Blog: The Chicks Uncorked
My love affair with the fermented grape began as a child. When we had spaghetti for dinner, my parents would splurge on a small bottle of Chianti, complete with the then-ubiquitous straw basket. They would even let my sister and me indulge in a sip occasionally. I thought that bottle was the epitome of cool.
In college, my wine pursuit became more of a which-can-get-me-drunk-the-cheapest quest; I didn’t really care about the taste, as long as it was palatable to some extent. I found that Riunite Lambrusco exceeded the bill on both counts. It was inexpensive AND had good flavor. When I felt the need to stray from the proverbial college keg, Riunite was my go-to potent potable.
Fast-forward several years, and I was a newlywed who considered beer her primary alcohol outlet. But when my husband and I were in the mood to get “classy,” we would buy a bottle of white zinfandel to accompany our meals, regardless of the entree. From homemade lasagna to steak, the beyond-sweet elixir was always our choice. Now, I am not here to judge anyone who adores white zinfandel; it’s just when I take a sip now, it tastes like liquid candy.
A few years later, my hubby and I bought a house next to the chicest couple we had ever known. They were an urban, sophisticated, homosexual couple who set the standard for style in our eyes. On one of our wedding anniversaries, they invited us over for a glass of wine before we headed to our celebration. A drink before dinner — now that was style personified!
When we arrived, my husband and I were in awe of their stemless wine glasses (I had never seen anything like them in my whole drinking history!). They then proceeded to open a bottle of a red wine that was so fabulous, it changed our wine-drinking habits forever. The name was Casillero del Diablo, but this vino can never be considered evil, just devilishly delicious.
The Casillero del Diablo wines are from Chile; the variety we indulged in that night was a Carmenere, a grape originally developed in the Bordeaux region of France and lauded for its deep red color. Because I have no skills for describing wines beyond “I like it,” “it’s really good” and “yum,” I will directly quote their website: “expressive and fruity, featuring luscious berries and plum aromas, alongside hints of coffee and spice, with polished tannins that lead toward a long, satisfying finish.”
From the first sip, I knew I had officially become an adult and would never look back, possibly even denying I had ever indulged in inferior bottles. We began bringing our new wine to dinner parties and basked in the glory of compliments from fellow diners about our excellent taste in grapes.
We have since expanded our vino repertoire, but Casillero del Diablo Carmenere will always hold a special place in my heart, and we still consume it regularly. I guess you always remember your first time …