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I can’t commit…

July 29, 2010

Summer used to be my favorite time of year back when I was in grade school. Each day after a 6:30am swim team practice and a slew of chores, I would escape outside and play capture the flag, basketball and swing on my huge wooden swing set. My family had THE BEST backyard in the entire  neighborhood. Good ole Firlock in Kingsgate community. If you’re scratching your head, stop it, I grew up in Washington State, not Andover, MA. Well, nowadays, I work while kids waste their summer holiday inside on their PSP and Ipods. It really bothers me that since I’m an adult and I can’t act a fool without serious sideways glares, judgments and a trip to the chiropractor. So now, instead of choosing from countless summer games and random college bridges to jump off…

Daniel Duffy off the UW Bridge, courtesy of Amy Galbraith

I can enjoy a smattering of colorful beverage choices to enlighten my summer evenings… you know, when I’m back from one of my multiple jobs. Rose recently became my summer favorite and I’m struggling to allow myself to wander away from the tantalizing pink juice. See, I can’t rely upon my taste buds right now when it comes to sampling red wines, they are just too “hot” for me. This means that the wine is either served above an appropriate temperature (hello, like EVERY restaurant) or the tannins and grip of the wine is comes across as much too warm for our weather. So, I’ve taken to throwing my reds into the fridge for about ten minutes or so prior to enjoying! It’s a bit unorthodox to “chill” your reds but I’m not talking about a bulky cab or a snappy zin, rather a Pinot Noir and Gamay. Necessary disclaimer: Not every Pinot Noir is light in body. My recommendations revolve around Pinots I thought were medium in body and not overly spicy.


Black Sheep Pinot Noir is made by two crazy dudes from France who, like many of their Languedoc comrades, make wines that basically flip the middle finger to the appellation laws and growing restrictions of France.

Black Sheep served by means of a ten minute chill is a perfect summer red that isn’t going to punch you dead in the mouth, but also isn’t as acidic and flowery as a white wine. The summer’s heat burns my feet, enter my chill on light-medium bodied reds option as a substitute for rose.

Gamay is my other recommendation for hot, hot evenings where whites aren’t invited! Beaujolais Village ( not Nouveau, that’s only in November!) is a fruity, happy little red that just wants to come on your Sunday Funday picnic. Yes, this wine likes to invite itself! Not unlike that childhood “friend” in the neighborhood who would always appear RIGHT when you were about to all walk to the new McDonald’s. Oh come on, we ALL had one of those kids in our circle of friends. Dane Cook calls that person “Karen“. Well, this Gamay is a bit more rewarding then Karen ever was. Stinkin’ Karen.

Now, I just said I’d prefer a rose to a white in summer because of my red wine preference. Well, true the title of this little rant, I’m going to have to offer a shout out to a little unknown wine called Gruner Veltliner. Oh sure, it’s from Austria and the best part of the wine might by pronouncing the name with a mock German accent. Try Grooo-nah Vehlt-leenah.

Drink this!

HAHAHAHA! you totally just did that out loud!

Gruner is a spicy little white from Europe that likes to keep you guessing. Is that spice? NO! citrus? not like a Sauvignon Blanc – WAIT! that sweet spice smells like apple cider. Shoot, what IS this I smell? Try being me. I can solidify about four key smells but the rest is a bit of a mystery. This is a GOOD thing because it means that Gruner has dimension. I enjoyed this wine yesterday after gettin’ out of my restaurant job and smelling of soft shell crab… yea, everyone wanted crustacean last night. Well, I ended my sweaty evening with half a bottle of Huber Gruner Veltliner and it couldn’t have help my close my night any better.

To come full circle, rose rocks in our summer weather. Chilled medium bodied wines offer a new perspective for wine enthusiasts to try, and Gruner Veltliner is a must-try. Also, I just can’t commit to a single drink to save my life. Right now, siiiigh I might be drinking a white wine spritzer made with good ole Yellow Tale and Sprite Zero with a lemon. (my lime had molded in the fridge!)

Also, we learned that Karen still invites herself to your parties! Stinkin’ Karen.

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