I am a muppet.
I don’t mean that I’m a small, furry puppet that entertains millions of kids and adults – though it can certainly be argued that small, furry and puppet are all apt descriptors for me (on occasion).
What I mean is, I’ve acted like a total idiot.
My friends in the U.K. use the saying (“I’m a muppet!”) when they completely screw something up. I suppose it makes sense… as in, “damn, I screwed that up so badly, I acted like a plush toy without a functioning brain,” etc.
So when it comes to my taxes, I’m definitely a muppet. Because I have, by my standards, a huge federal return coming back to me. And that is definitely not what I want.
Why? Because that means I gave a nice, hefty, interest-free loan to Uncle Sam. That’s money I could have been using to buy wines, and instead it went to interesting pursuits that have primarily delayed our progress towards a more just and tolerant society – pursuits like blowing up Iraqi civilians or debating whether or not gay marriage will unravel the moral fabric of our culture.
C’est la vie, I suppose.
The reason I bring up taxes is that the nice folks over at Icon Estates Wines, who represent about a gazillion wine brands, have sent me samples under the theme of Top Wines For Tax Times. These are witty “pairings” such as -
“You’re getting a big refund! Congratulations, you’ve hit the sweet spot! Celebrate with a delicious Jackson0Triggs Proprietor’s Reserve Icewine…”
Not a bid idea, except that we’ve already established that getting a big refund means you’ve acted like a muppet and therefore probably is not something for which you should be congratulated.
This would not stop me however, from lining up a few samples to at least celebrate the fact that our 2008 taxes are at least completed for filing. So I picked the “Your brain is in a knot” wine (Estancia’s Monterey Riesling), which is at least partially true but not necessarily related to the processing of my taxes, followed by the “It took you forever but you wouldn’t give up” wine – not true for me, since I pay someone else to work on my taxes – and finally the Jackson-Triggs Icewine (made from Vidal), which of course is related to the refund, without the “congratulations you’re a muppet!” part.
Ok, just to recap, we started with Sesame Street, moved on to taxes, and now we’re sampling wine from three different wineries. Now that we’re all caught up…
Wine #1 – Despite the fact that the Estanica Riesling is from a cooler area (Monterey) in CA terms, it’s still a relatively warm climate in Riesling terms and it shows on this wine, which is heavy on the apple and pears, and a little lower on the acidity and floral component. Still, it would kick ass paired with shrimp.
Wine #2 – The 2005 Paso Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles) was a tad disappointing for me – nice alcohol level, but very heavy on the cherry fruit, almost cloying, without any of the extra pizzazz of secondary aromas that I like to finish off my Cabs.
Wine #3 – The clear winner of the night for me (and all of our dinner party, actually). The Jackson-Triggs Vidal Proprietor’s Reserve Icewine (Niagara) is a great buy, with a ton of melon sorbet on the nose, and sweet lemon-lime with plenty of acidity on the palate.
I attribute the Jackson-Triggs being my favorite to the fact that Canadian icewine stomps all kinds of major ass. In my experience, a wine drinker’s first encounter with Icewine roughly follows the trajectory graphed below. (click for larger version):
Whether or not you are a fan of sweet wine is irrelevant to Icewine’s awesomeness. Icewine kicks so much ass, it may just be the Chuck Norris of wine (I bowed my head as I typed Chuck Norris’ name, by the way). No offense is meant above to Heidi Klum, of course… it’s just a vehicle for the purpose of emphasis… but since I mentioned her, I should at least include a picture to help reinforce the awesomeness of Icewine, should I not?
Of course I should:
(images: sesamestreet.com, jacksotriggswinery.com, 1winedude, makemeheal .com)