When did it happen? When did I become that “selective” type who feels that life is too short to drink bad wine? Still, I haven’t ventured into snob territory – you know, expensive- Napa-cab-or-bust! land – but last minute runs to the local market for wine do fill me with dread.
Backdrop: I have been without hot water for 3 days because of a broken heater that apparently takes a lot of time and money to repair. Oh, in addition, I haven’t slept for like 3 weeks.
I really wanted the joy that Pinot Noir can bring and had my heart set on Banshee, which costs $20 but tastes like a $40 bottle of wine. That’s the kind of quality-value ratio that I like!
Alas, I was exhausted after running errands and could not bear to make another trip to get wine – not any wine shops in my neighborhood. There is a grocery store, the Good Life Market, and as is common in wine business, they get blocks of assorted wine delivered by distributors of primarily larger mass-produced brands with some smaller mixed in but what I craved would definitely not be available.
So I scanned the aisle for bargain Pinot being on a tight budget and saw this:
I am not feeling it.
Ok, maybe it is ordinaire time, and so I brought it home, cooked up a storm including a mushroom-y wild rice blend and opened the bottle to find: strong cherry fruit on nose with touch of toasted cedar. Simple, drinkable and definitely Pinot. It opened up a bit and came together with a little time. It’s a wine you can get for about $10 anywhere. The grapes for this Mandolin 2012 Pinot Noir are from Monterey – the esteemed Santa Lucia Highlands to be exact.
The verdict: If you are wiped out from lack of sleep, lack of cold water and too tired to go to a proper wine shop, then it is better than those other cheap Pinots on the shelf.
New Wisdom for the New Year: When life gives you lemons, drop ‘em and get some Pinot instead!