A Hats Not a Hat ’til it’s Tilted

“Nobody goes to jail unless they want to. Unless they make themselves get caught.”

It was Day 45 and we are making the most of the situation.  During the French Revolution when people were literally losing their heads, they actually changed the calendar.  I was watching a wine lover on Instagram and he was using corks and arranging them as hash marks like drawing on the wall to keep track of the days, but he grew tired or disappointed and gave up.  I have read all sides of the arguments, because I mean we do have more time on our hands.  My only complaint is that I have not read of politicians that have had to live in confinement, then I would feel better, because then they might have empathy, but they seem impervious to what they are doing, as long as they get their name spelled right in the news reports.  We are watching the standard calendar and hopefully counting the days, and hoping for time off for good behavior.  Another thing that I am surprised at, is that wine sales are going like gangbusters, and I can’t blame the independents and the wineries for ways to sell their products, rather then sit back and go bankrupt. 

My Bride has been quite the creative one, trying to not make the same dinners over and over.  Some are elaborate and some are more basic, and some are just old-fashioned comfort food.  We ate out quite a bit, and certain restaurants that we went to, had special dinners that we would like.  Now that we are home, she is trying to keep us out of a rut.  This particular evening, she made a feast, featuring sautéed center cut pork chops with caramelized onions and garlic.  She also made Rice Pilaf and Steamed Asparagus.  We both have fond memories of center cut pork chops, and I will probably order them more in a restaurant setting compared to her, but on occasion she still orders them.  Asparagus is also a childhood memory for both of us, as we can both recall being in Canada in the Spring and stopping on the side of the roads to go and pick wild asparagus to be boiled (back then) and slathered with butter and salt and pepper, though I still like a little butter on them. 

I went down to the cellar and went searching for a bottle that looked interesting, and not just a repeat if I could, but some times with a cellar, there are cases and six-packs that were bought to be stored for a while.  I was looking in the area where I keep the Merlot wines, as I have always been partial to them, since the very early days.  I brought up a bottle with a label that read Sinatra Merlot 2001.  I told my Bride, that I am not sure where this wine came from, as I didn’t remember buying it, and I don’t remember getting it as a gift, though I am leaning more towards the gift idea, also because people know that I enjoy a unique label and I have been a life long fan of Francis Albert Sinatra.  I probably know his repertoire of music better, compared to any musical quartet or singer that should be of my era.  I told my Bride, this may be a crap-shoot, but it has been down there long enough, so I uncorked it, and let it breath a while.  We were both amazed at this wine that we had anticipated to be a curiosity, and it was even great a couple days later when we repeated this meal.  A beautiful wine that still had a great nose of dark fruit, good color, a great mix of cherry and soft tannins, with a good lingering finish.  The wine also required decanting as there was considerable sediment, which also made the wine open up even more.  I had to look at the bottle for more information, because my curiosity was totally piqued.  The wine carried a sticker from American Cellars Wine Club, which I have never belonged to and I had to look them up.  It appears that they are still in business and are considered the flagship wine club of the brand Vinesse.  They have participated in a number of rewards and points clubs (Delta and American Airlines) and offer wines by a club purchase or by the bottle.  Then I read the back label for some interesting information.  The wine was produced by Cab Frank Winery of Buellton, California, and in some further investigation, it appears that they are no longer in business, and I found out that there was a 2000 vintage as well.  The Sinatra Merlot Santa Barbara County 2001 had a good read.  “Francis Albert Sinatra passed away on a cool evening in May of 1998.  Early, the next morning at a small winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, two young winemakers resolved to make a tribute to the singer who given them so much happiness over the years.  That harvest they collected the best grapes from their small family-controlled vineyards and produced a single barrel of wine.  At each stage of the winemaking process the cellar filled with the swinging sounds of vintage Sinatra albums.  There they finally crafted a wine of such tremendous quality and passion that they planned to it to themselves, until the Sinatra family learned of the project.  A tasting commenced and a union was formed.  Since that first barrel, this wine has been produced as an homage to the great artist.  A portion of the proceeds is donated to the Frank Sinatra Foundation, a non-profit charity established by Sinatra to benefit children.”  Some of the write up sounds pretentious, but nineteen years later, for the wine to be this wonderful, it was some excellent winemaking and not done by hacks.  I had to look it up, one barrel of wine produces twenty-five cases of wine or three-hundred bottles, so it was not a big production.  Now, if I can figure out, who gave us such a wonderful gift.   

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Twitter.com/WineRaconteur Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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