$13 Bordeaux Rouge, Edgar Allan Poe & Vincent Price
We find ourselves deep into the month of October, and the chilly Mid-Atlantic morning fog has drifted from evening-twilight into autumn morning day-break. These are the dawns before death, nature’s way of tucking-in, and turning-off the lights on all that’s living. Winter trudges in with carless cold indifference. It’s no wonder the pagan gods found this time of year ideal for celebrating the ghastly, carnal and macabre. With cosplay and candy, we continue this annual maudlin parade into the crypt of winter. Indulging in all that is “dark” in both nature and ourselves.
My personal observance of the most bewitching of seasons includes good booze and a good book. For “Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” And the silence of a book a fairer friend than the fatiguing glow of a boisterous screen. Tonight, I’ve popped open a “petite” Bordeaux and opened a recently discovered 1965 drugstore copy of, 18 Best Stories by Edgar Allan Poe, with an introduction by Vincent Price. Pretty “rad” find I must say. Sadly, though Price had celebrated acting career, all I can hear in my head as I turn the pages is his narration from the “Thriller” video. To this day it always creeps me out.
Yes, it may be trite, but since I own a wine shop, I started my sybaritic evening with Poe and Price by turning directly to the very last story in the book, “The Cask of Amontillado.” I guess they saved the best for last. If you haven’t read Cask of Amontillado, it’s about an Italian aristocrat, Montresor, who gets pissed-off at another Italian aristocrat, Fortunato for being an “Insulting” dunce. Apparently, Fortunato is such a bigmouth, bullshitting, dunce that Montresor can’t take it anymore. He murders Fortunato. But he Devil is in the details.
Montresor executes Fortunato’s demise by coaxing a drunk Fortunato (dressed in full carnival regalia…think gaudy court jester) into his wine cellar. By disengenously pleading that he needs Fortunato’s expertise in fine wine, Montresor leads Fortunato into his cellar to inspect a recent purchase of Amontillado sherry. Once in the cellar, Montresor chains Fortunato to a wall. Then with what appears to be almost superhuman masonry skill and wicked speed, Montresor walls Fortunato into a stony grave.
The natural segue way would be for me to try to sell you some Amontillado Sherry. But I would be just as disingenuous as Montresor and just as “quack-ish” as Fortunato if I attempted such a feat. Instead, I’ll stick to the aristocratic and affordable juice I’ve been sipping all evening. Chateau Jarr, Bordeaux Rouge, 2017. Something I’d be content drinking whether immersed in death, regret, unrelenting fear or just a good book. I’m immersed in one of these activities daily, so it helps that Chateau Jarr Rouge doesn’t carry a price tag that will lead me down into anyone’s cellar anytime soon.
Currently certified as biodynamic, Chateau Jarr was one of the “pioneers” of organic farming practices in France, switching to organic farming in 1964. Currently the Chateau farms 32 hectares of vines in Entre-Deux-Mers, planted to Merlot, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot.
In the glass, the wine shows black berry and pronounced redcurrant. Cedar-like wood notes are woven in between subtle coco, coffee ground and forest floor aromas. The finish is classic in its drying tannin and refreshing acidity. I’ve had great luck paring this wine with an array of Autumn vegetable and pork dishes.
“In Pace Requiescat!”