I'll put it right out there: I LOVE DOWNTON ABBEY! Every Sunday morning at church, I give a little prayer of thanks that another episode will be showing that night. I love the whole idea of a classy soap opera spoken in English accents. I love the fashions. AND I love Maggie Smith as the Countess of Grantham. (WWDCGD?)* I also want a "Free John Bates" t-shirt. (Even if he gets out...)
So it was only a matter of time before my viewing and my sipping collided with one another on a snowy Sunday evening. This was a mid-January Sunday, right before final exams for the Winey Daughter. So I found myself not watching in front of the fire, glass in hand...but in the comfy chair in the master bedroom - glass in hand, but no fireplace. I mean, really, a huge English castle with no roaring fire to view it near? But since finals were coming up, the Winey Daughter had pretty much loaded up the DVR with her recordings (yes, we have cable) for her post exam TV marathon. So that put me either in the rec room - nope, NBA already on down there - or my bedroom. My bedroom it was then. I was joined by one of the doggies, which made it a little more English as she snored on my lap after receiving what has since become her "Downton tummy rub session".
I had made a lovely London broil (pun intended) for dinner that night. And in keeping with the household tastes, it was marinated in a tangy mix of balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and some red wine. This night, the wine was Cooper Station Red Wine Blend (2011, 13.5%, Sonoma Co, CA). I had seen this wine featured at one of my favorite wine stores, and since I love red blends, I thought I'd give this one a try first (they produce other varietals too).
This wine had a nose of wood-tinged cherries. And in keeping with that sniff, the taste of it was cherry at first, then some other berries (strawberry, perhaps - it was faint) and finally a hint of mocha coffee. It finished warm and fruity and didn't really linger around my mouth.
Now, I have said before that I don't like it when the oak punches out the fruits...but in this case, I'd have to say that this fruit really punched out the oakiness. In fact, it knocked it for a real loop. I kept waiting for some of that mocha to reappear, or some of that oaky bouquet to spend some time on my tongue. But they didn't. So, let's call this a very fruit forward blend without a lot of deep flavors. Not my favorite type of blend, but if you like your reds fruity, this may be for you. The $9.99 price tag is certainly a plus!
The night was not a total loss, however. Dame Maggie Smith won a Golden Globe for her portrayal as the Dowager Countess, the dog got a great tummy rub, and I had my Downton fix for another week.
Until next Sunday....
*What Would Dowager Countess Grantham Do?