January 25, 2020 is the Chinese New Year of the Metal Rat. In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. According to chinesenewyear.net, “The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first...”
The Rat is the first sign from the 12 animals cycle of the Chinese Astrology, and for this reason, 2020 is considered a year of new beginnings and renewal. Everyone will show determination regarding their goals, aspirations, and even their hobbies. This is a great year for founding and evolving. Those who plan to buy real estate, to start a business or to invest money in a long-term project have great chances of being satisfied in the future…The metal element creates water, which means productivity and activity for the metal industries. These include the production of cars and machinery, IT, high tech industry, cosmetics, and health…All the actions initiated this year are driven by success. You need to follow your goals with confidence and determination…During the Metal Rat Year, apart from the moments when exhaustion gets to manifest, all the zodiac signs will enjoy good health…All throughout 2020, luck is on your side, but you need to seize it as soon as it knocks to your door. (www.thechinesezodiac.org)
So it looks like opportunities abound for us this new Chinese year. Don’t settle for the status quo. Try new things; new restaurants and new wines. Go travel. And make a fortune. Here are some wines with a “rat” theme that you may want to have with your Chinese New Year’s dinner or anytime throughout the Year of the Metal Rat. Enjoy.
Rat Themed Wines
I searched all four corners of the earth, but it appears that naming wine after a rat is not highly regarded. So no wines were identified. That being said, there are a few wineries that talk about being a “cellar rat”, so going on that theme I have a few wines from these wineries that I would like to suggest to you.
According to Colloca Estate Winery in New York state, a cellar rat is: “One who labours in the cellar (or barrel room) of a winery, never seeing the light of day. Quite like a rat.” They are in a cool climate area and have 3 Rieslings and a Chardonnay and range of reds from cooler climate Pinot Noir to warmer Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. www.collocawines.com
At Whitehall Lane in St. Helena, California, their head cellar rat is Fernando Cortez crew for more than 21 years. Fernando says of his cellar rat life at harvest, “…this is a season of long working hours for the cellar crew; days typically begin at 6:30 am as they await the arrival of grapes that have been picked in the early dawn hours. Work days are seven days a week, and 10-14 hours per day, with an average day bringing in 25-30 tons of grapes to be crushed…Beard growing contests at Whitehall Lane? Well, this popular contest didn’t start out intentionally. The tradition came during harvest season when our crew didn’t have the time to shave very often, and if they find the time, they were just too tired!” https://whitehalllane.com/ They have an impressive lineup of red wines from Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon and red blends. Their white wines are simplified to a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc.
If you would like to purchase wines from either winery, it looks like you need to order directly from the winery or pick the wine up at the winery.
I also thought about the rat’s cousin, the mouse. What could I find about mice related to wine? One article that I found very interesting is the Sherry-drinking mice of Tio Pepe! It appears that they put out a glass of sherry for them and a little ladder so that they can climb to the top of the glass. Read about the Sherry-drinking mice of Tio Pepe.