Thursday, December 10, 2015

Winey Tasting Notes: Ménage à Trois Silk and the Advent Calendar

I am going to pause in the reminiscing about my wonderful trip to Israel (and the great wines from that country) to talk about something that has been on my mind lately. Every single morning, actually.

The Advent Calendar.

wine rack advent calendar
NOT this Advent Calendar
(but I do like it)
And to clarify, I'm not talking about the Advent Calendar that may show up on The Winey Mom's Facebook page every year. The one with bottles in a wine rack, numbered from 1-24. Also known as Mommy's Advent Calendar.

No, this calendar is the cloth hanging that holds court in the kitchen, on the french doors, and has
done so starting every December 1 for as long as I can remember. I don't even recall where we got this Winey Family Advent Calendar. (I'm guessing Grammy...but that's just guessing.) But ever since the Winey Kids have been old enough, it's been there. It has, at times, been accompanied by other calendars given to us by well-meaning friends or family (a Playmobil calendar that fell apart every time you breathed on it comes to mind) but this is the one that we have always used to mark the time until Santa comes. Ever year.

And every year it's the same argument  discussion. Which Winey Kid gets to do which day. Do we split it up odds and evens? Oldest first? Youngest first: A reward for whichever one gets downstairs first? And what about December14th? Because that's the Winey Daughter's birthday so of course she MUST take the little cloth marker out of it's pocket and add it to the tree that day, right?

advent calendar
The Winey Family
Advent Calendar
No matter how we did got done. Little hands reaching for a marker to get us all one day closer to the big day.

After the Winey Son left for college, the Winey Daughter became the sole keeper of the calendar. Bittersweet you ask? Because she was the only child left? Nope. She was diligent about it in a way I have seen her be diligent in little else throughout her life. Every morning, before school and again on weekends, another day was marked.

But, as time moved on...well, you guessed it. I have become the sole keeper of the calendar for the past two years. I dutifully put it up in the same place. And every morning, I add another marker to the tree. (The dogs can't reach the calendar and The Winey Hubby would forget, so I win the honor.)

But I'm not marking the days until Santa gets here, am I? (OK well maybe a teeny bit.) I am mentally marking the days until I am no longer allowed to add to the Advent Calendar tree. So I'm counting down until Winey Daughter's finals are over and she can take over. And then I am counting the days until the Winey Son gets home on leave so that the two of them can debate who gets to put the markers out (that whole first downstairs thing? Doesn't really work any more since now they compete to see who can sleep the latest on their breaks.) For the record, the 14th still belongs to the Winey Daughter (woe to the person who puts THAT marker up).

I long for the days that I don't have to be in charge of the calendar. Because it means that our Winey family is together again, for however brief a time.

Menage a Trois SilkAnd I will celebrate that day, when it comes, with a glass (or two..) of wine. This year I'm really enjoying a new offering from one of my old favorites: Ménage à Trois. My first meeting with this winery was a few years ago at a party (Winey Tasting Notes: The Naughty Wine Names Series: Menage a Trois Red) Then, a bit later, they introduced a different take on their blend with Ménage à Trois Midnight (Winey Tasting Notes: The Naughty Wine Name Series: Ménage à Trois Midnight). And just recently I spied and tried Ménage à Trois Silk (2014, 13.5%, Calif).

The winery calls this a "soft red blend". It's 70% Pinot Noir, 20% Malbec and10% Petite Sirah. The nose is smoke and cherry. The taste? Wow! Mocha surrounded by cranberry with a tinge of dark herbs wrapped up in some chocolate covered cherry syrup. Silk is right! As I sipped, I imagined a big, wide bolt of wine-colored silk.

This is another great example of why I love red blends. All the best of each varietal coming together to make this a dangerously drinkable wine. If you like your reds fruity-forward but not totally without some herb and mocha influence, you will love this wine. I have found readily available at a number of places - big box and local grocery store, all in the $10-12 range.

Cheers to me not touching that Advent calendar again this year.....starting very soon.

And cheers to you all!

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