I did not make Pete, the wine or the politician.
My friend, Shane, was the winemaker of the 80% Les Collines Merlot and 20% Chandler Reach Cab Franc blend. The grapes were sourced from the same lots that were used to make our 2018 vintage political series - Kamala Walla Walla, Notorious RBG, and AOC Columbia Valley. It seems fitting to add Pete to the mix, especially with the hullabaloo around his wine cave fundraising event. (This wine blogger/winemaker has no objection to wine caves and even wrote a blog post about wine caves and politics.)
|Shane and I with our 2018 vintage|
Now coming back to the wine. At the time of bottling the 2018 vintage, Pete Buttigieg was gearing up his campaign to seek the Democratic Party nomination for the 2020 presidential race. He was a fresh face, incredibly bright, and exuded an Obama-esque presence.
Fast forward to 2022, Mayor Pete of Sound Bend, Indiana is now Secretary Pete of Transportation. He ended up fifth in the primary among a myriad of candidates seeking to unseat the incumbent at that time. There is even a documentary, Mayor Pete, that followed him through his campaign trail.
Pete, the wine, has had three years of age on it at the time of this blog post. It seems like the right time to revisit the wine while watching the documentary. (Credits to Alisa Kessel, Political Science Professor at the University of Puget Sound and once my partner-in-wine, for the suggestion.)
|Enjoying Mayor Pete with a glass of Pete|
Here is my review:
Deep ruby and inky, Pete opened up with a burst of dark fruit aroma of blackberry, plum, and fig. The fruit flavors are concentrated on the palate reminiscent of fig jam and stewed plums with a touch of spice and vegetal notes towards the end. The wine is luscious and full-bodied with soft hairy tannins and puckering acidity. The finish is lingering and balanced.
Compared to the first time I tasted Pete, the wine has developed beautifully and is exhibiting aging potential. Thankfully I have a few bottles left and look forward to revisiting the wine over time.
The film started with Pete Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, suggesting a few interview questions that were directed at the young politician’s identity. Buttigieg was after all relatively unknown on the national platform but had enjoyed professional and regional political success while keeping a closeted past. It was not till his early 30’s that Buttigieg came out as a gay person, and that was only seven years ago. The film attempted to unearth who Buttigieg was, not just for the audience but perhaps even for the protagonist himself. As Chasten so eloquently put it, “Don’t bullsh*t us, Peter.”
From the start of the campaign trail to his appointment as Secretary of Transportation, the film chronicled the peaks and valleys of the political journey. Through it, Buttigieg strove to “master the game without it changing (him).” Yet, it is a fine line to not be corrupted by the process but to grow and be better from it. I do see a transformation at the end of the film and would attribute it to the latter.
My Verdict: Pete, the wine, was made with quality ingredients and nurtured in the right conditions. It is developing well and will continue to age beautifully. I certainly have reasons to hope the same for Pete, the politician. Secretary Pete, time is certainly on your side, and many will be keeping their eyes on you. Cheers!