For most people, the term “memento” means “keepsake.” That’s why the bottle art for the 2010 Memento Red Blend is so clever. It’s a checklist designed for a gifter to give to a giftee, complete with all the reasons the recipient is lucky enough to be given a bottle of wine. Essentially, it’s a slightly snarky Hallmark moment wrapped around a bottle.
The thing is, I’m not always like most people. When I think of “memento,” the first thing that comes to mind is Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending 2000 film, starring Guy Pearce as a man trying to solve his wife’s murder without the benefit of short-term memory. Happily, I am the beneficiary of memory, and the wine of the same name takes me back to the experience of seeing the movie.
I was a regular at an independent Seattle movie theater that sold food and alcohol. It was a little shabby, and it screened second-run films along with a smattering of first-run pictures, the sort of place where you could sit and enjoy a greasy buffalo-chicken sandwich and a beer in an almost-empty movie theater. I knew very little about that movie when I went in, and I enjoyed myself immensely. Sadly, though, not enough people discovered that little spot, and despite my status as a regular, I went to see a film one cold Saturday afternoon but was instead greeted by a hand-scratched note on the door: “Closed Forever.”
Back to the wine: This Memento is 86-percent Syrah, the rest a fruity Grenache. Put them together and you find that the dark plum and cherries of the Syrah nicely complement the lighter Grenache in a way that has some complexity but is also easily accessible. It sells for just $7 at Trader Joe’s—a good deal, either for a gift or for you to drink at home. And while my own version of a memento may be a little different, this wine helped me remember a bit of my past, which, I suppose, makes it a memento after all.