Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sucking Loon

Back when Phil worked at Quetzal, he told me that one of their most popular wines was Smoking Loon. So I picked up a bottle of the merlot one day and I think I enjoyed it. Well, I enjoyed it enough to get a bottle of the pinot noir, which, if memory serves, I didn't enjoy as much as the merlot (which is weird, as I am a pinot noir enthusiast).

But my memory sucks, and I picked up yet another bottle of Smoking Loon pinot noir a couple of weeks ago when stocking up.

And now, thank god, I've got enough sense to write down that I don't much care for it.

While I appreciate a wine whose mere presence alludes to how much fun it is being crazy, I just don't care for the two variations of Smokin Loon I've had. The label design is lovely, as you can see, with, what, Moroccan and Indian design influences? And the cork is kinda cute, with "whooh" written all over it in some sophisticated typeface, alternated with the word "cough" written in the typeface Reel Big Fish used during their heyday.

But the wine itself is less fun.

It's spicy, much more spicy than I prefer. I can't tell if it's the alcohol or some exotic spice I'm tasting, but I don't really like it when a wine burns my lips. Call me finicky if you must, but damn. If I wanted my drink to taste like liquor, I'd dive into some frigging vodka.

Blech, I just mentally barfed at the thought of diving into vodka. Could you imagine?

Anyway, some other flavors I detect:

The nose is very alcohol-y, with just a hint of ... cherry? Jesus, I have no idea. And the label doesn't even give me any hints!

Seriously, I need to take a wine-tasting course or something. My palate's growth was stunted in childhood when I decided to eat nothing but fish sticks for five years. Really, how do people get to the point where they can smell a wine and deduce that there's a tiny bit of oak flavoring in it? Amazing!

Okay, the website is a little more helpful:

Brilliant garnet color with seductive rose petal green tea aroma. The palate is ripe with heavily extracted cherry and strawberry flavors with a slight astringency akin to pomegranate seeds

Dudes, I've never even seen a pomegranate, much less sniffed its seeds.

I've got so much further to go.

(And I just guessed that there were some cherry notes in there; there are cherry notes in everything!)


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