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We’ve enjoyed a couple of new wines over the past week, either of which would make an excellent choice for Thanksgiving dinner if you’re still casting about for something unique to bring.

We enjoyed a bottle of L’Ecole No. 41 2001 Columbia Valley Merlot the other evening, a gift from a generous MNB user, and it was fantastic – smooth and supple and just wonderful. It’s actually a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere. But it’s all great.

We also enjoyed a 2002 Buckeley’s Shiraz from South Australia, which was a very nice surprise – the label says it has flavors of plum, blackberry, chocolate and pepper…though we thought the prevailing flavor was a kind of deep cherry. We loved it, and will certainly be bringing a bottle to dinner tomorrow night.

As for movies, we regret to tell you that one you can avoid is “National Treasure,” the new Nicolas Cage adventure film, which plays out like “The DaVinci Code For Dummies.” (If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie…and it is shorter and better paced.) There’s absolutely nothing intelligent about it, and makes us look forward even more to the movie version of “DaVinci,” which will star Tom Hanks. (We were very happy with the casting of Hanks as hero Robert Langdon instead of a more traditional choice such as Russell Crowe, who reportedly was the other option. There’s a good lesson here – sometimes it make sense to make the unconventional choice, because it puts a unique spin on your product.)
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