February 8, 2009 | Dave Potter
This is our first celebrity endorsement! Everybody knows that Tron Guy is Awesome, but I wonder what he would have to say about Muni Wines. Oh, you do too?? Check out his review below.
Subject: Re: Wine Review
February 3, 2009 9:06:25 AM PST
On Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 2:10 PM, Dave Potter // Municipal Winemakers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dont worry about the wine knowledge, I am asking all my friends to write reviews, who don't necessarily know anything about wine.
Here you go...
I'm not a wine snob (or an oenophile, either, if you think there's a difference). I drink wine because it makes food taste better; beyond that, I don't know much of anything about it. Speaking to me of notes of cassis and kerosene (!), or round tannins, gets the same reaction that I would get from the average person if I spoke about the intricacies of multiprocessor emulation integrity on an SMP host computer.
Given that background, I was more than a little surprised to be asked to review Municipal Winemakers' 2007 Bright Red and Bright White wines. I'm known for lots of things, true, but wine reviews aren't any of them. Still, if someone's going to offer me a couple of bottles of wine in return for writing about what I think of them, I'm not going to say no.
The short version is that my taste buds tell me the kind of people who turn up their noses at wines that don't have four-figure price tags or really obscure names from the south of France will turn up their noses at these two...and will miss out on some really good wine.
I was mildly surprised at the screw tops. (Wine snobs will stop reading here, and say "ewww!".) I looked past that, since I'm no wine snob, and my attention was drawn to the back label on the bottle. That's one of the most informative labels I've ever read on anything, wine or otherwise. The source of the grapes, the processing into wine, and its analysis and bottling are all described in what I assume are as complete detail as will fit on the label. I skipped the tasting notes (more of those round tannins), but the list of food matches was a very pleasant surprise. Remember, to me wine is something that makes food taste better, and here is someone who actually wants to help me make those choices! I wish more folks would do that.
My roommate and I tried the Bright White first. The "food matches" section on the label suggested spicy foods, so we first paired it with a chicken breast stuffed with jalapeno and cheese. The wine didn't take over the meal, but it was definitely a fine compliment to the spice, and didn't fade into the background. The other meal for it was a cold chef's salad, and there the wine was definitely the star of the show. It was interesting but didn't go wildly overboard.
The Bright Red's label suggested gamey meats, smoky barbecue, blackened cajun chicken, and thin crust pizza. We tried it first with steak sprinkled with mesquite butter seasoning, and it worked pretty well, but it was much more successful with a couple of thin crust pizzas. I'd love to try it with smokey barbecue some time, but that's pretty scarce in rural southern Minnesota where I live. Both times, though, it went along with the rest of the meal very nicely, not drawing undue attention to itself, just being part of the whole thing.
One bit both of us noticed: These wines have a total absence of the harsh alcohol note that just about every other wine I've ever had has carried with it, especially if too much is swallowed at one time. I tried pushing that boundary intentionally, and the wine was still well-behaved. My roommate's comment is that they're dangerous: you don't notice the alcohol at all.
The Municipal Winemakers web site says that their goal is to be the first empty bottle on the table. I think they've achieved it - except, possibly, at a party of wine snobs. The rest of us will just enjoy and feel a little sorry that they're missing out on something good.
Jay Maynard, K5ZC
http://www.tronguy.net (Yes, that's me!)