Three young Somalians head on against the wine patriarchy, one bottle at a time.

Church and State 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

I’m going to admit - I am writing this wine review after having what one might call an uncivilized amount of this wine.  I remain blameless, however, as it was not I but my mother who bestowed this marvellous vintage upon me in what one might call a heaping glass.  

I believe my parents picked this rare gem up in the depths of the blazing Okanagan deserts whilst they were on a fancy wine tour.  Someday this young Somalian plans on following in their footsteps; a pilgrimage to my ancestry, if you will.

Drinking this wine will make you feel like Henry VIII when he was faced with the dilemma of wanting to divorce his barren wife Katherine of Aragorn so that he could finally get dirtyfreaky with that tarty girl Anne Boleyn, keeper of our hearts.  Like when Master H left Cho Chang for Ginny Weasley; you want to give up everything you’ve ever known for another long draught of this vintage.

It tastes like stolen moments in a wine cellar, like that time you hopped in an oaken barrel in order to sneak into Mirkwood. It is daring, seductive, religious and glittering in its heady majesty.

Drink this wine. Better yet, drink a case of this wine.

da berst

Ganton & Larson Prospect Winery Red Willow Shiraz. All in capitals. berst

The Steampunk Serenade: Stark Raving Red Blend

This wine is like if a saucy male model wearing aviator flight goggles and a mad scientist had a love child.  It is sweet with the hint of a promise of madness to come, which happens when you finish the bottle in a single evening because you simply can’t quite place the flavour but you want to oh-so badly.  

It’s like that crazy person you dated in high school because they were too hot to dump and you found their insanity so fascinating that you just couldn’t get enough, if only to see what lunacy they would perform next.

This wine transports me to a world filled with zeppelins and penny-farthings blended with packs of wild dogs running rampant through my perfect and harmonious Steampunk universe.  I want to navigate the skies of the Stark Raving world with my brass instruments forever.

Dark Wings, Dark Zins: Ravenswood 2011 Zinfandel

I am but a mewling kitten in the world of Zinfandel, and thus, naturally, I decided that my entrance into its world should be with a tastefully priced 2011 vintage from Sonoma County.  The ominous label has an air of mystique; it is almost as if I came across it by chance in a desolate forest, leaves swirling violently and crunching under my feet as their former homes loom above me, barren and bone-white.

Yes, this is what the Ravenswood is like, and it beckons to me as it sits dark and alluring in my brimming goblet.

This wine is smooth and caresses my mouth as softly as a feather caresses the skin.  It is sweet and full of berry flavours, the kinds one might find an unkindness of ravens brutally and joyously pulverizing in your favourite berry patch.

I wonder if the good people at the Ravenswood winery employ ravens to harvest and/or crush their grapes.  Hmm, something to ponder as I thoughtfully sip this beverage on a chilly autumn night.

Santa Ana Reserve, 2011 Malbec/Shiraz

I am romanticized by the idea that latinos take grape vines from Europeans that have been growing them for centuries and then grow them better in their favourable latino climate. Something I read somewhere tells me that Argentina is the place and malbec is the grape they like to grow there so I picked one that had a silver medal emblazoned on the label. It was also, possibly, on sale or something.

This wine is just regular good an doesn’t have any standout unique or weird characteristics. It’s the right amount of dry and has enough flavour that it doesn’t leave me waiting for something to happen. It’s not particularly sweet or tart. I suppose one could call it mellow and fruity. I mean, it’s made of fruit, so I realize that last one goes without saying. More fruity though than other tastes like burnt forest floor and cracked leather boot. 

In conclusion. I think our compadres down in Argentina are onto something and I intend to keep sending them my money in a trade for this fine tonic, at least as long as they keep dumping discounted wine into our country. maybe even after, depending on what else is on sale next week.

Drink the beast’s lifeblood: The Wolftrap by Boekenhoutskloof

I will honestly say that the pronunciation of Boekenhoutskloof completely eludes this young Somalian.  At any rate, the name is irrelevant because it is the taste of this primal, sensuous wine that I am concerned with.  Apparently no wolves have ever been sighted in the depths of Franschhoek valley, although a “majestic leopard” or two have been known to roam.  I’m not surprised.

When I drink this wine I can almost feel the mighty wolves prowling across my tongue and licking my taste buds with their lupine salaciousness.  The first sip took me to the mouth of the cave where I imagine the fabled beasts live, and I inhaled the earthy aromas of recently-dead animals and oak.  The second led me inside the cavern; the deep and spicy notes flooded my mouth as I approached the wolves and realized to my shock and awe that they were in fact Direwolves.  I had found the seemingly legendary creatures themselves!  The wine had brought me right to them.

In my wine-induced stupor I panicked and realized that the only way for me to experience this vintage to the fullest was to kill the wolves and drink their blood.  I slaughtered the Direwolves where they stood and I drank deep of their lifesblood, allowing the heady flavours of peppery oak and spicy blackberries to overtake all reason.  After they were dead I sucked clean the woody marrow of their bones and only then was I returned to the comfort of my easy-chair, wondering where on earth I had spent the last five minutes.



This is an example of the music you should be listening to when enjoying a delightfully picante malbec.

Dat J Lohr 7 oaks.

Ready to get freaky with a half leftover bottle of cabsav from a friend….a bottle that I would almost always be too cheap to buy.

Hoping that I will avoid the typical cabsav experience of my tongue feeling like a piece of carpet.

——tasting——-  (pronouced “tass-ting” in my mind)

More sour than I would have thought at first. Way more sour. But then an alluring sparkle of mystery on the back of my tongue. I finished the glass by accident so I’ll need pinch more to finish my analysis. ..


Almost entirely avoiding the carpet tongue. Tastes kind of like wood. Dark wood. After the sour surprise there is a heavy explosion of flavour that tastes like the essential elixer of a Spanish conquistador lover. Where is this from? California. San Luis Obispo. Sounds like the perfect home for a conquistador. 

It’s too bad I couldn’t afford to buy this all the time. Clearly this is grape privilege. Thanks Angie.

When I saw this movie as a child I instantly knew that my life was destined to be sheer, unadulterated Bacchanalia.  Grape privilege is being able to do what Bacchus and his satyr friends in Fantasia did with a fine vintage or eleven.

This is not me but this is how fabulous I feel every single time I taste a fine Bordeaux. This is not grape culture.

This is not me but this is how fabulous I feel every single time I taste a fine Bordeaux. This is not grape culture.