Often times when I go to school events, I see many other mothers there sporting wardrobes much like my own, nice jeans, a striped sweater, with something a little unusual like a butterfly sleeve for just a touch of zazz…but not too much. It occurred to me last night as I heard a nicely dressed, but not overy so, mother speaking, it’s like we’re in uniform. Like the IBM navy suit of the 80’s, our dark-washed jeans, and DKNY sweater, purchased at a discount from Ross along with the long layered bob, identify us to the general population as Burb Nerds. We stand out in how little we stand out.
The carmenere grape is from the Bordeaux region of France. It has traditionally been used as a blending grape. Chile has taken this little blending grape and given it it’s own voice. As a stand-alone grape, it is a stand out.
I found a wonderful Santa Alicia, Reserva from the Maipo Valley in Chile. It’s made from Carmenere grapes, and at $6.99 from World Market, it’s an outstanding value. It earned 90 points from Wine and Spirits, for good reason. The first smell of it is a rich earthy, cherry. The flavor is tangy, sharp and smooth like a really nicely aged cheddar. It’s not at all nuanced nor sophisticated, but rather, bold and flavorful. This wine is as full, rich and satisfying as a cheddar cheese sandwich on Sally Lunn bread with a dijon aioli.
Santa Alicia may not be a trendy, flashy wine. But she is a substantial wine, satisfying with just a little zazz.