LC decided to “update my files” and introduce me to Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market in Decatur, GA, and it was there that I discovered Hey Mambo Sultry Red 2011 ($9.99). Typically, I tend to gravitate toward Spanish, Chilean, and Argentine wines, but the sexy “95” wine score on its tag definitely made me give the “Hey Mambo” a double take. The label describes the wine as “jammy fruit — with hints of baking spice! Notes of boysenberry cobbler sway to sweet leather and dark cocoa — and pivot in a finish of caramelized oak.” First of all, whoever wrote this description deserves a Pulitzer Prize for authorship; I was definitely intrigued by the wording, and was pretty excited to give it a try.
Sultry Red is a blend of several different varietals from Sirah to Zinfandel to Merlot. It is deep-violet and slightly translucent. The aroma is pretty subtle; definitely not an alcoholy scent. Initially, I smelled hints of vanilla, and my nose found something reminiscent of licorice. As I delved more into it, I could pick up floral notes as well, along with plummy fruit and a bit of spice. Sultry Red is medium-bodied and silky on the tongue. I could definitely taste the jam and fruit coating my mouth, with the cocoa and spice rounding off the sip at the end. Sultry Red doesn’t overpower in any taste category. Instead, it provides well-balanced flavors throughout, which is what makes this a very enjoyable wine. Suffice it to say, I am a definite fan of this wine!
I decided to pair Sultry Red with Milk Chocolate with Raisins & Hazelnuts by Ritter Sport. I figured the raisins would play nicely with the “jammy fruit,” and that the chocolate might help bring out the cocoa in the wine. The pairing did not disappoint, in the least! The combination was simply decadent and delightful. Sultry Red, I cherish the day we met! Talk about epic first dates…
On a sidenote, the bottle comes with a unique cork called the Zork. You basically peel away the seal when you open it, and you’re left with a convenient rubber cork that re-corks itself. Now I’m a hardcore stickler for the good ol’ fashioned REAL cork (I detest screw-tops on wine), but I’d have to admit that the Zork is a pretty interesting concept (neat-o!). And for the corkily-challenged, your long-awaited day has come! No longer must you worry about breaking the cork or pushing cork-shreds down into your bottle of wine. Rest your weary souls, and drink merrily!
4.5 / 5
To find a bottle near you, visit the official website.