Tool and Dream Theater are my favourite bands ever. So much so that I have Tool’s eye tattooed in my right arm and shoulder and DT’s logo tattooed in the back of my neck. So much so that when I heard from Fourth Eye that there was an Australian wine importer Sip & Listen would sell Merkin Vineyards‘ Chupacabra 2006 I immediately placed an order.
Merkin Vineyards, for those who don’t know, is Maynard James Keenan‘s (singer for Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer) winery. Apparently, wine making is to Keenan what visuals are to Adam Jones (Tool’s guitarist): the perfect complement for their musical selves.
I had no idea of how good the wine would be, but I had to try it. Its price is a lot higher than what I usually pay for wine (3 bottles for $100, 6 for $200, 9 for $300); I was cautious and only reserved 3. The Chupacabra was supposed to hit Australia in October last year so I was hoping to drink a bottle in my birthday, but it didn’t make it until January. Fortunately, I had a new excuse to celebrate with a bottle.
Last year I applied to uni. It was a long and expensive process, and finally, on January 18th I got an offer. It’s exciting and scary at the same time, and it needed a celebration. My sister came to our house for dinner, we had some steaks and I opened my first bottle of Chupacabra. It was exciting and scary at the same time, too. What if the wine was crap? Would I be able to tell or would I be biased by my musical taste? If I admitted it was crap, would I like Tool less than before?
I know, so much anticipation over a bottle of wine is a bit stupid. I swear it didn’t last more than the 30 seconds that took me to uncork the bottle (yes, it has a real cork). The Chupacabra’s colour is deep and much darker than what I was expecting for a 2006 wine. It has a very decent body and smell. Knowing it was a Cabernet/Syrah (Shiraz) blend I was a bit worried about not liking it to drink on its own (I find some Cabernets too dry and oaky, and most Shiraz too acidic) but the taste was amazing. It’s a wine with character and complexity but, at the same time, easy to drink. I could taste ripe fruit and warm spices. And it went perfectly with the steaks and Tool music in the background.
I’m looking forward for the next excuse to open bottle #2.
Happy Australia Day everyone!