Long Island, especially the East End, is blessed with excellent wines—and we couldn’t recommend them more highly—but worldly connoisseurs must also sample bottles from beyond these shores.
The Oh No File reviews some of the best and most unique juice from vintners around the world, and vintages throughout the last century. Visit your local wine seller or liquor store before going online to find these beauties.
Jalapoopaz Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Chipotle Wine, France – 2001
Fermented with smoke-dried jalapenos, this obscure and savory treat was regarded as a failure when Monsieur Jalapoopaz, of France’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape commune, first released it in 2001. Fortunately for the vintner, a recent boom in the popularity of chipotle has made the wine a hit in America—and there are plenty of cases to go around. Jalapoopaz used the delicious peppers in his red wine blend, making it perfect to wash down Buffalo wings, loaded potato skins and anything cooked on a Jack Daniels grill. Speaking of whiskey, try dropping a shot of your favorite rye into a mug of Jalapoopaz for the trendy new “Franco-Mexicali Ergot Epidemic” drink. It’s an absolute flavor sensation and far more sophisticated than an Irish Car Bomb or a Mind Eraser.
Purple Rain, Minneapolis, MN – 2004
While this rare treasure—created for the 20th anniversary of Prince’s 1984 film—is tough to find thanks to rabid fans and collectors, the hefty price tag comes with serious bragging rights. Purple Rain hits the palate a bit hot and hollow, but its strong extracts will mellow with more age. The dense, purple color, however, will not. Once mature, the rich wine will be supple, smooth and short, much like the star of its namesake.
Stickney and Poor’s Paregoric, U.S.A. – ca. 1915
It’s hard to say exactly what’s in this oaky blend, as much of the label is missing or obscured. We do know it is from the Paregoric region and it’s a bit more heady than your average table red. Chewy and reductive, it has a floral nose—almost like a field of poppies—and the taste grows better with each sip. Paregoric recalls warm nights by a crackling fire, being wrapped in a warm blanket and, later, flying monkeys on bicycles wearing fez hats and a wolf pushing a lawnmower. Is that a necklace made out of celery? It keeps me safe. Safe. And always wanting more. More.
Irony, Pinot Noir, Monterey, CA – 2006
From America’s West Coast, this Pinot Noir is flabby and green from the first taste. Hollow and fruity, the wine is rather dumb, but with a powerful bouquet. It’s clearly reductive and oxidized, and the reduced flavor seems to stem chiefly from the presence of acetaldehyde, but the wine is also soft with heavy tannins. Heavy tears, or legs, come with this bottle’s glycerol. It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife, isn’t it?