The end of the year is near, and so is my most prolific poem writing year or nearly most prolific poem writing year. On December 26, I realized I wrote 92 poems and two poem translations this year. That seems a lot, at least for me. But it seems like previous generations of poets wrote a lot more. You hear stories of how they work up each morning at 4 a.m. and wrote for a couple of hours into the sunrise. My generation and the ones following my generation are not at all like that. It seems, however, I should be able to write at least 100 poems per year. You know, two per week. That shouldn’t be that difficult. I’m mean, especially if I’m a poet. But lately (over the past few years), it seems one poem per week is a good pace. But since I was close to 100 poems for the year, I tried to write and get there. I’m at 96 poems and two translations, now. I’m not going to make it to 100. It’s not that I can’t write, but I don’t know what to write about. Nothing is coming. Maybe it’s just because my three years of writing Paleolithic poems has come to its end, and I’m having a hard time remembering how to write a standard poem. The 96th poem I wrote was a blank verse sonnet (unrhymed sonnet) titled “Coda.” I woke up with it. It came out quick and easy. And it might be the last Paleolithic poem I write. Even though I thought I had stopped writing them in November sometime, they keep popping up. I still would like to move on.
Since I’ve nothing to write about, I’m going to drink and write about it. I am fully aware that a drink cannot fill the emptiness of an unwritten poem, . . . but the writing about it can be a temporary fix. Bonus! I’m going to be drinking what I hope is very good wine: E=MC2 Quantum Reserve Relativity Vineyards 2007.
I went looking for images of this wine, but there’s not much out there, and there’s not much written about, either. It is a blended red wine. It is 15.4% alcohol, which is a lot. I found someone who claims the blend is:
zinfandel, petite syrah, syrah, charbono, gamay, cab, and malbec, selected from excess bulk wines provided by some more well-known and unnamed vineyards.
I did take this picture of the cork. You can click it to make it bigger.
The label is hard to make out. But the in embossed in black near the label’s top, it reads “E=MC2“. Below that in red, it reads “RELATIVITY VINEYARDS”. And in the red band, it reads “Quantum Reserve”.
The back of the label indicates the wine is from Saint Helena, California.
Enough of the surface stuff. Let’s get the bottle’s insides. Let’s get to the tasting.
E=MC2 Quantum Reserve has dark cherry color. It’s about 85-90% opaque.
It’s nose is delicious. There’s vanilla, plums, raspberries, dark cherries, black currants, and a hint of strawberries. I think it going to be jammy.
It’s oddly salty, especially on the finish. That’s weird. I’ve never experienced that before. I wonder if Saint Helena is near the ocean. (I just checked. It’s about 60 miles inland. I doubt salty ocean breezes travel that far.)
I pick up cantaloupe on the taste and maybe a hint of chocolate and a hint of raspberry jam. It’s hard to pick up much. This would be a really good wine if it wasn’t salty. It’s less salty each sip, but it is still noticeable . . . noticeable on the finish but not in the mouth. I think the salt is some how related to the Malbec. There’s also cherry Kool-Aid on the finish.
What a weird wine.
I’m going to give this 87 points. Without the salt it could be an 89, but it’s difficult to be sure.
I definitely over paid for this one.
And now for a haiku I wrote earlier this year:
Everything I do
Means I want to love you squared –
Come with me and prove
Some of you readers (I’m so grateful that you stop to read what I share) will notice I have not been posting much. I’m always going, going, going either with my own school work or with teaching, but tonight I’m caught up and I actually think I’m ahead in my work. So I’m finally taking time to do a wine tasting because I need a break of some sort. So I’m going (there’s that word again) to slow down for the night and take a deep breath of Avalon Cabernet Sauvignon 2010. And then I’m going (again with that silly word) to have some macaroni and cheese with hot dogs. (Did I mention I’m a poor college student . . . again . . . for the fourth time in my life. Some people go straight through a college career. I play hopscotch with attending college and being in the working world.)
So here’s to day 123 on the Juiciest Wine tour.
My glass is a foot away, but I can smell some berries. After I bring under my nose, I smell vanilla, currants, cherries, plums, and jamminess.
