For the first time in my adult life, I am proud to be an American. I know I'm not alone in this sentiment. My generation came of age during the Bush administration. We can barely remember what it is like to have a president who is not a total embarrassment. Most of us just checked out, tried not to read the news or follow politics. Some of us pretended to be Canadians when we traveled or didn't travel at all. We all became accustomed to our own disillusionment. We went about our lives feeling disenfranchised, like we were part of a system where we didn't belong. A system that didn't want us and that certainly didn't listen to us.

When we decided to do a post about the inauguration of a president that has inspired millions of people to once again be proud of this great country, my first instinct was champagne. This is, after all, cause for a major celebration, and what better wine for that than champagne. But, I thought maybe I should do something a bit more American. Merlot came to mind as it is a varietal that has been both made popular and then subsequently vilified by Americans. If we could elect a black president that could make the rest of the world like us again, maybe Merlot could also make a come back? Then, I thought Zinfandel, the great American wine. Now that I am proud to be an American again, maybe I should be proud to drink Zinfandel as well. I've never been a huge fan, but then again, I've never been huge fan of the government either. I spent the day racking my tired, road weary brain. This seemed like an important post, the wine itself needed to reflect this monumental time in our history.

While doing some grocery shopping at my local Trader Joe's I noticed this bottle. It immediately leaped out at me, a seemingly perfect choice. What a label! Prosperity Red, for a country that seemed to be heading into a new future of prosperity, with a new government that understood the changes that needed to be made in order to keep this country on top. A government that would lower health care costs and actually be concerned about the environment. It felt like were about to start prospering. Eventually, anyways, after Obama repairs all that Bush has destroyed.

 


When I saw the price, $5.99, I hesitated. I have no problem with paying small sums for a bottle of wine, in Europe a local bottle of fantastic wine can cost this much. However, this is America and with import cost and tax it's difficult to find any good bottles in this price range. But I have to remember that we are in the midst of a financial crisis. More and more people are being laid off every day. There are less and less jobs, huge companies are closing their doors, things seem to be getting worse and worse. It's time for Americans to start making some tough choices, cutting back. Drinking $6 wine may just be one of the sacrifices we need to start making. If this bottle turned out to be good, that could only mean good things for me and my troubled finances.

I know most of you wine snobs out there must be freaking out right now, and you know what, I would be too. If I had the money that I had a year ago, I would never, ever even consider buying Trader Joe wine. My palate knows too much. But, as witnessed Tuesday morning, times have certainly changed. I've had to change a lot this last year and I've had to learn to change my wine buying habits. I look for deals now more than ever and bottles for $10 or less. I buy wine at Trader Joe's, Bevmo and even grocery stores.

This wine is decent and drinkable, especially at this price. I think its a crowd pleaser too, a good pour for a party. It lacks the sweetness of a lot of cheaper wines, which I like. It's a blend of %70 Merlot and %30 Cabernet bottled in Los Olivos, California. The nose is all dark grapey fruit, red berries and cocoa. The palate is juicy with a note of coffee or dark chocolate on the finish. Worth every penny, it is a wine for the recession and coming depression. In drinking this wine, and other wines like it, we will save money for other things we need like food and electricity. We can gaze upon its label and remember a time when people broke their backs working to make this great country what it is. Hopefully we will not have to toil as they did to get this country back on its feet, I for one am optimistic. In the meantime, we can enjoy the simple, cheap thrills in life. Like listening to an amazing $10 album that will literally blow your mind and drinking a $6 bottle of wine that will help to soothe it.

 

 

 

 

 

PROSPERITY RED CABERNET-MERLOT BLEND, 2005