Sunday, September 14, 2014


Last night my brother in law brought a bottle of 2012 Melville Syrah, Verna's Vineyard to a family dinner.  Despite the less-than-ideal glasses, I thought it was a very good wine. 

Giving it a slight swirl (as much as could be expected given the tiny glasses) and sniff, my nose was hit with the aromas of bacon fat. Lots of it.  

I asked my wife what she thought it smelled like.  

"It smells like grapes."

"You don't smell bacon?"

"No, it smells like grapes."

Then I asked my sister in law on the other side of me what she thought it smelled like.


"You don't smell bacon?"

"Bacon?  There's bacon in this wine???" 

My brother in law interceded.  "Beef blood."  Then he started looking up Parker's rating and review on his iPhone while my sister in law was looking at the wine in her glass.  

I could taste the beef blood in the wine but for me bacon aroma was the most outstanding characteristic. I said this would go great with a steak.  I told her the reason it smells like bacon and beef blood is because instead of people stomping on the grapes to crush them, this winery used pigs and cows. 

Anyway, the only people in my wife's family who drink wine other than when my brother in law brings some to dinner are my brother in law, his wife (not the same sister in law as the one sitting next to me), and me. Generally at least 1/2 the bottles he brings go unappreciated as some of the family mixes the wine with soda, or puts ice cubes in it or even mixes it with tea. 

As for the "smells like grapes" comments from my wife and her sister, it made me wonder if maybe us winos just make ourselves smell things, anything besides grapes, when we sniff a wine.  Or is it that folks who don't normally drink wine just smell grapes because they know that's what it is made from. Or maybe they just don't care.

Who knows. But I did think it was a nice bottle of wine. Good complexity, balanced with a firm backing of acidity, a long finish and nice weight/texture.  I'm glad my brother in law brought it. 

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