Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rainy Days with Rose'

Elvis is dreaming of chasing pigeons at my feet, his legs twitching wildly in an imagined chase across the park in his head. My feet are up, bowl of soup in hand, and I'm ready to go. Almost....It's raining outside. Not just rain, but that dark, gloomy, 'put on your best sweatpants' kind of weather that keeps us from truly functioning on a day like today. If Only it were Sunday.....Ahhh...but it could be! I walk to the fridge and instantly make the choice between ice tea and a chilled bottle of Domaines Ott Chateau de Selle Rose' (really WAS there a choice in there?).

Butternut squash soup with truffle oil?- OH YEAH! A little fresh pepper? Don't mind if I do! Now it's seasoned perfectly to bring out the spicy and elegantly crisp wild strawberry flavors of the Ott. Juicy pears, and a hint of white pepper and tropical fruit take you to the white, sandy beaches of St. Tropez, where beautifully tanned people hand you glass after glass on your private yacht whilst sailing with Matthew McConaughey (sans shirt of course!)- Sorry this is MY daydream we're in. For you gentlemen, just improvise- I suggest Penelope Cruz- lol!

Anyway, I digress. Ott may be the "King" of Rose, but the Queen is without a doubt the gorgeous wines of Bandol, made primarily from the Mourvedre grape. These wines of great intensity and character are noble and refined. Truly of royal blood. For the best of the best, try Domaine Tempier or Chateau Pibarnon. They are the benchmark for the region and will stop the show with their floral nature. Tiger Lilies come to mind with pineapple and dried cranberries. Gorgeous.

Back to my couch and Facebook on this rainy day. But I'm not at all discontented with my Ott, my soup, and my trusty Labrador at my side.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Sauvignon Blanc and Cat's Pee

Ok, if I were stuck drinking one wine day in and day out, I must say (and my wine geek friends will surely have a field day and roll their eyes at me) that Sauvignon Blanc can be pure, unadulterated sipping pleasure. Just the right touch of acidity, and that tart, juicy grapefruit and hint of freshly mown hay mingled with gooseberry to give me goosebumps. I'm NEVER without a bottle in the fridge, as it never fails to please. The bad day at the office. The argument with the bill eollector on the phone? Sauv Blanc. The crappy service at my favorite happy hour haunt? Nothing a decent glass of Sancerre can't fix! It truly is a rugged, all-purpose white. Kind of like Rue in a good chef's kitchen- it simply wouldn't be complete without it. It is the basis upon all good things are started. In fact, I don't doubt there was a little Haut Brion Blanc passed around during the signing of our nation's Constitution! Hey- what could be more inspirational than that? As I sit here, drinking the dregs of my last gorgeous sip of Merry Edwards Russian River Sauvignon Blanc from my glass, I wonder what great works of art and what melodic symphonies were composed over this humble grape? It knows no pretense, it does not age exceptionally well (unless adulterated with a decent whallop of Semillon), yet it never ceases to impress with its layers and complexity, its structure and austerity, and the sheer class and darn drinkability of our wonderful, delicious Sauvignon Blanc. Cat's Pee in a glass? I think NOT!

Friday, September 10, 2010

You know your day is going badly when cocktail hour starts at 4....

Hello Fellow Winos!

What wine to drink with a case of the blues? Today for me it's Serge Lalou Sancerre. Why? I had it in half bottle, so quantity control was of the essence (therefore no hangover for my silliness). My honey is off traveling in France drinking Chateauneuf du Pape without me (as a matter of fact, I believe he's having dinner tonight at none other than Domaine Pegau- Very jealous!), my dog is laying beside me begging for some frisbee-action, and I'm strapped to my laptop on the couch, woeing over my finances and how to change them.

I suppose we all do this from time to time, and it occured to me that certain wines have a way of "lifting me up" rather than bringing me down. Here's a list of "Wine Uppers" I've stumbled upon over the years, and some definite "Downers" that should be avoided when one finds oneself in a melancholy state. Cheers to experimenting and finding out what works for you! (Just keep some Kleenex nearby and some DVDs of 30 Rock on hand for emergencies if it goes the wrong way!)

Wine Uppers:
These need to have the right balance of acidity. They truly need to have "lift" in their very nature and character. For instance, my heart soars with Barbera and Dolcetto, I get giddy with Gavi, and simply silly with Sancerre (like right now!)........I digress...A wine for me that refreshes the palate also refreshes and invigorates the spirit, so I gravitate towards this style whenever I find myself having a rough day or a foul mood. Sauvignon Blanc from anywhere outside of the Americas is my "stand-by, fail-safe" wine for any fight with the guy on the corner who failed to yield to a pedestrian. Jeez....SOME people! Anyway....Check out juicy, and refreshing Oregon Pinot Noir or those from Burgundy or even New Zealand! Yeah, they got GREAT juice there too! If that doesn't pick you up like Hulk Hogan lifting a 5lb weight, then wine just isn't your thing, baby!

Wine Downers (to be avoided at the cost of your marriage, your children's happiness, and your co-workers who hate to be drunk-dialed (AGAIN)).
Syrah. Yeah, you know the stuff. Aka Shiraz, it's the big, black dense, chewy, and extremely high alcohol stuff that always gets us into trouble. Same with Cabernet. Not too many people should sit around sipping Cabernet after a hard day's work, unless they have a good dentist and a shrink on speed dial. Not only will it stain your teeth, it will make all those mommy issues come up at midnight when you least expect it. Don't be tempted! Zinfandel? No coincidence that it rhymes with hell! Which is what you will feel like the next day if you get going on this high alcohol, big, fruity wine without a big plate of bbq ribs in front of you to soak up all that alcohol. Just don't do it!

So do yourselves (and me) a favor. First, lose my telephone # before you start dialing tonight, then second, stick to the light, refreshing wines to keep happy hour just that- HAPPY!

Cheers Everyone!