The Puppetmaster

Originally uploaded by greg.turner.
The few times I've visited the Albertson's liquor store, I have been tempted by the series of Sideshow wines that sit nestled in with the Four Emus and the Alice Whites. Sideshow wines, according to CheapFunWines.com are sold exclusively by Albertson's and in some restaurants, and each is an edgy, hard-hitting blend not meant for nature. Thus, the Sideshow name. This weekend, I picked up a bottle of The Puppetmaster, a blend of Syrah and Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina:

See careful manipulation of extraordinary detail. Oh, what grace, what agility...what subservience - with deft of hand, our Puppetmaster spring to life his indentured two. But, what lurks beneath this victorian fa├žade? Was that a wink?! Can it be....are they real? Only the Puppetmaster knows.

Ominous! However, I found the wine to be strong, fruit-forward and fairly enjoyable.

Quick Tasting Notes
Sideshow Puppetmaster
Syrah and Malbec blend, non-vintage
Mendoza, Argentina

Color: dark, almost inky purple going to rose at the edges
Nose: very fragrant. Definite fruit with some complexity / confustion. Plum, perhaps a little rhubard(?). Floral notes and a little earth thrown in for good measure
Palate: Big fruit up front, settling into a smooth smokiness as washes across the tongue. Strong tannins
Finish: Nice, long finish, going through the smokiness and bringing back some of that lingering fruit

This was a solid wine, with a nice tannin structure and big fruit flavors. It's fun and not complicated. A definite burger and fries wine.

What to pair it with?
You could pair this wine with a number of things, as it has enough fruit character to blend nicely with many dishes and tannins strong enough to stand up to heavier meals.

But let's say you spent most of your Saturday painting the living room. Let's say you finish up and are looking for something quick and easy. Something that doesn't require a trip to the store. You're looking at a pantry meal, and The Puppetmaster might be just the thing to bring a little whimsy and a little rough-hewn elegance to the party. A party where the featured meal is the poor man's pasta carbonara

1 Egg
1/4 cup half and half
1 large handful of sliced ham cut into small pieces
A healthy shake of grated parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. While it's cooking, mix and whisk the egg and half and half. When the pasta's done, drain it, return it to it's pasta pot and toss in the ham. Mix in the egg and half and half, but be careful. You don't want to stir too vigorously as you'll end up with scrambled eggs, and that's not what you're after. Just carefully fold in the egg mixture. Shake on the parmesan and you're done. Delicious!


200 Calories

200calories Originally uploaded by greg.turner.
What does 200 calories look like? Wise Geek will show you.

When you consider that an entire plate of broccoli contains the same number of calories as a small spoonful of peanut butter, you might think twice the next time you decide what to eat. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average adult needs to consume about 2000 - 2500 calories to maintain their weight. In other words, you have a fixed amount of calories to "spend" each day; based on the following pictures, which would you eat?