Wino Wednesday, a monthly feature on Food Gypsy where we feature one of our favourite wine(s) from the past month. And what a month February was. Valentine’s day and a visit from a good friend mid-month; I felt the need to dry out for for a week or so.
God bless my hearty liver.
Apothic Red, 2008 Wine Makers Blend ($16.95) found its way to our table because I, like many other women, often shop by label. Now, before you turn your nose up at my wine-by-art selections, I would like to tell you why I shop this way.
Wine begins in the vineyard, it matures in the cellar, then comes of age when it is bottled, capped and ready to be sold. Afterwards it is the job of a graphic artist (who likely has never put his or her lips on this vintage) to encapsulate the hopes and dreams of a vintage into one, 2 x 3 inch space with enough information to convince you, the wine consumer, to spend your hard earned dollars.
Most graphic artists I know are hardworking artists; frequently under appreciated and often under paid. Chances are they have finished canvases in the basement and kids in college. Every time I see something that appeals to me on a visual level, I buy it for the art and the artist. I then harvest these tiny wine art and paste them lovingly in my wine journal. (A task that has become increasingly difficult since the industry switched to vinyl labels, thank you very much.)
I have found over many years of helter-skelter-throw-caution-to-the-winds purchases that, often, appealing labels match the content of the bottle. However, there have also been a few instances when I have been less enthusiastic about my purchases. “PHOOWIE!” *cough* “That’s HORRID… into the stew it goes.”
So while the chef in my life strains for hours, reading reviews and quizzing sommeliers, I gleefully dance through the aisles, petting bottles, purring “Ooooooh, pretty” and plunking my favourites in the cart. (OK, so I read books and stuff… whatever.) Our success rate is pretty much equal; this often stuns him. I bought the Apolthic Red for the swirlies, I’m a big fan of swirlies. It made me want to go goth and quote Anne Rice. Instead I wore yoga pants and served it with braised pork belly; which is like kind of like vampire poetry for bacon lovers.
Apothic Red is a swirly little blend of syrah, zinfandel and merlot. A new world wine made in the old world style and for a ‘table wine’ it finishes beautifully. A smooth, plush mouth and creamy, fruity flavour; a touch of plum a hint of cherry, a splash of vanilla and the bite of moca. It’s simple but intense.
It even has a cork. Gypsy Scorecard: 88/100
Dry, medium bodied, the Apolthic Red is a very easy to please red and perfect for parties because it pairs so easily, and it’s under $20. (Do I know how to pick ’em or what?!)
03/03/13 Gypsy UPDATE: I feel I really must ad an update to this post, sadly I can not endorse the Apothic Red. The 2008 was terrific, but since I have had the misfortune of tasting the 2010 and found it, in a word; undrinkable. it tasted for all the world like a vanilla dipped cigar in a tricked up grape syrup. I can only imagine it’s popularity may have caused the winemakers to compromise. Unless it’s the ’08 skip it and find something more palatable.