Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Great Denver Travesty

My lack of wine-blogging lately has started to take a mental toll (let's not use the word "withdrawal") and even though I am eating Spongebob Mac and Cheese out of a mug right now instead of drinking a nice red wine, I can’t go another day without writing a post. This sorry picture, luckily, is due to extenuating circumstances and not due to a post-grad recession into childhood. I’m actually living in a dorm in Denver, Colorado while I attend the University of Denver Summer Publishing Institute, a month long course designed to give students a jump-start into the publishing world.

Denver is an interesting place. It’s dry, hot, stormy and many of the lawns seem to be un-mowed in the surrounding area. But the weird weather and lack of yard maintenance quickly became the least of my worries. Car-less, I walked to the Safeway yesterday in the middle of a thunder and lightning storm to buy some groceries and a bottle of wine. However, I was horrified at what I found: no. wine. aisle. There were no cheerful signs advertising the California merlots, no scant section of “Imports,” not even the familiar gleam of the hardly-drinkable Yellow Tail populating the end-of-aisle display. It was, by far, the greatest supermarket travesty I have yet to experience. As it turns out, Denver only sells 3.2% beers (read: not worth it) in grocery stores… A horrifying prospect but a reality. So until I can find a liquor store in the sweaty, 90-degree weather, I must go without. My stem-less red wine glass is sitting alone in a drawer, my corkscrew without a cork, my palate without the gentle caress of well-rounded tannins, my teeth without the telltale sign of too much red wine!

Instead I am left to recommend to you a wine that I know and love and can only dream of ingesting right now: the 2009 Bogle Petite Sirah ($8.99-$9.99 in most grocery stores). I’m not normally a fan of Syrah/Shiraz* but this varietal, though it sounds like a small Syrah, is entirely different in taste and partially different in origin. The Petite Sirah, as it is known in the U.S., is made from the Durif grape, a cross between a Syrah and a Peloursin grape. Though the origin of the Petite Sirah is linked to the Syrah grape, I find it to be a much more drinkable wine. I can drink the Petite Sirah with absolutely anything, whether it is a light salad or a heartier, spicier meal. The wine is full-bodied without being overpowering, with a smooth combination of fruit and oak. The finish contains a hint of the spiciness for which the Shiraz and Syrah wines are known. I actually went through a period in which I drank only this Petite Sirah because I just couldn't entrust my $10 to any other, potentially bad bottle of wine. When my recycling bin started to look like a wine bar's glass disposal,  was forced to branch out into more untrustworthy wines. I still drink this wine when I'm feeling unadventurous and need a good bottle to accompany my night. At under $10 a bottle, it is an amazing buy!

*Like Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio, Syrah usually means that the wine is from the French Rhone Valley and is a lighter, more acidic wine. Shiraz suggests a more full bodied wine from Australia. When the wine is made in the U.S., then the name suggests what flavor you can expect from the wine, according to the previous distinctions.

No comments:

Post a Comment