Grape Expectations: a raisin for the season

Illustration by Raya Deussen

Hello and welcome back to Grape Expectations: Lewis & Clark’s premier resource for learning how to drink like a classy and responsible adult. First and foremost, it is necessary to wish all of my loyal readers a cozy holiday season, but also to remind you that Grape Expectations and The Pioneer Log do not condone underage or reckless drinking in any form. This is wine, not Burnett’s. 

If you are reading this, you have made it to December. Yes, the fall semester of 2019 has done its work. We are all traumatized and livid, but does that not make this next glass of wine all the more fulfilling? Have we not now earned the sensuous pleasure of tenderly sipping the best bottom-shelf pinot that Fred Meyer has to offer? Yes, Pios, we have and not even the looming threat of final exams will stop us from indulging in a little oenological debauchery. So take heart and grab your authentic driver’s license with a 1998 (or earlier) date of birth, and go splurge a little on this season’s hottest $13 bottle.

The Rascal pinot noir is flying off the shelves at the Barbur Fred Meyer, and why? Because I cannot stop myself from wrapping my spindly digits around the neck of that bottle every time it catches my eye. But I am going to give it a rest over these next few weeks and give you all a chance at acquiring this elixir from the potion-master that is the old man who works at Freddy’s. Think of this wine as the spicier, more cheerful cousin of the last article’s pinot noir recommendation. The Rascal pinot’s herbal notes with light toastiness bring its fruit-forward palate to a whole new level, maximizing festiveness. Right off the bat, it is warm, fragrant and embodies what a college student’s wine should really be: chuggable but worth savoring. And unlike my last pinot noir recommendation, this is not a wine for a cozy night in. This is the wine that wants you to release all of the semester’s pent up rage and frustration through an oddly compelling series of complex and innovative dance moves to a semi-public audience. This Rascal pinot is the ideal reading day party wine.

Before I end this edition of Grape Expectations, I would like to take a moment to address the hundreds of letters I have received from curious and questioning fans. Firstly, swirling and sniffing absolutely is “that important.” You will not impress anyone at the function if you do not first swirl and then sniff your wine. Secondly, I love red and white equally! It is ridiculous to pigeon-hole yourself into the fake rivalry of red versus white wine; we have two hands for a reason. And lastly, wine pairing is mostly fake. You just need to match flavor profiles to emphasize subtler tasting notes in your wine and your food. So have a great break, drink up and we will see each other back here in 2020!

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