Sept. 14 2012 08:27 PM

Sometimes you need a wine that's not overwhelming


I've been busy lately, and not the good kind of busy. I don't mind having a lot to do, but there's been so much on my plate that I've had a hard time getting anything done, and the things I am getting done aren't necessarily getting done as well as I'd like. You know this kind of busy—where you're late for everything all day long, you stay up too late trying to catch up and you still miss deadlines ( just ask my editor, who received this very column on the tardy side).

My productivity's taken a nosedive, which is probably why, when I looked at my calendar and realized I had to turn around this latest iteration of Bottle Rocket, I reached into my booze closet and pulled out a bottle of 2010 Nosedive, a blend out of Mendocino from DNA Vineyards. It's a bottle from Trader Joe's for less than $10 with a nifty, whimsical label that features a schnozz with wings, which is probably what drew me to it in the first place.

Despite the easy tie-in to my very full calendar, Nosedive takes its name from that dualholed orifice on your face because it plans to hit you there first. There's a nuttiness in the aroma that carries over into the sip, accompanied by an earthy tang. The initial flavors were kind of thin, even though the blend appears to include both Zinfandel and Syrah. As it opened up, though, it deepened, and I could clearly pick out cherry and some underlying spicy cinnamon.

The thing is, Nosedive is never an overpowering wine—it's fairly smooth and mellow, something you can drink casually. It would probably go well with food, since it doesn't have any really bold flavors. It's not underwhelming, exactly, but it's certainly not overwhelming, either. And that may be Nosedive's great strength. It's not a wine that you're going to insist your friends run right out and try, right this moment, but it will accompany your meal, your evening and your company just fine, without stealing attention from anything around it.

Sometimes, when you've got way too much going on, that's exactly what you need.

Write to and You can follow Anders on Twitter at @anderswright.


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