Twenty-Wine Days of February: Day 14, Anniversary and Valentine’s Day and Love and Stuff

Our Old Stomping Grounds

Some years ago on this day, The Rib and I were married in Huntingdon, England  (the beginning of our ‘full-time fancy’ lifestyle, I suppose) in what was THE social event of the year for a small group of U.S. military brothers and sisters in arms (in short, we eloped).  If I’ve made even one good decision in my life, marrying that red-headed firecracker of a Marine was the best decision ever (yeah, I made that whole ‘marry a Marine’ dream that every young boy has come true!).

Yeah, we were (and still are) crazy in love, but the Valentine’s Day wedding was somewhat coincidental; to marry in England, a woman’s ‘intent to marry’ must be posted at the courthouse for a minimum of two weeks in case another man has some previous ‘claim’ to her.  Luckily for me (as my jousting skills at the time were rusty at best), no one came forward to challenge me for the right to marry the love of my life.  It just so happened that our work schedule (three days on, three days off) and the requirement for The Rib to give other potential suitors the appropriate amount of time to claim her coincided with Valentine’s Day—it was the middle day of our three days off.  Valentine’s Day elopement, it was!

The Old Bridge Hotel in Huntingdon, England...Where The Rib and I honeymooned for two glorious nights!

So here we are years later, once again competing with other lovers to celebrate our anniversary.  I’m not saying we’re old and persnickety (although a good friend suggested otherwise last week), but the thought of all the people and competition and noise and hassle of doing a big night out in the middle of the week seems a bit much.  Our answer?  Chipotle, a bottle of wine, and some time in front of the “magic box.” I’m totally not lying about our “full-time fancy,” am I?

2002 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Reserva, La Rioja, Spain

2002 Marqués de Cáceres Rioja Reserva

I popped the cork on this Tempranillo Blend and poured it through the Vinturi into the decanter.

On the nose, I got some black cherry, nice oak, and some stunning tobacco/cigar box notes.

The palate showed some excellent, yet tart, sour cherry notes immediately.  I got the tobacco, too, which lent a bit of a cedar quality to this wine.  The acid structure was firm, yet subdued, and the tannins were fairly big, but very smooth.  Very smooth.

We paired this with Chipotle.  And when we do Chipotle, we do it up: pork, chicken, and beef in various burritos, soft, and crunchy tacos.  I’m at least proud to admit that we usually don’t finish all of this food between us these days, which makes me a bit ashamed that 1) we used to finish all of the food we ordered, and 2) we’re now wasteful in our Chipotle ordering; I guess I’ll take a bit wasteful if the benefit is there’s a little less of Stub than there used to be.  The wine paired nicely with all three of the proteins and the hot salsa.  I’m anxious to see how the Marqués de Cáceres will go with last week’s and tonight’s episodes of Glee (told you—we’re “full-time fancy”).  I think given that it’s opened up nicely over the hour and a half it’s been in the decanter, this wine will complement the satire and brilliant musical arrangements of the Fox hit show brilliantly.  Or should I say Fahb-U-lahs-lee? Or Ah-mahz-ing-lee?

I picked this wine up for $26 in October 2009.  Well worth the price and the wait.  My notes show the drinking window on this wine ending this year, but I think this one has the potential to make it past 2012 if you’re inclined to hold on to it or find a bottle within the next year or so.  Don’t even hesitate to try this one if you get the chance.  I’m hoping I can still grab a bottle or two.

Cheers from the Corkpit,

Stub