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Of Pork and Pink Eye
filed under: Ramblings,

rouge.gifMy sister called me the other day more upset than I'd heard her sound in a long time. "Dude," she said to me. "Yes?" I replied. "I've got viral pink eye." Doh! I thought immediately, Homer Simpson's catchall bummer phrase perfectly appropriate. You see, Claire's bday was coming up, and this pink eye thing put a major monkey wrench in her plans. Apparently pink eye - in both eyes nonetheless - is seriously contagious for at least 5 to 7 days' time. Her birthday is this weekend. She's had to cancel all celebrations and revelry. And, worst of all, she can't even see anyone for fear of transmitting the virus. Homegirl can't even go to WORK. It's sort of like solitary confinement, except that your boss still expects you to electronically transmit your work from your prison cell.

Because I felt excrutiatingly badly for her I decided to drop off some vino at her place in an effort to cheer her up. We're headed to the South of France for a couple of weeks this summer as a family and, I thought, she really ought to bone up on the pink wine of Provence before we go. And so, in an effort to further distract her from what must be total drudgery hanging out solo at home 24/7, I assigned her this task: write a tasting note for the same wine I'm tasting, and we'll combine our notes for a report on the HIP TASTES Blog.

I didn't even realize at the time the magnitude of consolation hiding in this simple task. She was pumped! She wrote back before I even took pen to paper to document my thoughts on the stuff. Here's the wine's 411 and what she had to say:

2004 Chateau Val Joanis AC Cotes du Luberon
grape variety: blend of Syrah and Grenache
Alcohol: 14%

"I realized quite fittingly last night that I was drinking the rose while my eyes were, ahem, quite rose. I was reflecting on my tragic situation when I realized that, with all of my problems, you know - the whole hazmat isolation and walking biohazard bit - that at least I could still drink wine." - Claire

Claire's notes:
Color: pink, peach, honey
Smell: grass, alcohol, nectarine, cheese (blue or roquefort), apricot, chamomile
Food: nice complement to my summer pasta, tomatoes, garlic, fresh herbs, feta, provolone, light dish
Overall: good beginning of the evening wine. I think it would be lovely to serve as a first course wine with some olives and hard cheese, or even some nectarines which it really reflects for me.

Now, back to me: I decided to drink this wine with a proscuitto sandwich from Say Cheese in Cole Valley I picked up on my way home from a certain VERY COOL TASTING I attended today. The pork and pale pink colored wine seemed destined for each other and my stomach, and, I must say, both went down swimmingly.

The wine is a lot of what Southern French rose ought to be: very pale in color - this one is like a new copper penny or deep orange cantaloupe color - beautifully perfumed and light on the palate. This one's got two of the three down: it's gorgeous in color - I've rarely seen roses in this orange-y color - and got great aromas, but it's a little high in alcohol which takes away from the liveliness on the palate I really love.

Lovely aromas of orange julias, licorice, brown sugar, roasted nuts and baked apricot float from the glass. Then, apricot and some citrus squirt on the palate, but not a lot else. I think this wine is fabulous for what it is - a $12 bottle with a fantastic nose - but would be all that much better with a more refreshing palate. I think a lot of this has to do with the climate in the South of France - it's bloody hot there! This wine has high alcohol as a result.

BUT - I still really enjoyed it. The color just can't be beat. With pork or pink eye - it's just the thing.

Buy it at K&L Wine Merchant

Posted by Courtney at Comments (1)