Home > Australia, Holidays, Shiraz > Embracing Inner Dude At Halloween

Embracing Inner Dude At Halloween

November 4, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

I like action movies. Well made action movies it is – those which have a plot and intrigue, and especially those which might keep you on the edge of your seat. Oh yes, and they better be American made movies. Nope, this is not a patriotic statement – Japanese action movies are beautiful (I love Martial Arts), but in 99 out of a 100, the main character dies at the end. In our, American made action movies, the good always wins – yep, the proverbial “happy end” is literally warranted.

And then there are those American movies where the plot is based on pure absurd, and the only supposedly entertaining element is unstoppable, relentless use of the F-word by everyone, including kids and animals – I guess the endless F-word variations are supposed to create serious drama around, well, pretty much nothing.

Okay, okay, you are still reading (if you are actually reading – and I want to thank you for that) the Talk-a-Vino blog so we will be actually talking wine – I’m not turning into a movie critic all of a sudden.

Sometimes I know that the wine sample had been shipped to me only through a UPS or FedEx notification, without any prior conversations with “the source”. So when the box arrived a few weeks ago from Donna White, I got really curious about what is inside, as the box looked quite big – however, its weight really didn’t support the size, so yes, color me very curious. Inside the box, I found the Halloween costume, the bottle of wine, and the note. From the note, I found out that I’m a Lebowski (and everyone I know is also a Lebowski). Which instantly triggered “The Big Dude Lebowski” to come to my mind – without much of the basis, as I knew the phrase but had no idea it came from the movie.

Now you have the movie connection. I found some movie clips on YouTube, and whatever I watched, didn’t give me an encouragement to sit down and spend time watching the whole movie (hence my opening thoughts in this post). The strong association of the word Dude and “The Big Lebowski”, which is an actual title of the movie, even prompted me to do a bit of the research on the meaning of “Dude” – I was happy to see that the word itself has a much longer history and somewhat easy to relate to (from Wikipedia): “Dude is American English slang for an individual, typically male. From the 1870s to the 1960s, dude primarily meant a person who dressed in an extremely fashionable manner (a dandy) or a conspicuous citified person who was visiting a rural location, a “city slicker”. In the 1960s, dude evolved to mean any male person, a meaning that slipped into mainstream American slang in the 1970s. Current slang retains at least some use of all three of these common meanings.” So “The Dude” can exist on its own, without the “The Big Lebowski” parallels.

Okay, so I explained the movie opening of this post, but we still didn’t get to wine – and it is the time to do it. The Dude actually plays an important world in the wine world – as the name of the Australian Shiraz. Two Hands winery from Barossa Valley in Australia produces the wine called Gnarly Dudes, which has the picture of the old Shiraz vines on the label – which looks like, well, gnarly dudes – hence the name and this whole connection between the Dudes and the wine.

I mentioned the Halloween costume in the box, didn’t I? Can you guess what the costume was? Yep, of course, it was the outfit of The Dude himself, exactly as they show it in the movie. My first reaction was: no. Just no. I will not wear this. A few days later, after the initial desire to reject slowly dissipated, the next thought was “well, this is Halloween after all. Why not?

The end result was simple. I wore The Dude’s costume and I opened the bottle of The Dude wine, just as it was envisioned by whoever put this package together. Below, you can see a proof – lame, but my best version of The Dude. By the way, when I was giving out candies in this outfit, nobody complained – and one person even managed to correctly identify the character I was impersonating.

For the longest time, our family tradition is to carve pumpkins for the Halloween. None of us has any carving skills, but once we finally acquired a good pumpkin carving set from the Williams-Sonoma, we managed to achieve the level of the personal content with the results of our carving efforts.

 

And now, let’s finally talk wine – 2017 Two Hands Gnarly Dudes Shiraz Barossa Valley (13.8% ABV, $30, 100% Shiraz, 12 months in French Oak). The wine perfectly demonstrated its “dudiness”. Upon opening and for the most of the evening, it was simply an okay wine. Here are the notes:
Roasted meats on the nose, quite dominant
Dark, earthy fruit, blackberries, a touch of pepper, noticeable sapidity, overall earthy notes, good balance. This is a food friendly wine.

So in terms of drinkability, it was a 7/7+ wine at the best on the first day. The second day (without pumping the air out, just putting the screwtop back on) brought far more enjoyable wine – blackberries appeared on the nose, and on the palate, the wine clearly added multiple dimensions – velvety texture, round dark fruit, both blackberries and blueberries, sage and violets joined the chorus – absolutely next level wine compare to the first day, definitely an 8 wine (my own 1-10 Drinkability scale, yes). I want to mention that the wine remained equally beautiful even on the 3rd day, and showed a touch “over the hill” signs on day 4. An excellent wine, but you have it either give it some time or look for the one which has some age on it. And yes, forget a few bottles in the cellar for the next 10 years – somehow, I expect you to be handsomely rewarded.

Here is my Dude story for you. How was your Halloween? Cheers!

 

  1. November 4, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Yes! You channeled your inner Dude and wore the costume! I think the real star of your post, though, is that pumpkin line-up. You’ve got real carving skills!

    • November 4, 2018 at 10:35 pm

      You are waaaaay to kind, Lauren – people make such amazing stuff out of those pumpkins – we can only do really basic ones. But, at least, we try 🙂

  2. November 4, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    good to see you embraced your inner DUDE! I actually did watch the movie since it happened to be on TV after I received the costume. I laughed and laughed and laughed.

    • November 4, 2018 at 10:33 pm

      I saw your costume pictures too 🙂 Not sure about the movie – may be one day I will actually give it a try.

  3. Mika
    November 4, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Dig the pumpkins! And the dude 🙂
    You should give the movie a try… you probably will hate it but on an odd chance you like it it will be one of your favorites. It’s one of my favorites. Second favorite to be precise 😉
    Cheers!

    • November 4, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks. Few fragments which I watched didn’t really convince me that I should watch the full movie. If I have absolutely nothing to do and will remember, I might give it a try.

      • Mika
        November 5, 2018 at 11:04 am

        Let me know how you find it. In this case the whole is much greater than the sum of it’s parts, so I don’t think the clips are representative. Incidentally, same can be said for any other Coen brothers movie…

  4. November 12, 2018 at 1:30 am

    Haha… very cool post Anatoli! Not sure about the movie either, but love the fact you immersed yourself in the idea behind the gift. Those pumpkins are fabulous too!

    • November 12, 2018 at 6:14 am

      Thanks, Margot! Yes, I had to go with it. And the wine was good, which made it worth suffering for 🙂

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