Finding something good when you weren't looking for it--that's the theme of this week's journal and wine pick. Dillon found a really good wine in the vintage he selected and he really wasn't expecting that. He also found an association in it with familial sharing (we were all tasting it late one night) that he liked. All this struck me as being sympathetic with Ann Patchett's novel, Run.

I bought Run after having enjoyed Patchett's novel, Bel Canto. I actually bought it for my wife after reading a good review of it. Still, it was an unknown quantity for me and it was some time before I got around to reading it myself. Though the book has its flaws that I point out in my review, it has strong points and images that are enjoyable and linger.

The overall ambiance of Run is "family." It shows a family, the Doyles, that is "made" rather than "born." Though disparate in a number of ways, the Doyles share a foundational love that keeps them together when circumstances and desires would pull them apart. Seeing that love prevail and promote the character's reconciliations and mutual supports as they weather their trials is the biggest joy of the novel. I could easily see them sitting before a fireplace during a New England snowstorm, talking about their days and ambitions, and enjoying glasses of Ca De Calle.

Run was a good read that I wasn't expecting, like an inexpensive wine that delivers levels of taste you didn't know were there.


   Dillon's Pick – Ca de Calle


I hadn't planned to write about this wine when I bought it, but I knew I had to when I tasted it. It is an Argentinian red blend called Ca de Calle. It was aged for 12 months in French oak. If you can't smell the oak very well at first, then smell the glass after you've finished it. I find that the oak smell is strongest in the drained glass.

The bouquet is kinda small, but it prompts pleasant memories, like good times when I'm with friends wine-tasting and eating. This would be a good wine with cheeses. The spices are kinda strong, but I find they give the wine its character. It is not very fruit forward (fruity), but I can taste a small amount of the grape varietals in it--mostly malbec with cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. This is a great wine for sipping and nibbling, and sharing with friends.