“Second chances.” Review: Chronic Cellars Suite Petite 2015

My meeting tonight, the meeting I went to after I put in a full day of everything else, of course, involved going over applications that the committee had already rejected, but which had been resubmitted for approval a second time based on our recommendations. Some were dramatically improved, and in them the candidates shined and we were glad to check “yes” this second time. With others, it was as if the sense of entitlement that seems to course through the veins of those who lack life experience had prevented them from putting forth any notable effort. Some came back to us in the same condition a second time. Many more were never even resubmitted. The “no” box is so easy to check in that moment. I suppose that’s what its there for.

I got home, tired, and started cooking dinner. I popped the cork on a bottle of wine and put Billy Joel’s Piano Man album on while I chopped up vegetables and got the burners going. On tap tonight: spicy chicken tacos; a tip of my hat to Mike Farmer, vintner and taco maker extraordinaire, for the inspiration. As I cooked, I sipped at what felt in the moment like an uninspired wine, simple, plush, lacking structure and dimension. I was almost ready to dump it out and, given the “if you can’t say anything nice” mantra, not write this post at all. But then…

I called Sonja and Titus to dinner. We sat down and assembled, or in Titus’s case disassembled, our tacos. I’d made the onions extra spicy using chili pepper olive oil to give them a real kick. I took a bite — delicious! I was pleased with myself. Almost automatically, out habit, I took a drink of my wine. Was it a different wine? This new one was still fruit driven, but lively, opened up, with notes of raspberry, strawberry, and tart cherry, as well as an herbaceous quality. The spice of the tacos had given purpose to an otherwise unremarkable wine. The 2015 Chronic Cellars Suite Petite, 86% Petite Sirah and 14% Syrah, isn’t a stand-alone wine, but it is a terrific taco Tuesday pairing, and one I’ll definitely drink again. I recommend it — just don’t forget the spicy Mexican food!



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