Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Find, November 15th

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.

I grew up listening to hip-hop more than any other form of music. The genre itself is in one that has almost always been burdened with mythos and bravado. From it's origins as party rocking music that allowed emcees to "feature" themselves or play up various personal traits or downplaying or dissing someone else's. The genre evolved heavily in the 90s and included the development of the very popular gangsta rap. Whether it was West Coast groups like N.W.A. or the burgeoning drug-dealer turned rapper icons of Notorious BIG or Jay Z in New York. When the 1996 album Stakes is High from De La Soul dropped, it marked a substantial shift in the groups aesthetic from the keeping it like to keep it real, but really real. The song Stakes is High and the very clever video looked to strip away all the bravado and call it out for what it was, as well as acknowledge that at the end of the day, these guys were all just trying to make a living.

De La Soul "Stakes is high" from Kamp Kennedy on Vimeo.

So instead of buying into all the bravado De La Soul lays themselves bare as well as the industry:
"I'm sick of bitches shakin' asses
I'm sick of talkin' about blunts
Sick of Versace glasses
Sick of slang
Sick of half-ass awards shows
Sick of name brand clothes
Sick of R&B bitches over bullshit tracks
Cocaine and crack
Which brings sickness to blacks
Sick of swoll' head rappers
With their sickenin' raps
Clappers of gats
Makin' the whole sick world collapse
The facts are gettin' sick
Even sicker perhaps"

The video is even more refreshing with shots of the guys doing laundry, washing their dishes and raking up leaves. You know, normal life stuff. If you're shouting about keeping it real but you're just feeding us a line of b.s about how tough you are, how many gold plated trinkets you own or how many women are falling all over you, not so much keeping it real.

Today's Friday Find is about keeping it real too, and it's a bit of a surprise in terms of where it's coming from. The House Wine brand is known for making a plethora of red and white wines that are largely drinkable, fairly predictable and safe. Typically the red wines are fairly oaky and velveteen, well priced and they could be a great way to introduce non-wine drinkers to wine, that is to say, these are totally fine. That's what makes the 2011 Mountain Merlot such a shocker. From what I can glean it's a Merlot done in steel. Imagine real Merlot, which usually get's worked over by a fair amount of oak allowed to be itself, to "keep it real." That's refreshing and frankly this wine is refreshing. It's crazy bright with aromatics of fresh blueberries, bright raspberry and maybe a bit of rhubarb. The wine retails at around $9.99 it's loaded up with fresh fruit and great acid. Break out the burgers for this one. House Wine is widely available so you'll wanna look out for this particular wine, it's unique among their offerings.


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