Friday, December 2, 2011

201. Friday Art Nite

So I was thinking of starting a new little featurette of sorts, on occasion, reviewing wines and other beverages I come across. Wine especially, for its dearness to my heart, but also because I frequently cannot remember the names of those I really fell for. In which case, it would selfishly be more of a catalog for my own use, but hopefully you'll like it too.

Tonight is art-nite in the Galley, the name we've given our silly two room apartment (or three, if you count the bathroom) for its strange resemblance to a ship sailing amongst the second-floor trees. I'm frantically trying to piece together my Design 1 final, and the wizard has been playing with this hilarious concept for a bust of PlaqueMan. (*PlaqueMan being the nemesis in the dental hygiene show my boy stars in...long story with a lot of copyright restrictions and whatnot, I'm sure.)

Anyway, he's come up with this modeling clay made from baking soda, corn starch and water, which he is now sculpting with, and will hopefully use to make a silicon mold from. Once the mold exists, he hopes to melt a lot of donated Halloween candy into it and let it harden in a sort of melty monstrosity...

And for my assignment, a three dimensional sort of relief recreating a cubist painting. I chose a Lichtenstein, and am attempting to make it out of 1/4" birch plywood. So far so good, but it's definitely more than I should have bitten off for a lower level art class.

The evening has looked a bit like this:

Primer, dough, chunks of wood, and a bottle of wine. It's a delightful mess!

That brings me to the wine. I love the wine. It's a French import, from my favorite wine store in St. Louis, 33. I asked for an earthy sort of dry red, in the $20 range, and this is what I got:

From the back label, "Mas des Dames, or Farm of the Ladies, is hidden in the hills behind the ancient Mediterranean city of Beziers. Celebrated for its three generations of beautiful daughters, the Mas has 32 acres of old vines parceled into small plots along the contours of its hillside. The owners hand-harvest Grenache (50%), Carignan (30%) and Syrah (20%) to make this deliciously supple southern French wine, filled with alluring scents of wild herbs."

What I love about 33 is that they store their wines at the correct temperature, as my pal Nelle was quick to point out when she first introduced us to the place. It's amazing the difference that it makes, compared to room temperature bottle you'd snag at the grocery store on your way home. The Wizard and I decanted this one for about 30 minutes while we made ourselves a Thai-wanna-be dinner of coconut rice topped with rockfish, onion and apples, in a soy sauce, dark sesame oil, and crushed red pepper sort of concoction. Dinner was delicious, but the wine had to wait until afterward. It wasn't purchased with the intention of complimenting the food; I wanted it to stand all on its own.

It was described to me as "barn-yardy", but I'm really not a fan of that description. It makes me think of peed on hay and manure smells...not something I want to drink.

This wine is earthy, herby, and intensely flavored with dark fruit. Maybe like dried raspberry, or more likely, dried blackberry. It's very dry, but in a good way. Possibly more of a medium body than full, but definitely leaning toward full. Immediately drinkable, the tannins are balanced and smooth.
We loved.
After tax it came to $20.60, I believe, which is more than I normally feel good about spending, but I was splurging and this one didn't disappoint. Give it a try, if you get the chance.

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