It was a dark and chili autumn night. Okay, it wasn’t that dark but we were having chili for dinner and it was the end of October. That time of the year when those of us that reside in the Phoenix metro area know it is autumn by the colorful displays in the grocery store. It reached the mid-80s that afternoon, but dipped into the 70s after sundown. Not quite sweater weather, but it would do.
Earlier in the week, I had selected a Pinot Noir at Costco with the intent of enjoying it while I filled bags at the door with assorted candy on Halloween. I thought of dressing up to answer the door this year: unshaven, hair unkempt, wife beater BSG t-shirt, paisley boxers, navy dress socks, sandals and a Bud Light in hand. I would simultaneously burp while scratching my under arm before doling out miniature candy bars. While this sounded like fun, it really wouldn’t be much different from any other weekend and it might jeopardize my attempt to sit down and enjoy a good meal and wine with friends and family, so I reconsidered.
Trying to pair the Pinot with an appropriate meal was effortless as a good friend of ours, Abbey Normal, offered to bring over a pot of chili. When someone else is cooking, the wine will go with it, trust me. My wife decided to bake some biscuits to go with the chili and the result was jalepeño-cheddar scones from a recipe she found at the smittenkitchen.com.
With a “Young Frankenstein” DVD playing on the TV in the background, we sat down to bowls of “American Girl Chili” (evidently this was an old staple back home in Colorado according to Abbey – and “American Girl” was a magazine or cookbook or something, I had already started drinking the Pinot). However, the recipe had been altered slightly with the addition of ground Buffalo meat (now “Native American Girl” chili?). The meal was great. I confessed to having a pair of scones when they were inventoried later that evening.
Abbey and I swapped spoons for pencils, revision 1.0 of our tasting sheet and poured a second glass to score the wine. Yes, our tastings and review will not be based on the first glass with a swirl-sniff-sample-and-spit, as we stare at a mostly full bottle discussing its merits. We intend to “drink” the wine with a meal and evaluate while the bottle is being emptied, so there.
The Angeline Pinot Noir 2007 ($12.69 @ Costco) was good. The wine was a light plum color, smelled good with mostly medium attributes, semi-sweet with a cherry, plum, oak taste that finished well (I realized there are too many “medium” attribute selections on the tasting sheet, so I made a mental note to pick better characteristic descriptions for the next revision).
During dinner, the following scene from “Young Frankenstein” got our attention:
Dr. Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) reading from his grandfather’s book “How I Did It”:
‘As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hinderance to my speed, I resolved therefore, to make the creature of a gigantic stature.’ Of course! That would simplify everything.
Inga, the doctor’s assistant (Terri Garr):
In other words, his veins, his feet, his hands, his organs would all have to be increased in size.
He would have an enormous vanschtooker!
(pausing to consider this) That goes without saying.
Igor (Marty Feldman):
He’s going to be very popular.
We had a good evening! I almost forgot; we had homemade out-of-the-oven-fresh apple pie (à la mode) with Colorado apples courtesy of Abbey’s kitchen and recent trip back home. The wine was very drinkable but it would probably have gone better with chicken.