Saturday, March 26, 2011

Obikwa: Week #32

Anyone remember back to Week #15 when I foolishly sent Helpful Husband to the liquor store and tried in vain to communicate a proper wine selection with him via cellphone?  That was the day he ignored his wino wife's suggestions and came home with something completely unwanted.  Oh wait.  There have been many days where that has happened - and not just in regards to wine. 

Now, the final decision was hard because there were three wines to pick from, and one was on sale, another had a “cave-like drawing of an ostrich or a flamingo” (he really is helpful, isn’t he?), and the other had a lizard on the label and 14.5% alc./vol.  But, the bird-like design label mystery was too gripping for me to abandon and I had to see it with my own eyes.  The decision was made; husband hung up the phone.

He arrived home.  I eagerly pulled the bottle from the bag, enthusiastically awaiting the moment of bird-discovery when I could ream my husband for his stupidity over what is so clearly a penguin, but to my surprise it is a lizard that greets me from the label.  WTF?  I search my memory for the error – right, I had hung up the phone and left my ever so helpful husband without supervision on his way to the check-out counter = mistake.  Left to his own devices, he, of course, made small talk with the cashier, who, of course, is a Shiraz drinker himself (sure) and didn’t recommend the elusive ostrich-flamingo wine and confused my poor easily lead husband with shiny bottles and tales about how many feet above sea-level the grapes were harvested.

This week's selection sets out to solve a bird-identity mystery 17 weeks in the making.

Obikwa (South Africa, 2009)
13.5% alc./vol.
So, what's your vote?  Ostrich?  Flamingo? Seagull?

A word from the wine:
"Taking its name from one of South Africa's earliest peoples, this Obikwa wine pays tribute to the adventurous Obikwa people and the ostrich, their trusty companion with its extraordinary long neck.  For the adventurous lover of life and wine looking for something different; Obikwa's easy-drinking, quality new world wine is the perfect choice for you"
Well, that certainly answers THAT question.  Helpful husbands everywhere take note - the label offers the answers you are seeking! And, I have to say, I never really considered the ostrich a "trusty" companion, but I will take note of that in case I ever find myself needing a loyal associate from the animal kingdom.  I guess they'll stick their neck out for you!  (Ostrich joke #1).  I quite liked these label notes - one of my favorite so far (next to Little Penguin from Week #3 and Black Swan from Week #2) - I like it when the label actually speaks to me; it takes charge and tells me it is the perfect choice.  Direct and bossy.  Sound like anyone you know?

I am glad the label inspired so much excitement because the wine within is not generating much enthusiasm.  This wine is average - it's drinkable and inoffensive.  It is pretty "thin," but it is a bit tangy and somewhat dry, which is the only thing that saves it from being exiled to the DL.  Still, despite the fun label notes and cheery yellow tones on the label, when it comes right down to it, you just can't trust an ostrich.  You could have an important wine tasting and they'll have their heads stuck in the sand (#2). 

No Helpful Husband Tip - I drank alone tonight.  While watching Storage Wars.  And writing a blog.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lindeman's: Week #31

Ah - back on track. 

I was at the grocery store on Friday and decided to go ahead and grab a bottle of Shiraz while there.  The cashier was a young over-zealous man whose life long dream was to help me choose my wine.  Unfortunately for him, I do not like to be guided or observed during my selection process.  I politely declined his assistance, but he persisted by giving me a run-down on which wines were on sale.  Now, you might think, "That's nice - Saturday Shiraz loves a bargain!" - and I do, but the thing is... there are big highlighted sale tags under the sale bottles and my vision is pretty good.  I thanked Captain Obvious and notified him that I was looking for a Shiraz and you know what he enthusiastically recommended?  Angove - the weird white wine masquerading as a red reviewed in Week #20!  Those of you who have studied and memorized my every post will recall that Helpful Husband was lead to this choice by a salesperson - obviously the same dude.  Does he get commission tricking people into drinking that strange concoction?  Or does he just have bad taste?  Either way, I told him I'd tried it and it was "interesting" and he left me alone.

