Friday, June 29, 2007

Who's a Gooseberry Now?

I'm not a gooseberry. Sure, I'm ocassionally known to be spunky, but I'm way too sweet to be anything like the little green sour gooseberry ball that exlodes like an unripe plum in your mouth. Did I say they taste like unripe plums? I meant unripe plum SKINS.

What is a gooseberry and why am I talking about it?
Other than being a bush-grown berry commonly found in Europe (especially Britian), Asia and ocassionally in the Eastern United States, it is a fruit that the elusive wine writers often refer to when describing the flavors of Sauvignon Blanc.
"the sauvignon blanc is crisp, grapefruit scented and bursting with gooseberry nuances."

What does a gooseberry taste and smell like?
It's good to know this so that you'll have an idea of what a wine writer means when they're describing a Sauvingon Blanc with "gooseberry characteristics" Because, lets's be honest, the wine writer probably won't tell you what they mean.
Beyond what I described above, the little green gems taste spicey. Maybe even cinnamoney and peppery, but just a touch. They smell like grapferuit and lemons and everything spunky and fresh.

Do Sauvignon Blancs really smell like gooseberries?
Some do. Most people also exude a light gooseberry smell when provoked.

Next post: Rockin the light Spanish wines in summer

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Good Picnic Wines 1

Good Picnic Wines: As Easy to Find as Flowers are to Pick from Your Neighbors Yard When She's Sleeping (and not because you gave her a light sedative)

The most important thing to remember when picking yourslef out a picnic wine is that anything will work. Really, anything. It's a picnic. Stress should only be involved if hornets attack the lunchmeat. The above pictures are a case in point. I say drink whatever the invitees bring, preferably out of plastic cups.

However, if you are the one buying the wine (for example, if your invitees are in charge of the ice-cream cake), my motto for choosing a picnic wine is that the simplier, lighter, the perkier the wine, the better. The point of the event is the fresh air, the fresh, enjoyable food, the company, and,... sitting on or very very near grass. The wine should be pleasent, fun wine. Something that doesn't take you away from the company or the grass because you can't figure out what that frieken smell is the plastic cup. In other words, the wine shouldn't scream out for a decanter.

My wedding, pictured in the recent post, was an outdoors reception. The menu was all picnic- yummy sandwhiches from our local top-notch deli, Greek potato salad, fresh salad greens with a balsamic vinegarette, cherries and strawberries and cheese plates. All of this food lovliness can be viewed on the lastest post, in picture two. The wine that we served was just as light and fresh as the food. We served Verasol for the red (pictured in the lastest post, first picture)- an inexpensive, light Spanish Grenache that gave off dark fruit and stoney aromas. The white was Domaine de Pellehaut (not pictured)- a French wine from the Gascony region made of Ugni Blanc and Colombard . Smelled like pear and flowers. Our sparkling was a Cremant d'Alasce- the pictured sparkling on this post. But I'm all for anything. I might consider an un-oaky chardonnay, like the LaLande, the last picture in the previous post. Or a pinot noir. And definitely, I'd serve beer, like we did at our wedding.

By the way, my definition of a picnic is very basic. Nice sandwhiches, a potato salad, fruit. Maybe even cold barbequed chicken and a little cheese. Don't get caught up on the idea that the cheese and the wine must match. They musn't. Not for a picnic, because, as I mentioned before, the point of a picnic is not the matching perfection of the wine and the food. It's the company, the fresh air. If the wine and cheese don't match pefectly, finish eating the cheese, have a bite of potato salad, and then the take a sip of the wine.

Summer doesn't last forever, so relax and indulge in the incrediable seasonal oppurtunity to drink wine from plastic cups.

Note: All photos were taken by photographer Thomas Hopkins

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Picnic Wines: Light and Simple 2

It's been awhile since my latest post. This is because since my latest edition to vindelatable, I have gained a lovely ring on my finger. And it takes a lot off work to get that second ring. You've got to pick out ribbons with your name on them to wrap wedding party favors in, you have to decide if your name or your fiance's name goes first on the ribbon, and you have to decide, if you want the ribbons to boast your new last name in order to honor your fabulous new life together, you have to decide which, if any, last name you'll choose. And then you have to breathe. So I couldn't find it in my loving heart to write.
P.S. it was an awesome, beautiful, happy day. Furthermore, my honeymoon was beachy and sunny and beer and tan-filled (pictures of beach drinks to come).

But I'm back and in full force at writing now, after the marraige celebrations have dwindled down. Kind of. Anyhow, my next topic will be "Picnic Wines: Light and Simple," otherwise known as,"Good Picnic Wine: As Easy to Find as Flowers are to Gather From Your Neighboor's Yard While She's Sleeping."

The wines featured in the photos are picnic wines (also served at my wedding reception). And the food is picnic food (served on my big day as well.) Pictures of people drinking at my wedding to follow. I'm covering all the bases. The pictures were taken by our enchanting wedding photographer, Thomas Hopkins, in Sacramento. Except for the amazing photo of the Laland Chardonnay. Of course, I took that special shot.

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