Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Find, November 16th

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

There are hobbyists and then there are those who become obsessed with their hobbies. And there's probably a third category that we could call those with a healthy obsession. That's probably debatable however. I'm a bit of a case study in this myself, I enjoy wine, so I write a wine blog, and not just every once in awhile, we've posted 122 times since January 1.  I'm no Deadhead though, that's a real commitment.

You can add to the long list of things I simply do  not understand, along with anime, golf, tennis, khakis, pleated pants and why English food has weird names like "spotted dick" those who have given over their lives to following the Grateful Dead around.  Those days are more or less over and I think people have moved on to Phish or something but I mean this was a serious American cultural movement. This was a way of life.

I should also say that there are some great songs by the Grateful Dead, the whole American Beauty album more or less. They were an American original.  The level to which people "geek out" or "geeked out" over the Grateful Dead is probably best illustrated by their song Dark Star. The song was originally released as a single back in 1968 and it wasn't very popular, but it became over time an obsession for their fans. Given their style of music and their relentless touring Dark Star became a vehicle out of which they could improvise, jam and move from song to song. Kinda of like scratching for a hip hop deejay.

The song because of the fame it acheived on tour is among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fames 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.  The crazy thing is how long the song is.  Again the recorded single was only a scant 2 minutes long.  The more famous and favored versions of the song were in the neighborhood of 23 minutes to perhaps, a Rotterdam show where Dark Star lasted 48 minutes and 10 seconds.  How high do you have to be to listen to the same song for 48 minutes?

Good question. (Also mad props to Wikipedia on bailing me out on this one.)

Today's Friday Find is from a Washington winery which actually has a huge soft spot for the Grateful Dead and their flagship wine is named for that classic tune. Dark Star from the Kana Winery in downtown Yakima is a Rhone blend that carries a very friendly price tag. Mostly Syrah this blend also has substantial amounts of Grenache and Mouvedre from some of the best vineyards in the Washington, including Elerding and Red Willow.  A fair bit of new oak influence and three years in the barrel gives the wine a luxurious mouth-feel and texture that punches way above it's price point.  Classic Washington Syrah characteristics layered spice and dark red cherry aromas and flavors of dusty dark fruit with savory, spicy finish.  For $18 you can't go wrong. The wine is also fairly readily available at smaller wine shops in Seattle as well as some well-stocked grocery stores. You'd have to be stoned or something to pass up this wine at this price.


Clive thank you for Grateful review of our Dark Star! This is our 8 vintage. We are very proud of this wine. It is considered to be or flagship wine. Known well in Seattle area. We have some other great wines as well, like Katie-Mae, she's a good girl! Coming from the song.

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