Robert Mondavi Private Selection

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“Will stay in a situation well past the point when a sane person would have quit.”

That’s (always been) me, in a nutshell.

I don’t know if the picture on the label is supposed to be light house or a church but either one seems appropriate for pondering a moral dilemma.

Shelly recommended the Pinot Noir from Robert Mondavi and it did not disappoint.

Xavier and I killed a bottle of this dark and swirling smooth red wine while debating the following situation.

For the past two years I have been teaching a group fitness class called Strength And Balance For Seniors. After all that time I still only have three regular participants. They each only pay $35 a month for the class and it meets twice a week.

Of the three participants, I like two of them well enough but one of them, a women named Sally, pushes me like a sore tooth. Every conversation with her is like chewing on tin foil.

Further complicating matters is that I’ve recently started a new job which is consuming quite a bit of my time and making it increasingly inconvenient to keep the class going, in part, because that class time comes out of the precious few hours I have left of “me time”.

Hold on, let me pour another glass wine.

The problem isn’t that she’s not nice and it’s not that we have opposing political views. She is a nice person who agrees with me on most things. She even loves animals but this is not the problem.

The problem is two-fold, well, actually three-fold if we’re being honest.

The #1 problem is that she likes me a little too much. She stalks me on facebook, digging back through years of my photos and posts, and then announces her findings during class as if she has solved some great mystery. This habit alone makes it hard to keep my cool.

Problem #2 is that, bless her heart, but she’s just a god damned idiot. Literally every word that escapes her mouth is without forethought or reason. I have often wondered how it is that husband hasn’t drowned her in the tub – not for the life insurance money but just to shut her up.

Problem #3 is that, after working on the same exercises with the same simple explanations twice a week for two years, she still stumbles through them like a drunk baboon.

Honestly, by now I could’ve taught monkeys to do these exercises better than she does them.

I spoke to my life coach about it. Kim is pretty blunt. She said, “You need to work smarter, not harder. Cut ’em loose.”

And I had just about decided to do that when….

Wait, need more wine.

I had just about decided to end this class when the Sally’s 38 year old son died of a drug overdose.

Well, fuck.

How am I supposed to fuel this decision with righteous indignation when now all of a sudden I am forced to consider her as a real person with real feelings? Forced to consider what she lives with on a day to day basis, terrified that her worst fears will come true and she will have to bury her own son. Remembering a conservation from the previous week where she shared with the class that her disoriented brother-in-law had called her the night before to ask for her sister’s phone number.  Her sister died five years prior and he is the widower.

An old woman trying to make the best of her remaining years, latched on to me as someone she sees as wise and brave, maybe like the daughter she wished she had instead of a drug addict son.

Maybe the most difficult people in our lives are the ones who need the most compassion. Maybe each of us is the most difficult person in someone else’s life and we don’t even realize because we’re just trying to show affection in the only way we know how. Maybe someday we too will be old and sad.

Maybe I allow guilt to cloud my judgement.

About this latest update Kim said, “Showing support for her situation and keeping the class going are two different issues.”

Xavier said, “This is not what you signed up for. Your job is to teach the class, not to get sucked into these personal situations. If you want to stop teaching the class then stop. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Due largely to it’s deliciousness, the Pinot Noir from Robert Mondavi is a wise and gentle wine, allowing my mind relax just enough to be reasoned with. Shelly’s recommendation was spot on and I would absolutely serve a glass of this delectable wisdom to my mother and to all of my friends.

I canceled the class.

Free

devil

And maybe I just don’t see the reason

But in the corner of my heart

your

ignorance is treason

The Racontours

Shelly once told me, “Never underestimate the value of a man who will take you home and fuck you.” See there now, that’s why we’re friends. I’ll one-up her, though. Never underestimate the value of a man who will take you home and fuck you, and not make you feel stupid and used afterwards. Yeah, you know, it’s the 2nd part that trips them up. Silly, dull-witted creatures anyway.

I may be the devil; a lying, cheating, scheming, s’um bitch but I’m not indestructible. Actually, I take that back. My instinct for self-preservation will blow the skin off your face. Adrenaline pulses through my veins and dilates my pupils when the wind smells of bullshit. I’ll put a boot in the ass of anyone who dares to make me feel stupid for caring about them.

There’s a stream that flows past my house and on the bank there’s a sign that reads:

“No swimming. No fishing. For fuck’s sake, don’t drink the water.”

On the other bank is another sign that reads:

“Told you so.”

Coiled happily in the warm sand of the beach is a sleeping coral snake. It doesn’t care because snakes don’t. It doesn’t blink either. It sleeps with it’s eyes open.

The Universe has got my back. Shows me the future like a crystal ball. Shows me the content of your heart. Tells me what your mouth doesn’t say. Turns out the lights when the music’s over.

My love isn’t free.

Reconstructing Shelly

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She’s not wild about the name, Shelly.

I could help, I thought. We rode in the car for two days.

I spoke of ordering experience from a catalog and I wanted to know if she was happy with her purchases. “Will you spend the rest of your life this way?” I asked. It sounded like I was asking her but I was really asking myself.

We traveled to the land of technicolor mountains, we slept on a hard bed in a small room and sat at the feet of a yogi whom we both wanted to fuck. We walked in the mountains and swung on an ancient gate. We stepped on grave stones and sat under trees.

None of this is real, we agreed. But it doesn’t matter because it’s just as easy to create one illusion as another.

Pandora’s Box

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This is for Shelly, if she ever happens to read it.

You know that feeling?

When you walk into a dark room with a sad person and the weight of their emotion has the density of a collapsed star, you know that feeling?

It hits you at the door, the seal has been breached and everything that’s not nailed down is being pulled into the vacuum. Information has run amok. To create evil that cannot be undone, this is the result of opening Pandora’s Box ill-advisedly. To the casual observer, it appears that something has come out, that facts have escaped, but this is incorrect. Like fruit from the tree of knowledge, the truth was always plain to see. It is interpretation that must be relied on to keep the plug in the sink. There’s nothing in that box. To crack the lid is to cause a shift in focus. The sour glow of enlightenment blasts everything in it’s path, coats it with radiation and draws it into the fray. You can try to resist but this rift in the fabric will drain the life force from anything it touches. The only thing to come out of Pandora’s Box is gravity.

Secrets are gate keepers, my friends.

Guard them carefully.