Work. Work. Work. Fantasy football. Work. Write. Grade papers. Grade papers. Grade papers. Work. Work. Work. What’s wrong with that list? It doesn’t have wine in it. Well, I gotta fix that, and so I will with a bottle of Van Ruiten Old Vine Zinfandel 2008 Lodi Appellation.
I only picked up this bottle because it’s an old vine Zin . . . and because I could afford it. Transitioning to poor college student again is going to be challenging. I hope I can do it. Be poor that is.
When I poured this, it looked really thin. It appeared almost as thin as Pinot Noir. A Zin should be deep and juicy looking. It should almost be black. It should not be this 60% opaque, rosé colored wine. Oh boy.
The nose is better than the color with a floral bouquet and some light cherries and some wood. (I usually can’t pick out wood, like cedar or oak or whatever woods wine drinkers pick up, but this time I do, but I don’t know what type of wood. Oak I guess.) And lots of spicy vanilla. Real vanilla. Not that imitation vanilla. And maybe some rum, too. Wow. Rum and wine. If you had that on you alcoholic daily double, then you hit the jackpot tonight. I think there’s a hint of tarragon in there, too. (Isn’t there an upset stomach remedy that includes soaking a vanilla bean and some tarragon in rum . . . or is that just something that sounds tasty?)
Wow. It finishes really hot. This must be loaded with alcohol. It’s making my eyes blink. Maybe there is rum in it afterall.
When drinking it, I can catch a bit of lovely jamminess that usually accompanies a red Zinfandel, but it last only for 2/10 of a fraking second.
There’s not much body with this.
I usually think Zins go well with pizza or pasta in red sauce, but I don’t think this one will. However, it seem like a hard sausage would be a good complement.
The more it opens, the more the jamminess appears and the longer it remains in the happy zone of taste buds, but then the hot finish takes it away. This means I have to keep drinking and drinking and drinking to maintain the jamminess. Drink. Drink. Drink. Ah. I just had a hot flash. Wait, can men have hot flashes?
This wine seems like it might lead to heart burn in the morning.
The more this opens, the better it gets, but the finish is a party pooper. Without the finish, this would be a thin 88, and maybe an 89. With the finish, it’s a thin 87. Meh. There are better wines and Zins for the same price.//
Tonight concludes the first week as student and teacher at the University of Southern Mississippi. It was only a half week, but, man, it felt full – for sure . . . and busy. So this evening, I’m just going to relax and recover, because this all starts up again tomorrow morning when I make syllabus plans for the next week of teaching ENG 101.
Tonight’s wine is Ergo Tempranillo Rioja 2009. Bonus, I will use the decanter for the first time in my Hattiesburg Hacienda.
When I was looking for images of this bottle, I kept finding returns with “Martín Códax Ergo Tempranillo” or variations on the order of words. I just looked on the back of the bottle, and “Martín Códax” is there. I think it is the vineyard. According to Wikipedia:
Martín Códax was a Galician medieval jogral (non-noble composer and performer — as opposed to a trobador), possibly from Vigo, Galicia, in present day Spain. He may have been active during the middle of the thirteenth century, judging from scriptological analysis (Monteagudo 2008). He is one of only two out of a total of 88 authors of cantigas d’amigo who uses only the archaic strophic form aaB (a rhymed distich followed by a refrain). And he also employs an archaic rhyme-system whereby i~o / a~o are used in alternating strophes. In addition Martin Codax consistently deploys a strict parallelistic technique known as leixa-pren [. . . ]. His dates, however, remain unknown and there is no documentary biographical information concerning the poet.
And then a little more research tells me:
Bodegas Martín Códax was founded in 1986 and was named after the most known Galician troubadour whose medieval poems, the oldest of Galician-Portuguese language, are preserved. In the poems, the troubadour sings to love and to the sea of our coastline (http://www.martincodax.com/en/bodega).
Sweet: School. Decanter. Wine. Friday. Poet. It’s on baby. It’s on.
The color is dark maroon with hints of light purple or pink. It’s about 80 percent opaque.
