The common belief is that President Reagan was referring to his dealings with the Russians when he advised, “Trust, but verify.”
Very few people know that he was actually talking about white wine blends.
White wine blends, unlike red wine blends, are dicey. The exquisite characteristics of a Montrachet, chablis, white Bordeaux or unoaked chardonnay do not invite company: they’re fine the way they are. It’s different with cabs, Carmignanos, cabernet francs, merlots and shiraz. These hearty fellows play off one another, often with delightful results.
Still, very occasionally, a white blend comes along that is pleasing to the palate. Being naturally optimistic and trusting the good people at the Apothic Winery in Modesto, Calif., we invested $8.99 in a bottle of Apothic White 2015 Winemaker’s Blend (Hannaford).
Though Apothic’s reds (each and every one a killer) never disappoint, the White Blend was a source of infinite sadness.
The label said it was “refreshing,” and “bright” and “vibrant” and “crisp.” And we trusted these claims (see quote, above).
Had we taken the initiative to verify, we would have learned what the label did not list. To wit, the blending agents. To a base of chardonnay is added more than a hint of riesling, which is mildly sweet and generally (and charitably) described as a “picnic wine.” But they didn’t stop there. Added to the chard and the riesling is moscato, which comes from Italy and pairs nicely with pancakes. The result is a wine so sweet that the threat from over-indulgence is not so much inebriation as cavities.
Though the experience put us off white blends (no great loss there) it did remind us that President Reagan left us with some pretty cool bon mots. Who could disagree with this one: “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
Or this one: “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
And if you-know-who gets elected president, no doubt the ghost of The Gipper will loom up over the Rio Grande and cry out: “Tear down this wall!”