Moving sucks. I should know, because I just moved. Don't get me wrong, it was totally intentional, but it still means I'm going to have to find a new wine store (or two) near my new place. The biggest problem with moving, though, isn't the moving. Hefting boxes from one house to another is hard work, but it requires only a strong back. No, it's the unpacking that's a real bitch, because you never have enough time to do it right, and for a good long while, you're living out of boxes, desperately hoping you're reaching into the one that holds the plates when you need something to eat.
I'd hoped to open up a really good bottle of wine when I moved in—have a toast, get a little buzz going, drink some of the good stuff. Well, by the time this column was due, just getting to the decent bottles was a challenge. Luckily, a friend came by to see the new digs and dropped off a bottle of Poets Row 2010 Carignane, out of Alexander Valley in Sonoma County.
This grape is known for its dark skin, which produces a dark wine, though the taste is much lighter than you'd expect. There's strong acidity to the cherries and other fruit, tied up in a jammy, peppery flavor. The finish takes a while, just the way I like it, and there's enough complexity as a whole to pair it with a food that doesn't call for an overpowering wine. It's a decent bottle, better than some I've drunk when I haven't been able to get my hands on something good. I guess you can get good wine with a little help from your friends.
Several months ago, I wrote about Brad Bruce, the local wine judge who hosts an occasional block-party wine tasting for his lucky neighbors. Bruce is pulling together wines for tasting at Sips for
Shelter, a benefit for Interfaith Shelter Network, which provides assistance to victims of domestic violence. More than 50 vintners will be on hand, and Bruce will pour from a number of high-end bottles. The event starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Del Mar Marriott. Get details at interfatithshelter.org.