Episode 32 – the wine

Episode 32 – Opposites Attract

Technical Information:

Producer: Eagles’ Nest
The Wine: 71% Shiraz
16% Merlot
12% Cabernet Franc
Vintage: 2019
Wine of Origin: Constantia
Alcohol: 14%
Bottles: 1,000 cases
Released: February 2021

Fools in love
They think they’re heroes
‘Cause they get to feel more pain
I say fools in love are zeros
I should know
I should know because this fool’s in love again…
Fools in Love – Joe Jackson

Rick, ever the hopeless romantic, believes it may just be a cruel joke of nature that many of us are attracted to people very much unlike themselves. Wouldn’t it be simpler (and a lot less messy) if couples were drawn to those whose personalities are more like their own, rather than those who appear polar opposites…?

Introvert or extrovert, impulsive or dependable, schlepper or adrenaline junky, morning or night person?  These differences and apparent contradictions manifest themselves in lots of different ways and ensure relationships remain edgy, dynamic, exciting, or even dangerous!

Opposites can, and do, attract. There is no denying the concept of there being something within us which draws us to people with reverse tendencies.

For those who follow astrology, birth signs are an important factor in defining compatibility. Apparently, within the 12 astrological signs, there are seven possible matches: same-sign, or from one up to six signs apart. Of those seven combinations, two are considered the most challenging: those who are one sign apart, or five signs apart.

For couples one sign apart, it’s all about friction: a love-hate relationship, resulting from the fact that neither one has any astrological traits in common, yet the attraction remains strong.

For those who are five signs apart, these couples are said to enjoy an intense, unspoken and often baffling bond, with a mutual understanding, that although the two parties are attracted to each other, neither can really figure out how or why.

For the observer, these apparently mismatched couples offer the greatest intrigue. Appearing uniquely opposing, they tend to generate greater attention. Mystery or even mischief makes for a better story. It seems bizarre to think that two people who appear so different can be so perfect together, but then lovers have a natural tendency to embrace the unexpected.

Enough of this psychobabble, Rick says. How does all of this relate to our wine…?

Geography and convention tell us one should never blend maritime Merlot with continental Syrah. I mean, really… this would never happen in the renowned appellations of France…? In the New World, however, winemakers are not beholden to such tradition or etiquette.

Elizabeth of York (11 February 1466 – 11 February 1503)
Queen of England from her marriage to King Henry VII

Opposites Attract is a case in point. Here, the Syrah component is represented by the Queen of Hearts, the card of beauty, magnetism, affection and idealism: the much-loved mother, indispensable sister or adored daughter. A sincere and loving woman with a tender heart. For a man, this card is symbolic of his sweetheart or lover, the woman he will marry. The Queen of Hearts should evoke a feeling of unconditional love.

It is said that it was Elizabeth of York, unassuming consort of Henry VII, was the inspiration for the image of the Queen of Hearts, in a deck of cards. Legend has it that Elizabeth loved card games. She died in childbirth (attempting to provide a spare to the young Henry Tudor), who, as the young Henry VIII, decided to ensure that his mother would be immortalised in card games forever.

The suitor to the Queen of Hearts is represented by the King of Spades – the Merlot in our blend.  He is an authority of Wisdom and Mastery. The first card in the deck, he was born on the first day of the year and known for his spiritual energy and wisdom.

And what of the token presence of Cabernet Franc…?

A classic case of “Two’s company, three’s a crowd” , a proverb with origins that date back at least to the mid-1600s. Rick states this grape is represented by the Joker in the pack, which plays a small, but significant role, as the wildcard in our blend.

‘When the Ten of Diamonds, Jack of Clubs and Four of Diamonds is followed by the Two of Spades, the first proposal of marriage should be accepted…’
Charles Dana Gibson (1867 – December 23, 1944)