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The latest musings from our guest blogger Patrick..

As the only North Carolinian not obsessed with NASCAR and all things auto racing, I get a lot of quizzical looks, when I fail to respond to provocative opinions about the racing topics of the day.  I stare blankly for a bit then look nervous and fidget a bit when racing pops up.  And yes, I work from home and never go anywhere; I hide for a living, and look down in supermarkets, but it still pops up.

I can be filling gas in a driving rain with a hoodie pulled low, and the driver next to me will yell above the hurricane force winds, “So what do you think of Junior’s chances at the Brickyard 400? You know, with the Dale Jarrett thing and all?”  I do the blank stare fidget thing, and I get the “you must be a low down dirty rotten scoundrel. Worse than that, a Yankee.” look.  I get that look a lot.  I sort of slink back home and try not to leave the house for a few weeks.

So to say the least, my hand shook a bit as it hovered over the Childress Vineyards Pinnacle Meritage Red Table Wine.  Richard Childress, or so anyone at any gas station or supermarket will tell me, is a legendary team owner.  After a comparatively successful driving career, Childress really struck pay dirt as a team owner with Dale Earnhardt as his driver.

Being the super-most-amazingest NASCAR team owner ever evidently wasn’t enough for Mr. Childress, so in 2003 he opened Childress Vineyards in the Yadkin Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area).  I knew that if I took one sip, I would have to write about the wine, and my total lack of understanding of NASCAR would leap out in great big neon lights above my house saying, “Yankee.”

Brave I am not, but I really wanted a nice glass of wine tonight, so I took the plunge.  A Meritage wine (rhymes with heritage, not garage) is a proprietary wine term that essentially means a Bordeaux style blend.  Typically this type of wine has Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and a few other red grapes in the blend.  They tend to be softer and smoother to drink than a pure varietal red wine.  I like the Bordeaux blends, so it isn’t a great leap into the Meritage wines.

Mr. Childress, either in spite of or because of his amazing success in racing, has crafted a wonderful example of a Meritage wine.  I recommend decanting or using an aerator, since it comes out of the bottle with strong tannins and a bit chalky taste.  With a bit of air though, the big full flavors and rich silky texture really shines.  I am anxious to try more of racing’s finest soon.