14 Hands 2012 Kentucky Derby red blend

Seattle has transformed its core into a pathetic cornucopia of San Fran-wannabes. Apparently, cars have been outlawed in downtown, in favor of the two-wheeled pest that routinely runs stop signs. And now, these granola-crunchin’ varmints have just chased out two innocent elephants residing at the local zoo because they thought it was inhumane to house these magnificent creatures. At the same time, right-wingers were saddened to witness the shipping of the 4-ton creatures as they were crated onto a train destined to a city that routinely steals Seattle’s jewels (read: SuperSonics).

This is a microcosm of what’s wrong with Seattle ever since Amazon.com moved into south Lake Union. Home prices have shot into the stratosphere. Police are under more scrutiny. Traffic becomes paralyzed when a fish truck flips over on Hwy. 99. Prices for a shot of decent whiskey have more than doubled. And, you can drive west on Mercer St. However, we could still count on a zoo that had real elephants.

I mean, how can a city zoo call itself such without elephants on display? A zoo without elephants. I have never lived in or near a major city that didn’t have elephants in its zoo. This is the equivalent of my gf getting a double mastectomy because it’s the best way to eliminate breast cancer. Like using Windows but with Firefox. A “fast” computer with an AMD chip. There’s just something completely wrong with the entire concept. You feel it. You know it.

Seattle has become north San Francisco. They have trash police that make sure you are throwing castaways in the appropriate bins. They make their cops wear cameras because the “bad guys” are really the victims of the crimes they commit. Bicyclists have the ultimate right-of-way because they are entitled to it. After all, they aren’t polluting the environment like those 16-wheelers that transport those new rides to the bicycle shops. Jaywalking is a no-no despite some antiquated traffic light systems that make cars wait two minutes at an intersection with no cross-traffic. And, of course, it’s okay for two guys to make out in public but breastfeeding at city landmarks is considered offensive. This is all that is wrong with Seattle in 2015.

Thankfully, we have a safe haven that is wine. This is where monkeyasses like Shona and her all-too-creepy-intimate love of horses can roam freely. Where buttsniffers like Sean can dupe some crinkled, old fogies into hiring the moron to write for some D-listed wine rag. Where wine swingers like Dave and Arnie trade partners to keep slogging wine onto the clueless masses. Where it is no longer offensive to find Walla Walla wineries schlepping wine in Woodinville. Where even the tasting room staffers change allegiances like a seasonal menu.

Thankfully, there’s a consistent thread of an event that keeps our lives in check and that is the run for the roses. The event that made the mint julep famous. Those crazy-ass hats. The wild infield drunk hooligan parties. Yep, we’re talking about the most exciting two minutes in sports outside of game 7 of the NBA finals. The 141st running of the three year-old thoroughbreds will be on May 2, just a few hours ahead of the most important boxing event in the history of your life (Pac vs. Mayweather).

Current odds have American Pharoah from the south as the favorite but Dortmund of the west is the spoiler. This will be a photo finish–bet on that. 2 kilometers and these racers will be separated by less than a second when all is said and done.

It figures that a winery named for the measurement of a horse would become a prominent sponsor of the iconic equine sport, but this is the third year of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s parent company involvement with the Derby and it’s first wine that explicitly spells it out.

Let’s get some things straight here. We all buy wines at retail based at least partly on the wine’s label quality. I mean, let’s face it: nobody, and I mean NOBODY, of any decency will go out and buy a black-and-white label depicting a child-like scribe of a house between the block print words of “House” and “Wine” to present to honored guests at a home-cooked dinner. If you do that, then you must be a typical broke-ass smellier working for a big name restaurant or you are just a complete fuck up of a life. If you have ever bought a wine based on “Hey, that label looks cool” ethics, then you, pal, will buy this wine.

The label in itself is top-shelf worthy. Gold lettering with a red background and a ground-level shot of a couple prominent thoroughbreds racing by the grandstands. The label is beautiful enough to almost give me an eye boner. The fact that the wine is made under the auspices of Keith Kenison should clue you in that you should buy this wine.

This is a wine that is suited for the Derby clientele of crusty perverts and snooty, raisined bitches. There’s the trademark bold fruit that is Washington followed by a smooth mid-palate and a finish that resembles the woody, spicy tail that encumbers the cheaper wines.

Sadly, this wine has a recommended food pairing with crispy citrus shrimp and other foods not accustomed to bold dark fruits with a spicy tang. Skip the west coast uninformed recs and go with the Bluegrass classics– creamed bleu cheese, figged port chutney, hot browns, country ham, bourbon-marinated pork bits, fried green tomato blt, and pecan pie. And, it’s not complete without a garish hair cover.

For the rest of us commoners who cannot purch a ticket to the southern inbred event of the year, we have a hung-like-a-horse Pacific version of some equivalence. Leave it to the Japanese to figure this one out… carry-okay, that is the singalong to a favorite tune, has been lowered to a new standard with the $10,000 challenge of trying to sing a talented imitation of the original song… whilst getting a handjob! I kid you not. Find out which wine blogger won here– Japanese game show handjob karaoke.

Graded well with black bean tacos for you Tex-Mex denizens.

Alcohol: 14.5%. Columbia Valley AVA. Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah. Limited release.

Tasted at 56-66 degrees on the IR temp gun. Color: dark magenta. Nose: red fruits, blackberry, green oak. Mouthfeel: medium-bodied. Tail trail: 7 seconds. Flavors: raspberry, plum, blackberry, redwood, dark chocolate, backend white pepper, pillowy but obscure tannins. Power: 2/5. Balance: 2/5. Depth: 3/5. Finesse: 2/5. Rated: 89. Value: $18. Paid: $11. Music pairing: “Runaway Horses” by Belinda Carlisle. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.

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