Sunday, January 31, 2010
Throwback Mountain Dew
Has there been a Back-to-the-Roots campaign in Soft Drink Land? Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Mountain Dew have killed the High Fructose Corn Syrup kick and added real sugar for a limited time. They’ve also rolled back the old-fashioned cans. Throwback Mountain Dew resembles a lowbrow beer. If that’s not going to get you excited I don’t know what will.
I need to be upfront. My first sip had me shaking my head. For whatever reason, it tasted a bit like Theraflu. I think it needed a bit more chill-time. All beverages have an optimum serving temperature. The only lukewarm soft drink I can bear is ginger ale, but that’s me. After a while, the Throwback Mountain Dew opened up. What at first threw me for an ephemeral loop grew on me. The sour side became savory; its sweetness unveiled. It had balance reminding me of the great pour-me-a-pitcher’s-worth homemade lemonade my best buddy’s mom made from fresh-squeezed lemons. Throwback also reminded me of Mellow Yellow. Remember that bad boy.
The more I started to enjoy it I wondered why I had a first impression of Theraflu. Then I recalled one of my most memorable white wine experiences, Coenobium, a wild quartet of four seemingly implausible grapes: Verdicchio, Grechetto, Malvasia, Trebbiano— none of which were indigenous to the parcel in Lazio where the Sisters of the Cistercian Order toiled over the vines. Forget about all the nun-plowing-the-fields hype, which I was fully aware of, I had set high expectations for this Bea blend. I had never been a big fan of the father’s (Paolo) hyperbolic Sagrantino, but I was willing to put aside my hang-up with nepotism to improve my palate.
I was dumbfounded by the rich savoriness of the wine. From the first sip I had this woozy liquid penicillin sensation jitterbugging on my tongue. To another wine slut this might be a turnoff, but I was lulled. I direct your attention back to the Theraflu greeting from my Throwback Mountain Dew. The more I reflected upon it I realized that I was making a connection to pleasant wooziness. This is I had also done with my first taste of Coenobium. Who knows why we make all these weird associations? Some of us have weirder tastescapes than others but it helps to be in tune with it so that you translate it properly long after the first impression has worn off.
Down to the bottom of the can, I wished I had gambled and picked up a full case. The tinny quality pressing into the lip beats anything bottle-poured (particularly plastic bottles). There, I’ve tipped my hand. Throwback MD is cursed with a yucky aftertaste. There’s a brilliant softness like a wet ball of cotton candy melting to its final speck whereas its evil twin with artificial sweetener is loaded to the gills with syrup.
The promo label gets it all wrong. There’s a hick getting rocket-corked through the brim of his skuzzy hat. Call me a sucker for irony. This is the perfect soft drink for unwinding in one’s Jacuzzi, a cold towel wrapped sausage-like around the neck. It’s one heck of a swill.