Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mad Dogs & Englishmen: Week #22

First of all, I appreciate the effort some readers extended into their comments.  Thank you.  As for the wine-suggestion (Wyndam's Bin 555 Shiraz) I have tasted it a few times before and a review is waiting to be published!  Please, keep the suggestions coming!!

I promised to steer clear of Australia this week.  My original plan was to make a quick run into the liquor store with the baby, head to the South African section and grab that elusive bird-themed label that Helpful Husband could not successfully distinguish as ostrich or flamingo (or follow through with purchasing either).  But, the baby had other plans.  He saw the cart. He wanted to get in the cart.  He wanted me to push him around in said cart.  Whateve.  I can handle perusing the wine aisles.  Baby might have issues later in life when he finds himself wandering the aisles of the liquor store searching for a nurturing motherly comfort, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

After some baby giggles and strange stares, I found myself in Spain.  Well, the Spain shelf - but this is as close to travel as I can get.  There were no straight-up bottles of Shiraz in Spain, but I did find three Shiraz blends.  I was intrigued by a bottle exhibiting the silhouette of a bull (the same logo was on a travel map my parents brought back from their vacation in Spain last year), but after reading the label notes, I was swayed by the word "vanilla."  I've noticed during my journey to alcoholism that I tend to really like wines that contain a hint of vanilla (I can't taste it - I only know it is there because the bottle tells me so).  So, here we have this week's selection:

Mad Dogs & Englishmen: Shiraz Tempranillo Carignan (Spain, 2008)
14% alc./vol.
A word from the wine:
"Southern Spain is hot!  Well-bred reds like Mad Dogs & Englishmen can only be made in such an extreme climate with expert vineyard management and wine making. Try won't bite!"
Okay, clearly I like that they included the lame "bite" pun.  I also appreciate the sudden exclamation about Spain's temperature.

I was surprised by this bottle of wine.  I guess my expectations were slightly low, and I was worried about the blend factor.  Upon first sip, only one word came to mind: dry - which is a positive in my book.  I was happy that although the Shiraz shared almost equal spotlight with the other two grape varieties (Shiraz = 34%, Tempranillo & Carignan = 33% each), there was definitely a good hint of that classic Shiraz pep.  I was also impressed by the high tipsy factor!  All in all, I think this is a solid choice - especially for something a bit different from the usual Shiraz. 

Helpful Husband Tip: "I don't know what to say"
He's clearly cracking under the pressure.


  1. Hmm...sounds interesting. I also enjoy the label notes, that would sell me too. And I like the label. Again, props for your bottle pictures. I'm liking the different scenery ;)

  2. my friends all comment on how much they like your post so not sure why they don't comment.. Maybe because they don't know you personally... Come on People... let's encourage Meggie to continue her amusing wine exploits..... after reading this, I would definetely try this one...

  3. I agree with helpful husband.

  4. I understand helpful husband's confusion here.

    This wine appears to suffer from a somewhat schizoprenic marketing strategy and a mild case of multiple-grape disorder. Tempranillo however can be counted on to be the charismatic chameleon of Rioja almost every time...a vexing situation indeed.

    I will sample this blend within a fortnight to determine if helpful husband's assessment merits due credence. Cheers to all,