Thursday, January 04, 2007

Aye Carumba: Under $10 Bottles #2 & #3

Matt Groening
Charamba (#2): A couple of nights ago we opened this Portuguese wine. If Margaret had been out front, she would have heard me exclaiming over and over, "Aye Caramba! Aye Caramba!"* Tom considered it a hearty wine. One that went well with the spicy tomato/portobello mushroom pasta he had prepared. Even though I love the smell of newly paved asphalt, I didn't appreciate the overtones of it in this wine.

If you don't always drink a whole bottle of wine at once, you might have a vacu-vin pump. If so, the rubber stopper won't fit this bottle. If you try to force it, the bottle will fly across the counter and the remaining wine will spill down in the crack between your stove and the cabinets right up against your stove.

*(pronounced [ˈaj | ka.ˈɾ] ; from Spanish ¡ay! (interjection denoting surprise, but also used instead of "ouch") Ay, caramba! were the first words spoken by Bart on The Simpsons.

e-mail from Scott: Linda- I think you should advert that the Charumba is not a good wine under $10, but rather a good wine under $5- an increasingly rare and endangered species! Think I'll be back to buying Charumba by the case (I probably have consumed several hundred bottles of that wine in various vintages since first trying it 6-8 years ago, when the '94 was $2.99).

Vitiano 2004 Falesco (#3): We opened this bottle last night. It went well with dirty carrot ginger soup. To make dirty carrot ginger soup, pour 1 cup Trader Joe's carrot ginger soup into a bowl. Add one half cup of leftover tomato pasta with portobello mushroom bits. Microwave for 2 minutes. It will look dirty, but that's OK. It's only the mushroom bits and you can pick them out. I'm drinking a glass of Vitiano as I type, straining to taste subtle hints of anything, but to no avail. It's an unobtrusive wine. Not unpleasant. Certainly better than no wine at all.