Friday, January 10, 2014

It seems only right ("after all")

When nice people from nice p.r. firms send me wine samples, gratis, it seems only right to acknowledge them, especially when they send me a sample that ties in perfectly with the very day -- today -- that is officially "International Grenache Day," and which happens this year to be also my late grandmother's birthday. (I believe they must pick the third Friday in September.) Now as far as I ever observed, apart from a glass of champagne at a wedding Nana drank absolutely nothing but coffee and water, and swallowed pills dry. She would not have known that the Campo Viejo garnacha label, below, looks any different from the Campo Viejo Rioja and tempranillo labels you have seen at your neighborhood grocery and liquor stores for years.

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But it is different. It is Campo Viejo's first all-garnacha wine; the more usual grape of both this winemaker and of Spain's Rioja region is tempranillo.

And I'm sure the wine must be very delicious, only my sample happened to be corked. No kidding. There was no mistaking -- there never is -- that aroma of moldy basement and wet cardboard in the glass, or old musty books sometimes. So there's not much more to say about it. Still it seems only right that I give you the picture, and raise a glass to Nana on the 115th anniversary of her birth. Her standard reply to any disappointment, in fact to any situation in life ever, was a brief, amused shrug and a sort of resigned or half-perplexed, "Well, after all ...."

That was all. Newcomers to the family waited for her to finish the sentence. She didn't.

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