Spring has arrived, and with the warm weather and sunny days comes a renewed craving for all things light, clean, crisp and refreshing in wine. Among the many occasions that spring gives the wine drinking aficionado, Easter offers a golden egg of an opportunity to enjoy a multitude of wines that fit this style.
Have you heard? March is Washington Wine Month, which is really just a national excuse to venture out of our California wine habit and to consider our second biggest wine producing state.
Last month I was invited to dinner at one of those splashy Miami restaurants. I arrived early and decided to order a glass of wine at the bar. They had an eclectic, by the glass selection which immediately raised my good vibe of the establishment. As I sat there enjoying a glass of Franciacorta, I grew increasingly disheartened listening to what people were ordering. I must have heard at least a dozen times, “I’ll have a glass of Chardonnay/ Pinot Grigio/ Cabernet”, and that’s OK if all you want is something in your glass you are familiar with. The longer I sat there the stronger my urge grew to ask someone, “Don’t you have any sense of adventure? They have such a great selection of wine by the glass!”
Not long after being bitten by the wine bug I developed a desire to have an awe-inspiring wine cellar. A dark, quiet, underground sanctuary where I could showcase my collection of world class wines and share them with friends. Nearly forty years later, and having never won the lottery, I’m still dreaming of that cellar.
So, you are hosting, but your knowledge of opening and serving wine is limited. Perhaps you’ve been known to enjoy a glass or two, but have never had to actually go through the technicalities of self-serving. Now, you are entertaining someone you are trying to impress – a date perhaps, or a friend, or a business associate. Well, the good news, although the situation seems daunting and full of potential embarrassment, it is really quite simple and as easy as ABC.
In the world of wine connoisseurs and casual sippers, the great decant debate is ever-reoccurring.
The question of whether to decant, aerate or pour directly from bottle to glass has been a topic of contention among wine drinkers. Both essentially serve the same purpose, which is to expand the surface area of the wine, allowing more oxygen to interact with the liquid. This softens the harsh tannins and opens up the aromatic profile of the wine. The question really is when to use which method, and for what wines?