Once again, I'm trying a $4 bottle to accompany the year-end scrapings from my cupboard. Continuing with the Tisdale line--which doesn't appear to have much of a web presence--I tried the 2004 Tisdale Shiraz tonight. Odd naming there; it happens occasionally, but you don't see much use of the "Shiraz" name in California. And while it's the same grape as Syrah, I've come to think of Shiraz as somehow fun and exotic, no doubt fueled by the fruit-forward, spicy wines from South Africa and Australia. How long is it before some wag markets a Petite Shiraz?
This wine is nothing to get excited about, but isn't terrible either. It's not as good as the recent Parker Station Syrah that I had, but these two wines have reminded me that Syrah/Shiraz really makes a great everyday bargain wine. In the realm of red wines under $10, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir are frequently undrinkable, Merlot is too much like Kool-Aid, and Zinfandels are rarely well-balanced. Typically at this price point you have to duck down to the "second tier" grapes of Southern France and Spain. At this stage in my life, it's hard to justify the $25 wine for dinner after work on a Monday.
In a related note, after dinner, I was nosing around in the fridge and found an old can of Red Bull, presumably purchased by my roommate at some point in the past. I assumed that she didn't want it, as her daily lust for carbonated beverages is satisfied by liters of Diet Coke. I decided to crack it open and see what all the fuss was about. Even at arms length, I smelled the pineapple. But not real pineapple, more that ersatz pineapple flavor (and sweetness) found in a roll of Life Savers, combined with just a bit of lemon drop. Mild carbonation on the order of a light Prosecco, just enough to tickle the tongue but not enough to foam in the mouth. Further experimentation with rum was disappointing, though that may have been due to my practice of dribbling in a mere splash of mixer into an otherwise... medicinal dose of rum. It's entirely possible that you could make a really weird pi ña colada with Red Bull, ice, condensed milk and rum. But I'm not going to try.
As for the energy aspects of Red Bull? If you see twenty-seven posts in the next couple of hours about topics ranging from Polynesian navigation to the history of Mormon cinema (up to and including Napoleon Dynamite), then you'll know that I've sprouted wings or whatever it is that's supposed to happen. But I'm doubtful. I routinely drink caffeine before bedtime without trouble, and the only stimulant that ever really affected me was Brazillian maté, which kept me buzzing and twitching for a really productive 36 hours.