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It's real cool in the cellar

It’s been a wild couple of weeks here at Wiz Manor. I had to get my cat Fido in to the vet, and it turns out he has serious heart disease. A few days after that, I had a chimney inspection done, and it’s the only thing around here that’s sicker than Fido.

I’m still researching my options for the chimney, and I’m getting used to making Fido take all of his meds twice a day. He really doesn’t like it, but his breathing is so much better. And we’re heading into the summer, so I have time to make decisions about the chimney.

So I’m going to do my best to save money where I can. And that means buying less wine (and maybe trying harder to resist these “one of a kind can’t miss” sales that wind up in my email).

For this week, I went back down to the wine cellar (also my basement) to see what looked good. This week it was 2016 Roger Sabon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Les Olivets. This vintage is retailing for around $45 now, but I bought on a “can’t miss” sale from almost two years ago for $28.88.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the oldest wine-producing regions of France (and that’s saying something!), with written records of vineyards going back to the 12th century. The name means “the new castle of the Pope,” because at one time the seat of the Roman Catholic Church was in nearby Avignon. This wine is a blend of the most common red grapes from the area, predominantly Grenache with smaller percentages of syrah and cinsault.

This is a medium-to-full bodied wine with a beautiful dark garnet color. Blackberries and tobacco are on the palate, and there’s tannin but not overbearingly so. It lightly covered all of the inside of my mouth. No question this is a great food wine. Grill some beef filet or some boneless lamb.

I’m happy this turned out to be a great price, but I really need to hang up my deal-hunting hat for a while. It’ll be worth it when both of my cats and I are sitting by a fire in the fireplace later this fall with a glass of reasonably priced red.

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