Friday, June 11, 2010

Weekend Wine

Some weeks, the stars align just right--the universe, we could say, decides to throw me a bone--and I have the very good fortune to taste wines that remind me exactly what makes this juice so special, and so different from anything else we can drink.

As I reported here on Tuesday, Monday evening’s Wine Media Guild dinner afforded me the opportunity to taste everything from Grand Cru white Burgundy and 60-year-old white Port to 1994 Jordan and Cos d’Estournel--and a whole bunch of great bottles in between.

Wednesday night, at the Wine Chateau Piscataway store, was the first of what hopefully will be many Sip and Twit tastings. Over the course of those three hours, we sampled five different bottlings from Iron Horse, including the Classic Vintage Brut 2005, Wedding Cuvee 2006, Unoaked Chardonnay 2007, Estate Chardonnay 2008, and Estate Pinot Noir 2007.

Then, last night, my wife and I enjoyed dinner with close friends, and Miguel Lecuona (who writes the fantastic City Wine Journal), brought along some seriously delicious treats, including a Chateau Palmer 1970, Chateau Latour à Pomerol 2001, and Chateau d’Yquem 1995.

I didn’t want to brush my teeth when I got home.

But the weekend is almost here, the temps are expected to rise, and the time, it seems, has arrived to start thinking about what to drink as the end of the work-week rolls around.

Personally, I’m a big believer in popping the corks--or unscrewing the caps--on bottles that are fun, relatively straightforward, and pair well with the foods of the season.

My friend Ben Weinberg, an internationally published wine writer, focuses on the wines of the season in the latest installment of his newsletter Unfiltered, Unfined. In this issue, he notes that summer is almost here, and the “change of seasons seems to alter other elements of life, as well. Meals tend to be quick and light and our beverages follow suit. Wine is no different, and an important part of vinous enjoyment is cracking open bottles that particularly complement warm weather, lighter food, and long, outdoor evenings.”

He goes on to recommend everything from solid sparklers to popular but still-underappreciated rosés to reds that will work wonders as the mercury climbs. Both Ben’s specific recommendations and the guiding philosophies behind them are excellent, and should really get you thinking about what to open this weekend.

Take a look, pop some corks, and enjoy the next couple of days off.


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