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Cakebread and the Cuvee de Fail: Rubaiyat

March 3, 2010

Enjoy this lovely poem, from the namesake of the bottle in question:

Here with a loaf of bread beneath the bough,
A flask of wine, a book of verse --
and thou Beside me singing in the wilderness-
And wilderness is paradise …
(The Eleventh Quatrain of the Rubáiyat by Omar Khayyám)

…now about the wine. 90% Pinot Noir and 10% Syrah…wait…WHAT??!!!…Pinot Noir and Syrah, yes. Two grapes from two different planets. Two grapes that have absolutely no business being in the same bottle. It presents a confused melange of light floral notes, bright sweet berry flavors, and smokey hung meat — much like what we could imagine our prehistoric ancestors might have proudly piled on an altar as an offering to the gods. This wine is recommended by the vintner as an accompaniment to light picnic or barbecue fare — which describes a scene similar to that of our ancestors around the altar. Imagine a group of cavemen in a woodland clearing, a stone firepit going with the corpse of some animal sizzling away, and piles of other gathered comestibles; now, replace the woodland clearing with a suburban back yard, the stone firepit with a gas grill, and the cavemen with palate-impaired philistines wearing baseball caps. Bingo. I think we know who this wine is for.

Rubaiyat is only available only at the winery; limiting distribution is a way to limit the brand-damage blast radius (see article on Trollinger below). To remove any remaining doubt, the vintner recommends serving this (red) wine chilled — which would mute the flavors — now why would they want to do that?

Two requests for Cakebread:

  1. Please stop making this wine; the Pinot Noir and Syrah may be decent on their own, and if they can’t hold their own as varietals, have Germain Robin turn them into brandy. Whatever. Just stop the madness.
  2. Admit this was a mistake that you keep making to present the illusion that it was deliberate. Limited distribution, recommendations to serve chilled with low-brow food, etc., support this theory, but it’s even evident in the blend percentages. I posit that the first vintage of this wine was a simple error in the barrel warehouse: you had nine rows of pinot noir barrels, and when you rolled them out for blending, someone lost count and you got a tenth row (of syrah) by accident. Hey, it can happen to anybody when the occupational hazards involve alcohol.
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