This month's Wine Blogging Wednesday snuck up on me. I've been so wrapped up in work, travel, and family issues that it was just suddenly here. Thank goodness I was ready.
The theme, as put forth by Katie at the Gonzo Gastronomy blog, is pairing music with wine. Now, she specifically requested no Michael Buble, but here's the thing – I was a swing dancer for years and I'm still a ballroom dancer, with a love of foxtrot and quickstep. My ear is a distinctly retro ear, and my favorite music – the music that puts me in the mood for wine or sometimes a martini – tends to be somehow tethered to the Rat Pack.
I've always thought I was born in the wrong decade. 40 years earlier and I could have grown up listening to Frank, Sammy, and Dean while they were alive. I could have danced the Lindy Hop and Jitterbug the first time around, instead of the resurgence. (Although I believe Bob Hope sang that everything "is better the second time around.")
I have a collection of Dean Martin music, and I recently added a new CD, as in NEW – a Dean Martin CD released in the last couple of years. Oh, it has the standard classics on it, but it is beautifully remastered. And there's this black and white photo of Dean on the cover just cracking up laughing … Sigh. I think Dean Martin is dreamy. Of course, I understand he was also a a drunk and a womanizer, which brings me to my wine.
In honor of Dean, and because there's something about this bottle that perfectly (PERFECTLY) fits with the Dean Martin music in the background, I chose the Drink -n- Stick Mataro/Syrah blend from Some Young Punks out of South Australia.
I was distracted for a full hour by just the bottle. If you flip through the Flickr slide show below, you'll see that there is a Bettie Page-esque pin-up girl on the label. There's also a plastic strip that you carefully unwrap to reveal that our Bettie is actually the equivalent of a paper doll. That plastic strip has all sorts clothing on it. I think I tried almost every possible combination on Bettie before settling on a ruffly shirt and crop pants. Ladies, there are even scarves and hair bows.
You know, the bottle appeals to both sexes, as I discovered in the store. Unwrapped, it's a Bettie Page pin-up in retro lingerie. The guys were all excited – it's a pin-up! The ladies, on the other hand, were enamoured with the paper doll aspect. I mean, when is the last time you played with a paper doll? Like Dean Martin, it's a great trip down memory lane.
What's inside the bottle? It's a blend of 59% Mataro (think Mouvedre) and 41% shiraz. This wine needs to be decanted for a bit first, although we didn't. For future reference, we will. It is, of course, a crazy high-alcohol wine from Down Under at 14.5% AbV. It didn't taste as hot as I was expecting, and it didn't give me the instant headache that some of these Aussie powerhouses do.
The nose was earthy and not very fruity. The wine started out just a mouthful of tart cherries. As it took some time to breathe though (and just interact with the oxygen in general), it changed to more fruit, with earth on the finish.
Sticking with our retro theme, Kevin took a big ol' steak and marinated it in the Drink n Stitch. This was a fantastic idea, by the way. The wine and the steak were a fantastic pair.
For all its big alcohol and big label, it's actually a fairly subtle wine. Maybe that subtlety comes from having Dean Martin in the background. "Everybody loves somebody sometimes …."
Our rating is a but had we decanted, that might be higher. Hmm … I wonder what it would have tasted like with Bon Jovi in the background. No, that just would have been wrong.
Some Young Punks Drink n Stitch Mataro/Syrah blend. Available at Party Town Turfway for $22.
Our thanks to Katie at Gonzo Gastonomy for hosting this month's Wine Blogging Wednesday edition.
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