Thee nose is spicy and with dark berries and with some dirt. To me it smells like what Spain would smell like near the Atlantic Ocean or the Straight of Gibraltar. Yes, I’m actually picking up salty sea air odors, and I picked up before using that quote about who the wine was named after. Ok. . . . A little more research shows me that this winery is in northwest Spain and right close to the Atlantic Ocean.
Cambados, the capital of the Salnés Valley
The winery is in Cambados, the capital of the Salnés Valley.
A little more research suggests the vineyard is closer to the Mediterranean Sea and in northeast Spain.
But if I think about it some more, Rioja is in central northern Spain.
Ergo, ha, I don’t where the hell this place is.
Arg. Nonetheless, it’s near salty water and I can smell it. It’s in there, damn it.
I had this wine the other day, and I thought it was okay. Today it’s a bit more tart and drier than I remember. The berries taste lighter than they smelled. It’s not as fruity or fruit forward as I thought it may be or remembered. There’s a bit of dark chocolate in here somewhere, too. And some plums.
It’s a pretty good wine. Certainly it’s 88 points, but I don’t think 89 points. It’s a good everyday Tempranillo. Have some. I think it might go well with some spicy shrimp sushi or well-cooked barbecued chicken.//
So I’m in Hattiesburg, MS. Unfortunately, my stuff is not. United guaranteed it would be here by the 7th, but it won’t arrive until the 13th, so I have to drink wine out of this mini mason jar wine glass for nine more days.
Since I’ve so little to do, I’ll be sampling the Dynamite Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (Red Hills Lake County).
I’ve had Dynamite before a long time ago, and I remember liking it, but my palate was young then. I’m going to try it again. Allons-y.
The color is a very deep, dark purple. It’s 99% opaque. But that might be misleading because the glass is so narrow. The meniscus, however, is a purple pink. Looking at the meniscus I anticipate that this wine has not quite reached its potential drinking age.
I’m not getting much on the nose, but I pick up some dark cherries and pepper and, maybe, some black licorice.
The finish is quick. No. Delayed. It disappears for a while and then it returns with sour black cherries. The taste buds actually recede but then blossom open to receive the next taste – a taste of black cherries and white pepper. I think I even pick up toast. (Oh, I miss my toaster.)
This is a really smooth wine. It’s pleasant. But it needs some cheese to bring out the flavors.
If I were in Brockport, I’d probably pay $10 for this, but in Hattiesburg, I paid around $16 for this. Wine here is much more expensive. I think I might have to cut down on my wine expenditures or readjust how I drink wine. I had a good system down for finding good wines under $15, but I’m going to have to raise that range to like $25 for down here. I even had some good everyday wines for $8 or $9, but down here, I’ll have no such luck.
So with that in mind. Is this wine worth $16? No. $10? Yes. Or maybe it depends on where you live.
It’s really a good wine, but it does need some food encouragement.
There’s nothing special about today except that it’s 95 degrees outside and 88 inside. Luckily, I have one room with air conditioning, which is where I’ll be doing this wine tasting. Double lucky, I just picked up a bottle of Buehler Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 from Mahan’s, which is also air conditioned, so this wine is at a good temperature and has been open for about one-and-half hours.
Well, it’s not very dark for a Cabernet Sauvignon. The meniscus looks like one of those purple-to-light-purple-wavy sunsets.
Kinda like that, but less dramatic and with more dark red. Did I just confuse you? Sorry.
Anyway, the wine. It smells like a pie. A spicy, plum pie with blackberries. And maybe some vanilla ice cream on top. This nose is enjoyable also because it’s deep and dark and it makes me think I’m sitting at a stool at the counter of some tucked away diner. And at the end of the counter is vase filled with freshly picked flowers.
It luscious on the tongue. It’s like the after effects of thunderstorm and rain shower after days of a high heat. My body is at ease like the weather would be. It’s filled with relief from plums, slightly jammy plums. It’s eloquent. Not big or in your face. It’s a light dance in the mouth. Oh, all these metaphors and similes. This tasting sounds so insincere, but it’s a good wine for $17.
On the finish is a slight sourness.
All around, it’s an enjoyable wine.
I love this wine. I’m crazy for it. Objectively, it’s like a 90 point wine. But for me it’s like a 95-point wine.//