Monday, June 27, 2011

Vive le Pique-Nique

The story: Everyone loves a picnic. Even the straightest man in America has got to admit that he can be won over by a park, a blanket, the birds, the one he loves, and a basket of salumi and Manchego (I mean it says Man right in the word). To enjoy a meal out in nature transcends time and culture, and must be a part of any well planned summer.

Wine can only enhance a picnic, and should therefore always accompany. I have recently found a couple of options that screamed picnic to me (and not in the way that Barbara Streisand screams 'Somewhere')

The wine: The M. Chapoutier Belleruche Cotes-du-Rhone is a rose wine of Grenache, Cinsaut, and Syrah. It has a reticent nose of strawberry and orange peel, and a juicy palate of citrus, ripe cherries, floral notes, and a nice minerality. The acid adds verve and the wine pairs nicely with acceptable picnic fair of firm cheese, bread, hummus, and assorted veggies.

The next wine was full of surprises. The Domaine de Menard Cotes de Gascone 2010 is from a region that is new to me, and comprised of less than well-known grapes - Ugni Blanc, and Colombard. The regions is southeast of Bordeaux, and the grapes, well they make wine that tastes great. The nose indicates the bright acid to follow, but also offers a gentle lemon-lime and some beautiful peaches as it warms in your glass. There is a bit of a bitter peach skin element to the nose as well that is very inviting. The wine drinks crisp and bright with flavors of lime zest, white flowers, and a chunky almost chewy acidity that is imminently refreshing.

The verdict: The Cotes-du-Rhone is widely available for around $10 and is a perfect picnic wine. It is tasty, refreshing, and pairs with food. You can not go wrong (unless the double whammy of a picnic and a pink wine is just too much for your masculinity). The Domaine de Menard can be found for as little as $8. It is a real pleasure to drink; juicy and bright it could be your go-to wine this summer, and offers the geeks enough of an outside profile to keep all interested. The importer on this wine, Paul Young Fine Wines, has offered a handful of inexpensive white wines from Southern France this year that are well worth a look, by the way. So pack up a basket, or hell a paper bag if that is how you roll and go enjoy this nice weather with a delicious and cost effective bottle of wine.

1 comment:

  1. My brother used to drink too much wine because he has a wine business. But his teeth got damaged so he had to go to Atlanta sedation dentistry for some treatments. Now, he only drinks wine when he needs to taste them.