September 04, 2009

When I was in college, I paid for tuition by waiting tables.  One of the restaurants I worked at was a fancy steakhouse.  (This was mildly ironic, since I don't eat steak.)  Anyway, as my Employee of the Month prize - they based this on the number of sales you had in a month - I won a free bottle of red wine.

This wine was the 2002 J. Lohr Vineyards "Wildflower" Valdiguié.

(Oh my god.  I just realized that was SIX YEARS ago.)

So, anyway, six years ago I took that wine to a dinner party at my cousin's house.  I had just graduated college, was in the process of packing up all my belongings to move to L.A., and my tiny car was so full with my stuff that I couldn't see out any of the windows except the front and the driver's side.  Which of course meant it was an excellent time to take a little freeway trip over to San Francisco.  The whole drive I kept waiting for the police to pull me over for having all my windows blacked out with sweaters and cooking pots.

I made it safely, and we all sat around my cousin's kitchen table admiring the wine and wondering what kind it was.  Red, obviously.  But we couldn't figure out what type of red.  It didn't say "Cabernet" or "Merlot" on it, so we were pretty much at a loss.  We drank it anyway... and it was delicious.

After I drove the hour and a half back to Davis, I went asking the Internet Gods for answers.  I had never heard of the Valdiguié grape before, but now I had my very own special wine that I could bring to the wine parties of all my Napa friends and Viticulture majors and not look nearly as ridiculous as the time I brought the screw-top bottle of Muscat.  (Want to make wine snobs laugh at you?  Bring a cheap bottle of dessert wine to their little party).

The wine is rather difficult to find, your typical grocery store or liquor store won't carry it.  You usually have to go to someplace that specifically sells wines.

Which is why I was jumping for joy at my local Albertson's today.

They not only have my wine, but they have it on sale.  For $8.99. 

According to J. Lohr's website, Valdiguié "is a vibrant, red-purple in color with bright aromas of boysenberry, Bing cherry, raspberry and banana. The fruit complexion on the palate is equally bright, dominated by boysenberry and raspberry." What this means to us humans: it's surprisingly light and fruity-tasting for a red wine.  Think Pinot Noir meets Merlot, with just a bit of sweetness.  Yum.