Rocking into Wine is Life today and borrowed a CD from Simon. It was April Wine’s Greatest Hits. Some soft rock head banging, but still, took us back to our youth. Went to see them at a charity show back in 1977 and they were the headliner with an opening act that we’d never heard of, The Cockroaches. Turned out to be The Rolling Stones performing incognito. But that’s for another post.
When we finally checked in at the office we opened our email and received an alert that it was National Milkshake Day. Turns out that it’s also National Lollipop Day. Seems like there’s a day or a month for just about everything. June 21 is National Ride a Skateboard Day. We all know that we celebrate America’s independence on July 4, but did you know that we also celebrate in July Eggplant & Lettuce Month, Be Nice to New Jersey Week, National Ventriloquism Week, Zip Code Day, Bikini Day, World Kiss Day, Collector Car Appreciation Day, and System Administrator Appreciation Day?
We knew about Bikini Day and Collector Car Day because, well, bikinis and that one day a year that Simon waxes up the Gremlin, but good golly! Is there ever a good reason to be nice to New Jersey? There is something for everyone in just about every month, week, or day of the year. You know the one thing that we noticed was missing from this list of remembrances and observations?
We’ve decided to declare July 4 National Have Some Wine Day. Heck, why not make it a Wine Week. Better yet; let’s make July a great big honking festival of Wine! We know, it’s going to be hot and everyone is going to be sucking back lemonades, cold beers, and icy mint juleps, but there’s no reason that you can’t get into a little Vino as you celebrate America’s independence and our contribution to the global economy of those hats with the beer-holders on the sides.
That being said, here’s a list of some fine wines for your summer observance:
Madeira: George Washington drank it with every evening meal. Thomas “Tommy” Jefferson loved the stuff. How patriotic is that? Madeira is great because it likes sunlight. When it was first shipped long distances it was for cooking, and happy chefs discovered that a little heat made it a bit tastier and stronger. That makes it #1 in our book. You can also leave it uncorked and it will be just fine. This makes it perfect for a picnic table while you play lawn darts, and the heartiness pairs perfectly with hamburgers. You can pick up a Broadbent for about $25 or Blandy’s 5-year old from Portugal for about $20. Hey, Christopher Columbus was from Portugal so you can kill two holidays with one bottle.
Pinot Noir: Generally a little fruity, a little spicy, and a little smoky. It makes a nice compliment for a bowl of fresh melon, a nice blend of sweet and sour. Australians have gotten pretty good at making wine, and you can get a good bottle of Innocent Bystander from Melbourne for about a twenty-spot. That way when you knock over the fruit tray you can wave your glass and say, “Hey…Innocent Bystander.”
Zinfandel: When you think of “The Zin” you probably think of the second cousin, White Zinfandel, but Zinfandel is a red. Same basic grapes, but a different process and a totally different kettle of wine. The cool thing is that you can serve it straight out of the bottle or you can lightly chill it. Either way you can skip the glass and go straight for the bottle. It generally tastes of red berries and a bit of pepper, so great with kabobs or a nice hunk of steak. We recommend utensils for those. Seghesio is in Sonoma, California, so it’s patriotic. When he’s not screaming, “Show me your tiger!” director Francis Coppola makes some nice wines. You can get his Director’s Cut Zinfandel for a reasonable price and make everyone offers that they can’t refuse.
Champagne: We’re celebrating, right? Why not get into some bubbly? It’s light, fresh, cold, and will tickle your nose enough that you won’t smell everyone else’s sweat. What could be more classy and chi-chi than a nice bottle of Champagne and a big honking bowl of fresh strawberries? Since we’re celebrating our break-up with England and they still haven’t dated anyone else yet, throw them a bone with some Ridgeview Cavendish. Not a true champagne, but a sparkling white, and it is made in England. And like the time that you asked out England’s BFF, what she don’t know won’t hurt her.
Table Wine: Sometimes it’s not about labels and fancy pedigrees, but rather about sharing the love of wine. Or maybe it’s about drowning out your nephew’s whining. Either way, a perfect accoutrement for any checkered table cloth is a round container crammed full of glistening ice cubes and several bottles of table wines. Since deciding between one’s family and one’s sanity is often a difficult choice, we recommend Conundrum. Made in California, tastes good, ‘nuff said.