I chose Lindeman's based on a recommendation from a close friend.  Then I came home with all intentions of saving it for Saturday.  But, you know what happened?  The power went out.  Then it got dark.  So, we watched Bob the Builder on the laptop and the kids went to bed.  Did you know the Internet doesn't work when the power is out?  Did you also know there are no games on my laptop?  So, we played cribbage by candlelight.  Then I came to the realization that Reality TV is much more interesting than actual reality, so I poured a glass of wine and read Jerk, California (Big Rothesay Read shout out!) by flashlight.  And, in a sign from a higher power to stop drinking, the electricity returned as I finished my first glass. 

Lindeman's Bin 50 (Australia, 2010)
13.5% alc/vol.

Normally I place the wine under a bright light or near a window because the bottles don't photograph well with flash.  But, the power was out and the sun had set, so my hands were tied.  Plus, it is really hard to take a picture of something that you can't actually SEE. 

A word from the wine:
"Bin Series' wines are named after the traditional wine cellar where our finest wines were allocated a unique "bin number" after each vintage to ensure consistent quality.  Screwcaps are used to guarantee freshness"
How does a bin number ensure consistent quality?  And why are we reading about screw caps on the label?  Don't they have anything better to mention?  And, yes, this was the ENTIRE label note.

You know, I was pleasantly surprised by this wine.  I had my reservations about a wine that claimed a bin number for each "vintage" when the bottle is only a year old.  And, not that I don't trust my friend who recommended it (she's my youngest son's godmother after all), but she is usually a white wine drinker and I am always suspicious of people who prefer white to red.  But, this wine was really tasty!  It was nice and dry with no jarring aftertaste.  It's been a few weeks since something ended up on the regular rotation list, and I just met the newest entry. 

Helpful Husband Tip: "I like it fine"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Week #30: The Week with no Wine

I thought I could get away with not posting and no one would notice.  But, someone noticed AND made a comment.  And you know how I respect and covet the comments - so I feel obligated to respond.  (PS: The commenter was probably my mom)

There was no wine drinking in my house this past Saturday... it was a sad and sober night.  I have recently had surgery and have read that it is best to avoid alcohol for three weeks in order to avoid a case of horrendous unstoppable itching.  Now, I freely admit that this may be a case of Internet-induced hypochondriac hysteria, but I'd really like my drinking to remain a positive experience, so I have abstained.  You might be thinking, "Three WEEKS without an update!!  How will I make drinking decisions without the inspirational leadership of Saturday Shiraz?  What will motivate me to get out of bed on Sunday mornings?"

Fear not.

I planned ahead... I, for the sake of the greater good, did my homework in advance.  In fact, the last two entries that have entertained and enthralled you were written weeks ago!  Unfortunately, I did not get my surgery date too far in advance and even a lush like myself can only do so much weekday drinking to write ahead.  Hence the Week #30 gap.  A blemish on the otherwise near-perfect record of this blog.  For this, I apologize.  It is a disappointment to think that I can't even achieve the goal of drinking every Saturday - it is no wonder I give up on much more difficult tasks (like giving up Junior Mints for 48hours). 

I will make up for it.  Actually, I already did because WAY back on Week #4, I was a keener and reviewed two wines in one night!  So, maybe I AM still awesome.  The point is, there will be 52 reviews when this blog is all said and done. 

Week #31 will see the return of of my drinking responsibilities.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cookoothama: Week #29

This is final entry in the "Wine purchased in PEI" segment of Saturday Shiraz.

I really hesitated in choosing an Australian wine in PEI, as there are SO many still to choose from at my local liqour store, but I saw a few new ones and I just cannot seem to refrain from the temptation of an Australian Shiraz.

Cookoothama - Australia, 2008
14.5% alc./vol (that's more like it!)
$17.00 (approx.)
A word from the wine:
"Cookoothama (cook-a-tharma) is the name of the Nugan family's vineyard on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River.  It is the original name of this property before the vineyards were planted and is the aboriginal word meaning "fertile land."  Appealing aromas of plum layered with dark chocolate and spice."
Wine teaches me a lot of aboriginal words.

Hmmm... I really wanted to LOVE this one.  Maybe it was the high expectations, or maybe it was the head-cold induced stuffy nose, but I found it to be a bit sharp.  The flavor was good, but it just wasn't as smooth as I hoped it would be.  It was still a good, solid, Shiraz, though - and you know what?  I'm certainly feeling good after two glasses!

Helpful Husband had some intelligent comment, but I quickly forgot what it was.  Sorry, helpful husband... your dumb comments are just so much easier to remember!