I'll admit to occasionally being pulled in by a clever label. This one is set up as a cross between a playing card and a general Old West look, with that design style that says, "fill up all the available space with curls and patterns". You'll see it on old leatherwork and metalwork as well, and it's just a subset of a very busy Victorian look that extended to newspapers and furniture and home decorations and everything else. I imagine it must have been a frustrating time for those with poor eyesight, as their entire world was surrounded by a blur of tiny, cluttered shapes.
The second thing that drew me in was the name, Tenacious Red. Yes, I'm a fan of The D, and while I don't see a lot of opportunities for cross promotion (the cowboy would need to have a guitar, throwing up the devil horns, and the horse would need to be replaced by a mythological beast, preferably Sasquatch), the name was enough to get a laugh out of me in the middle of the wine shop.
2009 Purple Cowboy
45% Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon
35% Paso Robles Syrah
6% Paso Robles Merlot
5% Oakville Syrah, plus other mixed red
$13, 13.5% abv.
Heavy profile of plum and blackberry. This is a jammy fruit bomb, with low tannins and just a touch of sweetness. I haven't had one of these in a while, and even though it's not my favorite profile, it was a fun bottle of juice for the evening.
Paul was cooking (it was his weekly Steak Night), and after the wedge salad he brought out creamed spinach and T-bones. The meat came from a small farm somewhere around Nashville--his mother and brother purchased half a cow and he brought some of the meat back with him after a recent visit.
While not officially certified organic and all that, the cows are grass-fed and free range, and it shows in the meat. The fat is yellow and rich, and the meat has an earthy, gamey quality that's distinct from the mass market corn-fed beef. It is a little tougher, but with the intensity of the flavor you're limited to smaller bites anyway.