Seriously. I’m writing this long-hand. With purple ink.
I was in the SuperStore booze store hoping to buy some low-priced expensive Cognac (mission accomplished, BTW) when my eye (I’ve only got one eye that really works) was strangely drawn to that classic tacky shape, the Mateus Rosé bottle. Nine bucks or so.
“I can use a retro nine buck candle holder to put beside that one in the basket,” I think, and I pick up a flagon, feeling a bit of sadness that it is sealed with a screw cap rather than a dried out, mouldy technical cork like in the old days. Oh, well.
Maybe the stuff will actually taste decent.
I suddenly realize: I’ve been making a lot of tasting notes of local micro-brewed beers lately; why don’t I make tasting notes on the bottle of Mateus?
Later, in the evening, thinking to get some suggestions for food pairings, I go to the Mateuse web page . . .
I enter into the age verifier
and I’m in.
“Serve chilled,” the splash screen tells me.
I shove the apple juice, pudding cups, day old tortellini and bottles of Maudite out of the way and squeeze/jam the Mateus under the top shelf.
I seem to need a swimming pool (nope), a candle in a lantern (I could put a candle in the Mateus bottle — if it were empty) and a woman in a bikini (as if) before I can proceed to the next step.
“Taste it.” the page tells me.
I click and a drop-up menu arrives. Let’s not pull punches: I click “Gourmet” and then it asks
I’m doin’ Mateus, not Aglianico del Vulture for goodness sake.
“Mateus Rosé Original” Click.
I hate shrimp.
I look at the recipe:
1 large mango, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
200 g of baby spinach
200 g of cooked shrimp
In a small bowl mix all the sauce ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
When you are ready to serve place the spinach in a bowl, followed by the mango then the shrimp.
Pour the sauce over them carefully and sprinkle with shallots. Serve immediately.
Wait! What sauce ingredients? There are no sauce ingredients listed?
I don’t like shrimp and I don’t know what sauce to use and I don’t have a mango, shallots or baby spinach.
I opened the bottle a while ago.
I’ve had a few glasses, just to prepare for the tasting, now apparently without culinary accompaniment. I’ve got lots of fine Quebec cheeses downstairs, but I’m saving them for the good stuff — my home made wine.
Good gracious! The bottle’s almost half gone already! I hope this screw top holds the little bubbles in a bit longer. I pour it into my glass and it looks like a cranberry cooler. Tiny bubbles (thank you screwtop!) The colour isn’t really pink. There’s a coppery touch to it. And the red, while light, is quite deep. Very attractive. The colour fades to transparent at the edge.
I have a bit of a cold, so bear with me.
Pleasantly fruity. None of the chemical stink so abhorrent in that other “young” wine, Beaujolais Nouveau. Mateus has the aroma of a satisfying, if plain, table wine, summery and fresh.
Quite dry, really. Again the fruitiness. And the refreshing bite of the effervescence. Good gracious! There’s nothing wrong with this! It’s a perfectly drinkable rosé table wine for under ten dollars (in Alberta that is a fairly good price)!
This isn’t your teenage self’s Mateus!
On a hot summer afternoon with a nice selection of fruit, a wheel of washed rind soft ripened cheese (I recommend Quebec’s Champfleury ), various bits of bread and crakers, maybe a wee bowl of capers, and some friends if necessary, Mateus would be more than satisfactory for all but the most hoity toity of the hoi poloi .
Give your wallet a break this summer. One hot afternoon try gettin’ juiced on Mateus!
Even if you have to hide the bottle.
Oh. Look. The fine print on the back label:
“Aperitif, Oriental and Italian food, Barbecues, Salads, Shellfish.”
With the addition of “Gettin’ Juiced” I’d say they’re dead on!