I always loved Halloween as a kid: the costumes, the pumpkins, and of course the candy. As an adult? None of those aspects really appeal to me any more. Costumes have become a chore, the pumpkins are messy, and I am really not enthralled with candy the way I used to be.
I guess I could really do without Halloween if it were not for the fact that I have two young(ish) boys who still have that joyful approach toward the day.
Ever since they were old enough to go trick-or-treating, I have taken them around the neighborhood as they collected their loot while my wife stayed at home passing out loads of individually packed tooth decay time bombs.
Early on, I discovered a peculiarity that I am pretty sure did not exist when and where I grew up: some (but far from all) of the adults sitting out on their stoops, doling out candy, are also having a bit of wine to pass the time. Many of those, knowing that I am a wine hound (I guess they noticed the glass in my hand), would offer me a pour to help me out with the drudgery of leading my kids through the neighborhood.
The problem is that I always feel a bit odd (and maybe a tiny bit creepy) asking people that I don’t know for a bit of their wine. One would think that I would be able to get over that issue, but it still weighs heavy on me. (The other issue, of course, is trying to find non-insulting ways to turn down the wine once I discover it’s Yellow Tail.)
This year, however, the trick-or-treating death march will be different. Just yesterday I received this messenger bag from Vivajennz, which hides an insulated beverage bladder and spigot.
Thus, I will no longer feel like the neighborhood lush going from door to door begging for a sip of wine. No, this year, I will be bringing my own wine with me, and as I have been on a Chilean kick recently, I will likely choose one of these.
The first two come from one of the largest producers in Chile, Concho y Toro, whose Casillero del Diablo (the Castle of the Devil) label seems to be a great fit for Halloween.
2014 Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc Reserva: Retail $10. Tart yet a bit herbaceous on the nose. Clean and angular on the palate with lemon rind tartness. A solid Sauvignon Blanc. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2014 Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon: Retail $10. Initially a bit one note: jammy fruit. With a bit of time though, the fruit calmed down a bit exposing a touch of earth and complexity. Make no mistake, this is a wine for now and if you like a fruity cab, this is for you. 85-87 Points out of the bottle. Better on day two. The fruit tampered down, revealing more complexity. Very Good. 87-89 Points.
Here are two more from the Barons de Rothschild project in Chile:
2014 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon: Retail $9. This is a solid effort and most of what you can expect from this price point. Blackberry and cassis up front with that carrying through on the palate. A bit of depth, but this is not a wine that causes you to ponder the meaning of life. It will work with pizza though. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
2012 Los Vascos Cabernet Sauvignon Grande Reserve: Retail $18. Even though the bottle is labeled as “Reserve” and is two years older than the other Los Vascos above, I was not really expecting much of a departure from the standard Cabernet. Wrong. Sure, there is the characteristic dark berry fruit but it is joined by vanilla and a bit of espresso. On the palate, much more complexity and depth, finishing with considerable backbone. Outstanding. 91-93 Points.
I also have two reminders this Saturday morning:
- A couple of weeks ago I announced the third annual “Secret Wino”–a take on the Secret Santa theme in which you are randomly assigned a recipient to whom you send a bottle of wine while someone else is doing the same for you. I will be sending out the assignments this weekend, so if you still want to get in on the fun, there is still time! All the details can be found HERE.
- There is still time to vote for this month’s Monthly Wine Writing Challenge! Voting ends Monday night and all the details can be found HERE.
Happy Halloween folks!