My Fellow Inebriates,

I’ve been really caught up with ebay since I decided to bid on a painting yesterday. It’s easy to set up an ebay account, but let’s face it, I’m a bear, so I have no idea how to conduct myself in an auction.

I put my bid in yesterday, and it immediately went up 50 cents. OMG! So I raised my bid by 50 cents. Again! Another 50 cents! And again! Somebody wants the same painting I do, and very badly.

A new Barack Obama & Penelope the Unicorn painting, celebrating this most special season. This unique piece of art also features Baby Jesus in a manger, who is visibly overwhelmed by the unexpected display of reverence. This original painting is certain to become a family heirloom for the lucky bidder; unpacked with reverence each holiday season and displayed in a position of honor. - Artist Dan Lacey

Just then my dad walked by and yanked me off the computer. He told me somebody has an automatic bid in there, and that if I sit with my paw on the bid button, five days before the auction closes, I will just drive up the price unnecessarily, because no matter what I enter, my opponent will automatically raise me 50 cents (up to whatever his/her max is, which I can’t possibly know). Whoa! I had no idea.

Maybe this is what comes of art shopping while sky-high drunk.

But isn’t that what all art connoisseurs do? Don’t they stagger around art galleries whisking champagne glasses off omnipresent waiters’ trays, ready to splurge on objets d’art? Isn’t that what wealthy, cultivated people do?

My mum said yes, it is what they do. However, she added, the terms “wealthy” and “cultivated” have never before turned up in the same sentence as “Liquorstore Bear,” so it’s sort of moot.

I was bored out of my furry head and anxious to boot about whether I would ever possess this painting. So I figured I’d drink a bottle of malbec.

My last tango with an Argentine wine was the Escorihuela 1884 Reservado Syrah, a thoroughly enchanting wine. I’ve been wanting to try S.A.E.V. Eschorihuela’s other varietals, starting with the malbec, but for ages I couldn’t get my mum to buy it. That’s because she once had a bad malbec experience with some Marcus James back before she became middle-aged, and has ever since associated malbec with gouda and feet.

I love exotic aromas and tasting notes, so this just intrigued me all the more, and finally we bought the ESCORIHUELA 1884 RESERVADO MALBEC. Would it smell like feet, I wondered?

Malbec is a pissy varietal, prone to rot and basically the sort of grape that drives vintners to consider setting the whole vineyard on fire. A good malbec is hard-won,  full in the mouth, plummy and purple, bursting with fruit.

We pulled the cork and poured the wine into Reidel stemless glasses. I think we should have decanted it, but we were too lazy. “Breaking Bad” was at a season-end cliffhanger and we wanted to start drinking right away. “Breaking Bad” has some seriously nasty scenes in it, and I wanted to get good and drunk before I saw anybody get waxed with a shotgun.

My dad has this client who often skips the decanting stage too; he just puts his wine in the blender. If I weren’t scared of the Cuisinart I would have done that with this wine, because it benefited by opening up, and probably needed more time than I was willing to give it.

Fresh cherries hit me with the first sniff, an earthy chorus of purple fruit playing back-up. The wine had a parching dryness and fierce tannins  from eight months’ ageing in American and French oak barrels. The mouthfeel was big and concentrated. And the good news: I couldn’t detect either feet or cheese.

At 13.7% I didn’t expect this malbec to be such a creeper, but it got me really loaded—so much so that I almost returned to the computer to make another bid on my painting. Luckily I passed out instead.

7 thoughts on “ESCORIHUELA 1884 RESERVADO MALBEC (2009)

  1. 1. painting: WANT
    2. Never tried a Malbec. From what you’ve described I’m wary of trying this variety of wine at all. the whole gouda and feet thing kind of did it.
    If I can find the same brand that you have recommended I’ll give it a shot. how long due these wines last? What year should I be looking for?

    Great post and amusing as always.

    • 1. No way, it’s mine!!
      2. The only malbec I’ve ever drunk that tasted like feet/cheese was Marcus James, one of the very cheapest. Malbec can be really nice, but you have to like fruity wine. The Escorihuela was pretty good and worth trying it, but the syrah surpasses it by miles. Good question about how long wines last. Some are meant for right now (all the ones I gravitate to) and others are meant to be aged and then drunk at their peak. Whites can typically be drunk younger. I’m going to start a U-VIN project and make my own soon, and I’m going to drink it as soon as I can 😉
      Thanks for the comment!

      • Actually meant the malbec wine as far as ‘lasting and aging’ factor. Hell, I’m still recovering from Beaujolais Day! Can’t get any fresher than that. Many years ago I found a bottle in the bottom of the fridge, in August ,of the November Nouveau. Shudder when thinking about it to this day

  2. Egad, that’s the kind of thing my mum would seize and put in a stew! It probably wasn’t very nice, but it still gets the job done.
    At restaurants the typical policy is to open a bottle and throw away whatever portion isn’t consumed within three days. The reality is that restaurants are run by cheap philistines. My mum once worked in a family restaurant where there wasn’t a quick turnover on wine, so the manager would fake the dates on the bottles that didn’t get finished. Order a glass at that restaurant and it might be six weeks old. And yes! it does taste different 😦

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