I may be off Facebook (for now) but that does not mean I’m off blogging. And today we celebrate something we all wish to carry in our hearts in the shape of a four-leaf clover: the luck of the Irish.
I know that immediately you are thinking: this is a wine & candy blog, this has nothing to do with Ireland. And yes, I’m inclined to agree with you. That won’t stop me commemorating St. Patrick’s Day. Today we’ll explore the flavor that, somehow, has to do with St. Patrick’s Day: mint.
Now, I was curious as to why mint relates to St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, it is green. And yes, Shamrock Shakes is all the proof I need to prove there is a God. But…why mint? Isn’t parsley green? And kale and grass? A quick look on Google really tells me nothing. Thoughts? Why mint, out of all green things?
That’s enough exposition. We are not going to find any answers today and my St. Pat’s is rather busy, but not for the reasons that you think. No, I’ll be gallavanting amongst DC’s cherry blossoms, which are most certainly not green. I’ll wear a green necklace though.
The Wine: Layer Cake, 2010 Malbec from the lovely Mendoza
The Candy: Junior Mints, an American Movie Classic
The Dream: In the spirit of St. Patrick, I’ll be perfectly honest. I did not have a master plan. I knewJunior Mints were the candy of choice. I had a Junior Mints t-shirt in Junior High, as some readers will recall, that I thought was the most important clothing item I owned. I loved that shirt, as well as Junior Mints. In terms of wine, it proved to be a tricky choice. I did not want to go for light and fruity since those flavors would not work with chocolate mint. It needed to be rich. Fortunately, Malbec Madness was happening at the liquor store. Since Malbec Madness is a play on March Madness…it fit perfectly. Plus, I chose carefully. Layer Cake is described as rich with hints of tabacco. It looked like a wine in which I could immerse myself.
When I opened that bottle of wine, I immediately smelt it. The chocolate flavors engulfed me and I felt myself falling in love. I brought it over to Sam, but he did not seem that intrigued. I kept smelling it for awhile, looking forward to tasting this truly layered wine. I did not smell tabacco though, that was a bunch of lies (St. Patrick would not be pleased). As I poured myself a glass, I realized something upsetting.
I had to drink this wine, a meal unto itself, with a cheap theater candy. Already, this was not going to work. I ate a Junior Mint, which I will not make up fancy prose for. It’s a Junior Mint. Then I took a sip of wine and my mouth screamed in dismay. How could I distract from this round wine, with subtle chocolate flavors and richness that scoffed at a simple J Mint? Though the taste of cheap mint quickly washed out of my mouth, I spent the rest of the evening drinking wine.
Here is the ultimate question then: can mint be paired with wine? I want to keep exploring this. I don’t think a rich wine like Layer Cake, which I recommend, especially to those who love Cupcake, works with mint. Could I be more daring and try a white? Would that hold a surprise?
Either way, drink up friends and enjoy your St. Pats. And buy some Layer Cake–St. Patrick would be proud.