There are certain wines I consider ‘cocktail wines.’ They tend to be boozy – high alcohol content and a lot of heat. And sometimes that is not a bad thing. Especially on a Friday night after a long week of work and life.
A solid “go-to” cocktail wine is The Velvet Devil by Charles Smith. This ruby-red wine has a sweet and fruity nose. It reminds me of summer, when you walk past the raspberry or blackberry bushes, all full of ripe fruit, ready to be picked. The wine itself was light and tart to the taste, but not sour. It had a bit of a burn (from the tannin and alcohol) and was reminiscent of a wine you would order for happy hour.
I paired my wine with a guilty pleasure of mine: Brother Cadfael mysteries. I was introduced to this series as a teen, when it was aired every Thursday on PBS. For this occasion, I chose the Devil’s Novice, checked out from the local library.
As I watched Brother Cadfael work through his latest case: a diplomat (Peter Clemence) for the bishop mysteriously disappears at the same time diplomat’s cousin’s son, Meriet, enters the monastery. Meriet is plagued by nightmares, causing a stir in the abbey. He is also charged with the murder of Peter Clemence.
By the time I am ready for my second glass of wine, Cadfael is convinced (and has convince me as well) that this Meriet character is not the murderer. Based in medieval times, Cadfael is able to solve the mystery without the use of technology. He finds Meriet innocent and reveals the true murderer.
The movie and the wine make a nice pairing and enjoyable, light-hearted evening.