Magical Shrooms

Wine: Merlot

Vintage: 2000
Grape: MerlotYes, it’s risotto night at our house again. Yes, it’s blog-worthy again because it just keeps getting better! Perhaps it’s the fresh homegrown mushrooms provided by Bascom Hill bass player, Quin? Perhaps it’s our new pan that allows for greater surface area for the rice-to-heat ratio? Perhaps it’s simply that we’ve done this a few times before and now we really know what we are doing.

In any case, this risotto rocks. Super creamy arborio rice, crispy, but not too crispy asparagus, meaty, earthy button mushrooms, and a hint of truffle oil. All of that goodness was elevated by a ROCKSTAR wine. Seriously, we are dy-ing over here. Why merlot gets a bad rap, I’ll never know. This wine has that deep, dense ruby red color that’s just a touch cloudy. Honestly, I get so excited when I see a little cloudiness in a wine. It just looks so thick, heavy and comforting, like a big liquid blanket. And this wine delivered on that expectation – dark fruit, ultra refined, thick velvet, and my how it popped with the fresh cracked pepper.
This was one of the final wines to come out of the wedding vault. We usually save the “wedding” wines for a special evening of some sort. Tonight there is no real event, except maybe that I’m feeling a little sentimental after having put my wedding dress in a box to be sent away and preserved. I was a little sad about closing this chapter, I suppose…
And it was in the midst of this sentimentality that I thought back to where we were in our lives the year this wine found its way into this bottle. In 2000, Jason and I had been together just one year. He was still in school. I was working the front desk of my first non-profit job. Jason was still drinking Miller Lites. I wasn’t doing much better. Occasionally, I would indulge by buying a 4-pack of Sutter Home cab for spaghetti night (I bought the 4-pack because it meant I could drink a tiny one without worrrying about any wine going to waste). We have come a long way, baby.
A key player in our wine evolution  (revolution?) has been Little Debbie…who was – coincidentally – the one to place this fine merlot in our wedding wine vault. It would be hard to find a more enthusiastic wine lover than Little. I suspect she is quite proud of the fact that she has helped to make us wine maniacs too.
The inscription from Little and Mike reads “Congrats and Enjoy.”
Thanks and we did.

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