Okay... so this is my first post for The Whinery, and I guarantee I'm going to screw it up on multiple levels. In fact, I'm going to flub this assignment so badly that I have little doubt Mrs. Big Dubya is going to break both of my knees in an act of great vengeance and fuuuuurious anger (and I have no doubt that she could do it, too. She scares the hell out of me.). Nevertheless, onward I press — guided by blind faith in the righteousness of my mission as well as my liver's ongoing attempt to metabolize half a bottle of white.
What? (you ask) Good question, you. Very perceptive that you should pick up on that incredibly subtle hint I just dropped. (If you missed it, feel free to go back and reread the previous paragraph. We'll wait here until you're ready. (Whistling) (losing patience) (Fuck it. They're dead to us anyhow. Let's move onward.) That's right! I drank half - well, okay; it was closer to 2/3 - of a bottle of white tonight, and as such I feel emboldened to reviewify it for Das Whinery!
Subsequently: I present to you... the 2006 Don Oligario Albariño.
Before we go any further, however, let's review the multiple levels of the assignment proper. First off, there's parameter #1: bottles should cost less that $15 apiece.
Well, terrific. We've already fucked up... but there's a caveat! According to the sticker on the back of the bottle, we paid $23 bucks for this particular bottle of Spanish white — and in fact, I recall precisely the conversation we had with the weird surfer dude at the cool little kitchen/wine shop in Portsmouth, NH where we bought it, in which the dude in question sold us on what a spectacular bottle this was. And you know what? As TheWife and I were drinking it tonight, and I glanced over and saw the $23 price tag staring back at me, I said to her, "If I told you this was an $11 bottle, what would you say?" Her response: "I don't think we need to spend $11 on it again." "Well, bad news: it cost $23." "Goddammit!"
(Please note that our unnatural number of children had vacated the dining area by this point to the living room, where they were knee-deep in a DVD viewing of Pinocchio and, therefore, unsullied by this particular burst of invective on the part of my wife. Just for the record.)
So yes: technically, this bottle shouldn't qualify for this site because it cost too much. But in spirit, we felt that at less than half the price it still wouldn't be worth the cost... so in some sense - quite possibly, in a very spiritual and elevated sense - it actually goes several steps beyond qualification. So there.
Onward. Element #2 of the May assignment claims that this is to be a bottle to be enjoyed with grilled food. Well, okay... here's the thing: we ate it with takeout Chinese. Granted, it was really, really good takeout Chinese - and, in fact, the takeout Chinese in question may have involved some grilling in the course of preparation - but technically, we did not drink the Don Olegario Albariño 2006 alongside food that I actually prepared on my grill.
But! But! Don't fret, Mrs. Big Dubya. Because once again, in the spirit of intent if not execution, we're right on target. The reason we bought this wine in the first place was so that we'd have something to drink as an accoutrement (that's right: I just busted out the French on yr ass. Take that.) to some nicely grilled & marinated chicken. As I noted here (go ahead, check it out: I'm fascinating) we've been drinking lots of NZ Sauvignon Blanc recently... and as this field of exploration had yielded so much unexpected pleasure, we figured we'd branch out and boldly explore the wide, wide world of whites. The Don Olegario was the first of these ventures... and, perhaps, the last.
But ya see? The bottle was purchased with the intent of being served with grillified poultry! That counts, right? (Good lord. She's grabbing a crowbar. I think she's gonna go Tonya Harding on me.)
Dammit. I suck.
Anyhow: the wine itself... well, in case you haven't picked up on the cues I've hidden so carefully throughout the length of this post: it was disappointing. Not terrible, but fully, wholly and completely unremarkable. Not much of an aroma to it at all, and the taste matched. It was an exercise in bland. It was, in fact, an abject reminder of why we generally avoid whites in the first place — the cheaper ones tend to suck. And this was a $23 bottle! Damn you, Don Olegario. Damn you straight to hell.
The truth is that despite having downed approximately 2/3 of a bottle, I can't even say that this wine left me with a healthy buzz. Just a vague sense of disappointment, and a wish that we'd opened something else instead.