2008 Juan Miguez Ribeiro Viña Leiriñia, Galicia, Spain with Charlie Sheen

Like all of America (at least those of us with nothing better to do), I am captivated by the goings-on surrounding Charlie Sheen over the last several weeks.  This guy is certainly coming off as being crazier than a peach orchard hog, but I’m beginning to have my doubts that Sheen has totally “lost it.”  With Charlie claiming that he is “starting to win” (in the second of two Today Show interviews in as many days) and his two live-in “goddesses” claiming to be “on the bus” (without regard for where said bus is headed), Sheen may have us all right where he wants us.  Acting as his own publicist at this point, it appears that Charlie has a “plan.”

As this craziness continues to develop, I am more and more convinced that come May, we’re going to find out that we’ve been “Joaquined” by Charlie Sheen, Chuck Lorre, and (as a stab in the dark at someone who could pull it off) Kevin Smith.  During the CBS upfronts, we’ll learn that Two and Half Men will be back on the air in the fall.  By Thanksgiving, we’ll get to see Charlie and Chuck making the rounds on the late-night talk shows while promoting the movie they made about the whole affair.  On Independence Day 2012, we’ll all head to the theater to see Charlie reprise his role as Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn in the eagerly-anticipated “Major League: Part Quatre” (in IMAX 3D, of course).  If I’m right, these guys are better than Andy Kaufman (who will be back at some point, right?) and will have managed to “out-Joaquin” Joaquin.  I hope that I am right, as any alternative explanation for this circus is likely to be—well, just sad.

With the Sheen circus in mind, I decided that today’s wine should pair well with what will undoubtedly be a “very special episode” of 20/20 tonight (10/9C)—”Charlie Sheen: In His Own Words.”

I hope you all took notice of the origin of this wine:  the Galicia region of Spain, birthplace of Charlie’s paternal grandfather (yeah, I thought about this THAT much).  The Viña Leiriñia is a blend of three (three is always better than one or two, right?) grapes—treixadura, albariño, and godello—that results in a crisp, easy-drinking wine.

This wine has a floral hint on the nose.  It hits me like a light perfume:  it’s there, but not overpowering; soft, but intense at the same time.  The scent puts me in mind of a dark entertainment venue but I’m not sure why; I’ve seen a ton of live rock and roll bands in my day—none of them ever smelled this nice.  I wonder…  There are also tropical notes on the nose—mostly pineapple—that bring to mind a trip I took the Bahamas several years back.  That jaunt began as a foursome, but one of our fellow travelers got upset about something early in the trip and left the other three of us to have fun on our own.  I can’t quite remember what upset our fourth companion, although there may have been some issues between us before we took the trip—I can’t 100% recall.  Regardless, the three of us that remained in the Bahamas had a great time.

But back to the wine.  On the palate, the pineapple notes really come through.  There is a nice acidity that gives the wine a decent structure.  As the Viña Leiriñia warms a bit from being chilled, notes of lime develop on both the nose and palate (there’s that Bahamas vacation again).  That tangy acidity is really nice and it reminds me of a sweet tart.  (Tart? Some of those fuzzy memories of that Bahamas trip are starting to come back).  There is also a little stone/minerality on the palate.  This wine goes down effortlessly (Bahamas!) and is not overly complex, but it does give you something to think about.  The Viña Leiriñia is a lively wine that almost anyone will enjoy (if they can afford the bottle service).  Sometimes a bigger, more substantive wine forces the discerning drinker to spend too much time considering what he is drinking.  Not the Viña Leiriñia—just pop the cork, pour a glass, and see where the evening takes you—but be sure to hide your checkbook from yourself before you whip out the corkscrew.

Viña Leiriñia pairs well with a simple scampi (shrimp sautéed in butter, garlic, pepper, and a little fresh-squeezed lemon juice) over pasta.  The acidity balances the creaminess of the butter and the wine compliments the food well.  Viña Leiriñia would also pair well with two (or more) of your favorite exotic entertainers and a night of debauchery in Malibu, although I wouldn’t recommend popping a cork if you happened to be in the “Sober Valley” neighborhood.  Viña Leiriñia retails for about $20 and is worth the price.

So your evening is planned:  pick up some shrimp and a bottle of Viña Leiriñia on the way home, whip up a quick dinner, pop the cork on your bottle, then tune in to ABC at 10/9C to watch what will undoubtedly be the hour of television everyone is talking about around the water cooler tomorrow.

From the Cork-pit,


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