Why Can’t We Not Be Sober
It’s sort of strange to picture Maynard James Keenan making wine. But… well, here we are!
If you’re not familiar, Mr. Keenan is a rare sort of artist. After turning down a commission to West Point in favor of a direction that led him to co-found the rock group TOOL (among other things) Keenan’s pretty much secured his place as a future Hall of Famer. Which is why it’s so… well, weird to hear his name in connection with the Stronghold Winery. Like, aren’t rock stars supposed to be making cheap vodkas with no taste? Aren’t they supposed to offer crazy bottles that look like body parts? How is this Stronghold Wines Mandala 4 Pack Sampler a simple-yet-elegant mix of generous reds and whites?
It could be that partner Eric Glomski keeps him in check, but more likely it’s that Keenan approaches this project the way he’s approached everything else: as an artist. The two bottles of 2010 Mandala White carry flavors you might never associate with the mind behind AEnema: ripe peach, nectarine, apricot, and tangerine. Sounds more like Around The World In A Day, doesn’t it? And yet, you’ll be surprised how well this wine goes with fresh oysters, or maybe creamy cheese and dried fruit.
Don’t think he’s neglecting the dark side, though. The shadowy 2010 Mandala Red is just as good as the brighter white. You’ll first confront voluptuous aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, spice, and they’ll all lead into strong red plums and pomegranate. Underneath are hidden secrets that resolve into black pepper, anise, vanilla and violets. Yes, violets. Who knew, right? But don’t you fret, because this fantastic red goes nicely with barbecued Italian sausage and roasted bell peppers.
If you’ve made it this far with Keenan’s bands, there’s a good chance you’ll trust his decisions. Give his wine a shot, huh? Because a true artist never stays still, and always produces something of worth. We’re thinking these four bottles should qualify.
Back to top