Friday, March 16, 2012

The Real World

As the year anniversary of my graduation from college looms (how can that be?!), I realize that the title of this blog is becoming quickly outdated. I’m not a recent college graduate anymore, something both terrifying and liberating. One of my best friends and I were talking the other day about how life after graduation has eaten us up – between the full-time job, the daily commute, the entry-level paychecks, the monthly expenses, and all of the real-world things we’re facing on our own, we feel like the real world has swallowed us whole.

My month consists of a list of payment due dates versus pay days. It’s only now that I realize that the “starving college student” assumption should be entirely renamed the “starving after-graduation new-adult.” My for-fun ramen in college wasn’t necessity-for-the-last-few-days-of-the-month-ramen, like it is now. My frivolous expenses in college were Spring Break trips to New York City and Las Vegas. This pay period my frivolous purchases were a couple of $9 frames from K-Mart and a bottle of Horse Heaven Hills on a Safeway Washington Wine sale. 

But for all of these pain points, it has been an enriching experience as well. I don’t think I expected to graduate from college without a place to live and without a job. I didn’t know that I could literally live out of a suitcase for 4 months. Through the struggle to find a place to live and the almost endless job searching, I did find a job (that I love) and I did find a place to live (that I love) with both the person and the cat that I love, and proved to myself that I could pretty much deal with all of my worst unplanned-life fears.
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And in keeping with a blog post torn between the painful and the gratifying, it seems appropriate to write about wine I tried this week. The first was a 2009 Horse Heaven Hills Les Chevaux ($13) red blend (34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 18% Syrah, 10% Malbec, 3% Cabernet Franc). The wine scored 90 points with the Wine Spectator, was on sale with Safeway’s Washington Wine 30% discount, and comes from one my favorite off-shoots of Columbia Crest. As my aforementioned poverty has been limiting my wine drinking lately, I was excited to store this in the wine rack and drink it on the weekend when both Ben and I had time to enjoy the bottle. Naturally, as all things seem to go lately, fate interrupted my plans and Ben dropped the bag that held the wine bottle on our walk from the car to the apartment. Everything seemed intact until we got back to our apartment and the top fell off of the bottle splashing wine all over my “rustic mudroom bench,” the walls, the open Joy of Cooking, and Ben’s H&R Block tax documents. And really, thank god for the decanter. Ben and I decanted the spilling wine and enjoyed it right there. 

Like all Horse Heaven Hills wines, this was smooth, full, and excellently balanced. I was shocked at how well the blend had been crafted, as I’m not usually a big fan of blends. There was neither too much nor too little fruit for a New World cab/merlot blend, and the Syrah/Malbec addition didn’t over-spice the back end of the wine. The finish was smooth, with silky tannins and enough dimension to keep me wanting more. I’d very very highly recommend this wine. 

If my recommendation isn’t enough to sway you, Les Chevaux is French for “The Horses” and if that doesn’t endear you with visions of wild horses running through fields of wine grapes, then you might as well screw open a jug of Carlo Rossi and stop reading this blog.

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