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 V.15 No.46 | November 16 - 22, 2006 

It's Just Grape Juice

Bitter Grapes

Wines for the newly single shopper

What's the first thing you do when you find out your partner is cheating on you? And you don’t have a gun or a good attorney? You drink. But which wine goes best with the bitter taste of infidelity? Any wine, preferably one with a high alcohol content. Alcohol will soothe the cold, hard reality, not to mention pain, of being 33 and single again. Here are five wines that will aid you in your recovery and help you rejoin your journey towards self-actualization—alone.

2004 Folie à Deux Ménage à Trois ($9, Raley’s Supermarket)

Aptly named, this wine is a blend of three varietals: Cabernet, Merlot and Zinfandel. Sounds like it would be delicious and fulfilling, right? Pervert. I warn you, while it is immediately pleasing to the palate, it leaves a bitter aftertaste on you tongue, making you feel unsatisfied and dirty. This is a relatively simple wine given the complexity that usually comes with this combination of grapes. Enjoy the taste of this wine in your mouth, because like everything else, it will be short-lived. Wretched name aside, this wine is decent, approachable, fruit-forward and goes down a bit too easily. This full-bodied red will have you drunk-dialing your ex in no time.

Recommended Pairing: A trip to the doctor to get “things” checked out.

2004 Red Truck Red Table Wine ($10, Kelly Liquors)

I bought this pretty little wine because it had a picture of a marvelously large truck grill on the label: A perfect bottle for a person (not me, of course) who may want to run over their ex. A bit harsh going down, this red table wine is as subtle as a big red truck. Your first drink has big cherry flavors followed by a burning sensation down your throat. While an adequate everyday table wine, if you drink too much of it, you will regret it. This wine left me feeling as if I were the one hit by a truck the next morning.

Recommended Pairing: Wait, are those my ex’s clothes on the front lawn? Hey, this wine is fantastic!

2003 Bogle Phantom ($30, Quarters Discount Liquors)

Want to try something new and different? Tired of the same ol’ thing? Well, you shouldn’t! Don’t forget the person waiting for you at home who's been there for you through thick and thin! Sorry--we are talking about wine, right? This wine is a gooey, jammy mess of emotions … I mean flavors. But, strangely enough, they all work together. A unique combination of old vine Zinfandel and Mourvèdre, the Zinfandel gives the wine some edgy peppery fruits while the Mourvèdre lends its earthy nature to the mix. While lacking any appreciable depth, this wine is generously mouth-filling and pleasing. Round and full-bodied, this interesting wine will haunt you long after it is gone.

Recommended Pairing: Bittersweet memories of happier times.

2003 Caravan Cabernet Sauvignon ($30, Quarters Discount Liquors)

Like a caravan of semis running over you, this ultra-full bodied cab is pure power and will flatten you with its unapologetic fruit forwardness much like the discovery of mysterious e-mails on your ex’s computer. Completely out of control, this wine sacrifices balance for an amazing pomegranate and cassis fruit front palate and deep spicy back palate. This wine is best enjoyed with some extra sharp cheddar or blue stilton to take the edge off the somewhat bitter aftertaste.

Recommended Pairing: A good friend because you may need a big hug to comfort you after being violated by this bigger-than-life cab.

2000 Chateau Latour ($500, online)

Let’s say, hypothetically, that your cheating partner has a bottle of this in the cellar of the house you built together--and this bottle was his favorite bottle in your wine collection. You’d crack that baby open, wouldn’t you? Yes, sir. Let me tell you, this wine is perfect in every way. As it sat decanting, the most striking, indescribable aromas escaped to bless my nose for just a moment. An opulent deep crimson color filled my glass as the most gorgeous, muted fruit coupling with intense French oak graced my palate. Rich, deep slate, truffle and pencil flavors overwhelm your mouth with an unparalleled elegance, leaving an amazingly long-lasting aftertaste. This is an old world wine at its finest. While I knew this ultra full-bodied wine was a representation of centuries of refined French winemaking, I was unprepared for the gentle caress of its elegance on my tongue. I was immediately surprised, however, with how approachable this wine was, given it’s a decade or two too early to drink. Dare I say that I drank this wine prematurely ... hum ... a word with which my ex is intimately familiar.

Recommended Pairing: Vindication.

 

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