Saucerful of Grapes
Before I even get digging into this post, forgive me as I find myself writing a rare wine meets music edition and felt like I had to do it the only way I know how, which is pure geek-out.
I had read about this whole Wines That Rock thing, and had even put up a few links to it on Facebook. Still I was surprised when I walked into my local wine shop a few weeks ago while on the run and saw the Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet displayed quite liberally. To be clear, I wasn’t surprised that it was available, and definitely not surprised that it was right up in the front of the store as a “feature”, but I was surprised that it was in THIS wine store, and that I had only just recently started reading about it and peaking my own interest.
Not aware of Wines that Rock? Check out my blog roll for a link.
Of course, my first instinct was to shrug it off as yet another label-driven brand that sells you on the marketing and the design and not the quality of the wine. But then curiosity took over, and I shelled out my $15.
Besides, I owe it to YOU, my regular 5 readers, to taste and type!
I am not going to insult your intelligence by explaining how influential the namesake album was after its release in 1973, nor am I going to give you a background on Pink Floyd’s creation and history-changing creative asthetic of this masterpiece. If you haven’t heard of this band & album, you have either been living in a closet, or have suffered brain damage.
What I will say is that considering my personal affinity for this record (yes, people do still use that term, even though I haven’t owned a turn table in 15 years), I was very reserved in trying this wine, expecting to only be disappointed. It’s not like me to pre-judge a wine, as I’ve learned that the famous brands can be terrible, and the super market brands can be surprisingly good. Doesn’t really matter if it’s red or white, it’s really any colour you like. So long as you are willing to take a chance. But of course in this case, the tasting of the actual wine was in a way eclipsed by the label and the instant recognition to that it was referring to.
OK OK OK, the wine…
Well, on the nose it really was like any other Northern Cali cabernet. Dark fruits, a little oak, a little candy. It wasn’t your $5 cab, but it definitely wasn’t a $100 Howell Mountain version either. I gave it a little time in the glass and it opened up slightly, but that really only developed into more sweetness on the nose. I’m not surprised that a wine like this doesn’t necessarily need a ton of time to breathe in order to speak to me. But, I would recommend that you let it open up just a little.
On the palate it was definitely tasty. That’s really the best way to describe it. Blackberry, black cherry, chocolate and mocha. So in a word: tasty. It really wasn’t tasting like a cheap bin Cali cab, but of course it also wasn’t blowing me away. But then again, this is not a wine that’s playing a game of us and them, and trying to put itself out of the mid-range and affordable wines. That right now is the trick out there anyway. Don’t be the cheapest, and don’t be the most expensive.
I am really glad that I tried this out and would say that it’s worth pulling out at a party, or as a good gift wine for a music lover. It has enough quality grape to not feel like it’s cheap, and the added cache of one of the truly iconic images of rock history.
Bottom line as always is to try as many wines as you can before you take that final step towards the great gig in the sky, and considering that this really feels like you’re drinking any decent $15-20 Cali cab, why not do it with a little more style and while listening to 43 minutes of musical genius at the same time.