It’s time for an origins story.
I came upon the idea for this blog when I was, surprise, drunk. But strangely enough, I was not hungover at all the next day. That could be for many reasons, but all I know is that a bottle of Malbec, salty licorice, and “Battlestar Gallatica” were involved.
My boyfriend and I were obsessed with “Battlestar Gallatica” this summer. If you are unfamiliar with the show, all you need to do is watch this video from “Portlandia” to understand what it does to people. There we were, obsessing over this show all alone, when we found out Sam’s friend liked it. We spent several evenings with him attempting to finish the show. Since I was also fond of Malbec, I bought a bottle for all of us but I ended up drinking most of it. I also had a little bag of salty licorice.
It was the perfect mixture. The fruity, spicy flavor of the Malbec combined with the pungent licorice flavor and salt searing my tongue was the type of winning combination I long to achieve again. I could not stop because I was so amazed that I had found this surprise. I could make a lot of “Battlestar Gallatica” metaphors, but I wouldn’t dare ruin it for you.
My latest challenge was not to recreate that pairing. That would be lazy. Rather, I changed the players slightly to moderate success. Lets meet our team.
Wine: Orfila, Cabernet Sauvignon ’08, from Argentina (Argentina again…it was a Groupon sale, ok? 3 for 25!)
Candy: Licorice Cats, my Mom bought these somewhere and I asked her for them.
In my heart, I really did hope this was going to be like that magical night watching “Battlestar.” But I did genuinely think this is a good combination. As part of my general exploration of new wines, I chose to do a Cab because…well..it’s the new Malbec. I’m a wine tween ok? I get obsessed easily. I knew the cats were not salty, which I thought would work better with a Cab. Salty licorice is very in-your-face and Malbec can pack a punch as well. I knew these kitties would be serious licorice which was necessary for this pair (not that I don’t love a tasty bag of Licorice Bears from CVS).
I had the right idea, but my error occurred several months ago when I pilfered these from my mother. These cats were truly feral while they were still packaged. They rode in the car, lived on the fridge, and by my desk. They stood by me in my darkest hours, letting me know that things could never get too bad since licorice was always at hand. As you can imagine, they got a bit firm on the outside. It was almost like they were hard candies.
But the steel outside worked out well. The wine was very tart but had an excellent, smooth finish. I was worried these cats were going to disappoint me at first, because they tasted a bit sweet. But after working on them for awhile, the licorice flavor really kicked in and my saliva seemed thick with licorice flavor. The tart flavor of the wine brought a refreshing relief without compromising its own flavor or that of the licorice.
Try a Cab that is tart along with the best licorice you can find. Don’t let it go stale, but also don’t buy something really gooey. Working to get at the licorice flavor enhanced the experience.
Don’t like licorice? It’s not for everyone, but give it a try anyway. Good licorice can be pricey, but the Cab doesn’t have to be. So go ahead, get the first season of “Battlestar” and lose yourself.
NEXT TIME: Candy without Borders: An international candy of my choice will meet its foreign pair.
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