Creative Juices Wine Blog

Summertime, and the pairing’s easy.

In case you haven’t been outside recently, it’s hot. I’m not just speaking on behalf of where we are, but the majority of the country is feeling exactly what I’m talking about every day. Many of us are experiencing 100 degree plus temperatures on a regular basis, and with it comes a sense of being overwhelmed by drink choices.

It’s too easy to reach for a cold domestic brew after 15 minutes in this heat, which inevitably lead to sweating through two shirts, and virtually passing out. Here are some recommendations for you that don’t start with ‘Bud’, or end in ‘Light’.

If there is on thing we have learned about serving wine, it’s that exploration (for the most part) died with Juan Ponce de Leon in 1521. “I know what I like” is a common phrase from many consumers. That’s not to say that knowing what one likes is a bad thing, but let’s face it, Napa isn’t the only place making wine. Hence, a need for the revival of exploration. This time, with better navigational tools.

For us, hot summertime weather means a break from Cabernet, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel, and anything else that could be used as a club in the event a riot breaks out due to frost-bitten nerve endings during the winter months. It’s a well deserved hiatus for us and all of the abuser friendly wines we love so much. During the separation months, these varietals still see periodic visitation on rainy days, or cool(ish) evenings. In some cases, we get to visit them in the form of Rosés, which is nice. Speaking of Rosés, I feel the need to call men out briefly. It’s ok to drink pink wines. They’re not all sweet. They’re not White Zinfandel or White Merlots. And it by no means makes you look feminine. All you’re really doing is saying, ‘I have a sophisticated palate, and I don’t buy into stereotypes.’ The next time you’re at a wine tasting, give the pink one a go. You may be surprised.

That being said, here are some more heat friendly wines for you to enjoy. The first thing you’ll want to do is avoid heavy oaking. Sorry Cali Chards. Think White Burgundy (Chablis, Côte de Beaune) are great choices, or possibly Viognier from further south in Rhone. Try Sancerre, Alsacian Riesling, Pinot Gris, or Gewürztraminer. These are amazing choices this time of year. Looking for something a bit more crisp, and tropical? Perhaps more floral? How about Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, or some Mendoza Torrontes? If you’ve never heard of some of these, that’s okay. That’s why wine professionals exist. If you’re at a restaurant, ask your server or sommelier what they suggest. We still ask for recommendations when we go out. I frequently ask questions like, “what would you pair with 100 degree heat, a pulled muscle, and the shrimp scampi?” If someone can answer a question like that without looking at you like you’re clinically insane, drink what they recommend. They know what they’re doing. You will also find luck with Grüner Veltliner from Austria, and in a multitude of German Rieslings. Try to avoid a lot of sugar though. Lean towards the dry or Troken end of the spectrum. Don’t let me forget sparkling wine, or Champagne. A little bubbly on a hot day is always the right choice. Celebration or not, bubbles will make you smile. On that note, something a little fizzy that we find does the trick is Vinho Verde. They’re usually pretty inexpensive, and tasty.

If you can’t get over your winter Red kick, that’s okay too. Just back it off a notch. Just switch the regions around a bit. If you’re a Cab or Merlot drinker that only drinks Cali stuff, think Bordeaux for a change. If you’re a big Zinfandel drinker that loves the spiciness and high alcohol content the Zin carries, try going with a Spanish Garnacha, or Côtes du Rhône. You may find a new friend that you never knew existed. Tempranillo or Mencia may also be valid options. Malbec from Argentina or Cahors, France are quality picks for this time of year, though, I find myself avoiding  them for the most part. Pinot drinker? Love California, or Oregon? Try Central Otago, New Zealand. More good options for Pinot fans would be a Beaujolais Cru, or a Dolcetto d’Alba. You’ll find a sense of home with these lighter style reds.

All of these wines are pretty easy to find. In most wine shops, and restaurants around the country, there is someone waiting for you to come in and just ask questions. That’s what we live for. We have answers, and it’s rewarding on both ends. We get to talk about wine, which we love to do, and you get to enjoy something new. Worst case scenario, just go online and check out wine.com, 2020wines.com, winelibrary.com, or any number of other online resources. This is, of course, if you cannot find it locally.

Good luck, stay cool, and have fun.

Cheers!

-Zak

Advertisements

Shameless Plug…

Posted in Announcements, wine by CreativeJuicesWine on March 3, 2010

Hello friends!

We want to share with you a nice write up about us written by Elisa Terrazas of El Paso Magazine. You can view her article at El Paso Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @listerrazas, and if you’re not following us, why not? Follow us @ELPSOMMELIERS. For more information on our Grand Debut of the wine shop at Rulis’ International Kitchen keep checking back, or call 915.541.9990. Thanks for reading!

Cheers!!!

Zak & Olena

Creative Juices Wine Show: Episode 7-IPA Tasting

Posted in Beer, Flying Dog, Great Divide, Video by CreativeJuicesWine on March 1, 2010

During this episode Zak & Olena switch things up a bit, and taste a Snake Dog IPA against a Titan IPA. Enjoy the show! Cheers!!!

For more information on the breweries mentioned during this show, visit Flying Dog’s and Great Divide’s websites.

Creative Juices Wine Show: Episode 6-Tokaji 2006 Sárgamuskotály

Posted in Hungary, Muscato, Tokaji, Video, wine, Wine Reviews, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on February 25, 2010

Here it is – Hungarian Tokaji 2006 Sárgamuskotály – just like you guys asked. Delicious, wonderful juice. We hope you enjoy the episode and in particular, Olena showing off her phenomenal wine swirling skills :-).

Wine: Tokaji Sárgamuskotály

Varietal: Yellow Muscat

Vintage: 2006

Alcohol: 11%

Our Score: 88-89 points

Price: $15

Creative Juices Wine Show: Episode 4 (w/Video)!

Posted in Bierzo, Mencía, Spain, Video, wine, Wine Reviews, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on February 23, 2010

In Episode 4, Zak & Olena taste a 2001 Bierzo. Enjoy!

Bierzo is in the Northwest Corner of this Map. Cheers!

Creative Juices Wine Show: Episode 4!

Posted in Announcements, Bierzo, Mencía, Spain, wine, Wine Reviews, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on February 23, 2010

Hey everyone! We just wanted to let you know that we finished taping Episode 4 of Creative Juices Wine Show moments ago, and it will be up for viewing shortly. This was a fun episode. We’re really excited, so when it posts, please check it out, and let us know what you think! Cheers!

Zak & Olena

Creative Juices Wine Show: Episode 3 Petite Sirah

Posted in California, Central Coast, Petite Sirah, Video, wine, Wine Reviews, Wine Tasting by CreativeJuicesWine on February 22, 2010

In this episode, Zak & Olena taste a 2006 Petite Sirah from Concannon. Cheers!!