True to my word, and based on a recent life-altering encounter with a human being, I'm taking an active interest in cultivating a better taste for reds. It's not like they all suck poo or anything; I just enjoy the cuisine that's more traditionally associated with whites, and I drink accordingly. I'm all over a good Merlot, though. Yeah, it's red, but it's also incredibly versatile and effective. I once paired it with a whole box of animal crackers, and I saw nothing but pink elephants the rest of the day. Heh. That was pretty cool.
In any case, remember the girl from a couple weeks ago, the one who taught me about swirling my glass and letting the residue dry for the full aromatic effect? Thought I'd try her little trick with some Alibi 2004 Merlot, out of Napa Valley's St. Helena Wine Center. I picked this one because of its rep for feistiness and grit—something this cantankerous, I reasoned, must smell as roily as it tastes. I couldn't have been more spot-on in my suspicion. The fruity odor is so unbelievably crisp and bracing that you think you're supposed to be drinking it through your nose. Before it's too late, common sense prevails, and you've got a gigrundous mouthful ramming its way to your innards. This isn't wine; it's raspberry schnapps in disguise—such is its kick to the midriff, especially with a big fat bowl of chili like the one I had.
I profusely thank the lady who taught me to refine my little spin-move and the better vendors who have the sense to carry this number ($16.99 a bottle), in that order. Both have expanded my horizons on viticulture, one of the most sublime phenomena in the human experience. Thanks to them, my wallet is only a little lighter, and the elephants are a whole lot pinker.