By this point it's not a bit of random trivia that Maynard James Keenan makes wine in Arizona. Most people are more familiar with his work as lead vocalist in the bands Tool, A Perfect Circle, and Puscifer. I saw the 2010 documentary Blood Into Wine and mostly enjoyed it. Parts were a little saccharine, but I enjoyed seeing fellow wineblogger Alder Yarrow in the movie. It was a strange modern technology moment to hit pause while I was watching the doc, write Alder, and hear back from him before I finished watching it.
When it comes to celebrity wines, I'm often not swayed by the importance of said celebrity. I've written about several wines made by world champion golfers recently, yet I know nothing about golf. I love the films of Francis Ford Coppola but have had mixed feelings about some of his wines. When it comes to this one, I'm in the weird position of probably knowing more about Arizona winemaking (an obscure topic) than I do about the music of Tool. That's not a value judgment either way, the music has just never met my eardrums. And while I studied piano and trumpet and sang in the Memphis Symphony Boys' Choir in multiple languages, what I don't know about modern music could fill a... record store. They still have those, right?
2010 Arizona Stronghold Dayden Rosé
89% Zinfandel, 9% Sangiovese, 2% Petite Sirah
$13, 12.8% abv.
Dominant aroma and flavor of strawberries, with a strong citrus element. Strawberry lemonade? That's close, and this is fairly strong for a dry rosé. It reminds me a lot of some of the stronger California pinks I've had in the past, and I prefer the milder, lighter, European-style rosés. But this one did work out quite well with the flavor-forward dinner I served...
In honor of the Arizona origins I went with something a little spicy... I made stuffed cheeseburgers, in this case filled with fire-roasted poblano peppers and monterey jack cheese, topped with baby spinach and sliced Roma tomatoes.
While this burger was quite tasty, I don't think that I'm going to make the stuffed burger (a.k.a. the Jucy Lucy) a regular feature. Due to the nature of the beast you really have to cook it well-done, and I'm more of a medium-rare guy. Also, there's some splitting and spillage opportunties, and... I think it's better to have the cheese and other additions on top of or under the patty of meat depending on where you want the flavor to hit the palate.