Before wine took over my life my interests included politics, economics, and taxes. I’m still very passionate about all three subjects and they are easy to follow because they are all related. My wife was happy when I began tuning down the politics, as I was (and still am from time to time) volatile at dinner parties when politics get discussed. But this time of year, March to April 15th, is one of my favorite times of year because I enjoy doing taxes. Yeah, I know I’m a nut case.
I still do about 10 peoples’ taxes a year, down from about 50, comprised mostly of family and friends. It’s fun for the most part, sometimes a little scary, especially when I call them on the phone and tell them, “You owe…” Doing taxes is a window into someone’s financial soul it’s very interesting to see how a person thinks financially about their world.
This year, after being told they’ll get a nice refund, one longtime client rewarded my “labors” with a bottle of wine Stonestreet Merlot 2005. Now, my favorite wine is the one that didn’t cost me anything, but oh baby, this was a great bottle of wine!
The color was a pleasing deep reddish-purple. The hook for me on this wine was the nose. I loved it. It’s not your typical Merlot; stronger, more like a Cabernet than a Merlot. The taste was excellent: deep, slightly tannic (dry), with deep red fruits that were very tasty, and with a nice lingering finish. I find merlot’s a bit “soft”, but not this one this had spice and fire of a Syrah or Zinfandel. The winemaker did an outstanding job of bring out the intensity of the Merlot grape displaying more muscle and flavor in this wine than in most other Merlots I’ve drank.
Now if just enjoying a great glass of wine isn’t enough reason to go out and get a bottle of Stonestreet, let me give you some tax reasons to drink. The average American needs to work until April 17th to pay their combined Federal, State, and Local taxes. That’s 29.2% of your income. Think about that. If you are lucky to live in Texas your Tax Freedom date is April 11th (nice job guys, wish I was there.) In California, you skip free on April 20th. For my buddy in Washington you’re off the hook April 24th. Massachusetts, you get emancipated April 22nd, Illinois gets off the treadmill on April 23rd, while New York and New Jersey are free on May 1st. But here in Connecticut, we’re number one, we’re number one; we have to work to May 5th to enjoy the people’s socialist workers paradise. Remember this the next time you vote. Now, where’s that bottle of wine!