As promised, here is this blog’s first guest post. It is by my great friend Dillon, an intelligent young man I have known for several years. You can explore his intellectual musings at www.dillonstonetatum.com.
The post is written very beautifully. He puts my silly musings to shame, but I should have known better…I did invite him to post right?
“Wining in the Desert”
I’m a child of the desert. I grew up in southern Nevada, in a suburb of Las Vegas, and, essentially, studied deserts at the University of Arizona—located in Tucson, not too far from the Mexican border. The deadly Sonoran. As someone who lives in civilization now, it’s a mystery even to myself why I continue to be at least partly fascinated by the desolation, heat, and emptiness of the desert. And why I choose to spend most of my summers here, at my family’s home. As I’m writing this, I just received a text message from the national weather service: Warning—severe dust storm. Typical.
When Liz invited me to contribute to this blog, I really did not know where to begin. I know I love the blog (I don’t follow many blogs, but I read this one religiously). I like to drink; I’m from Vegas. I don’t know much about wine. But, I do know that my three month sabbatical in the wasteland is coming to a close, and it is with great pleasure (and, surely, a coming nostalgia) that I chose the following combination. One that, at least I hoped, would bring out both the best of the summer, and the mystery of the desert.
The wine is from a local winery here in Nevada called the Pahrump Valley Winery. It is labeled as “Desert Blush.” I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I’m assuming it’s a white zinfandel type. Pahrump is maybe 60 miles outside of Las Vegas, and is famous for more than its liquor. I’ve always been a fan of blush wines. It always reminds me, for some reason, of a picnic in the summer rain. I was expecting a sort of light, almost white, taste to it. Something sweet—maybe too sweet—for a table wine.
The candy is Wonka’s Laffy Taffy—Banana flavored. Something I’ve associated with summer. It must be the bananas. I don’t know. I had this idea in my head that anything would go well with Laffy Taffy. Surely, Pahrump Valley Winery took this into consideration when producing.
The first sip. Rather spicy, not too sweet, though with a taste reminiscent of watermelon. It finishes smooth, almost creamy. Though it’s a blush, it has the character of a full red. I have a feeling this bottle is going to go fast. The Laffy Taffy is delightful on its own. It, too, has a rather creamy, rich texture that compliments well the blush. I may not have gotten a sweet wine, but the taffy certainly made up for it.
This pairing was quite perplexing. It threw me off, was not at all what I expected, and rather mysteriously gave me a smile. It was warm and inviting, and despite the simplicity of a local wine and a popular candy, was fulfilling.
Perhaps I have discovered my fascination with the desert after all.