Enhance deck and lawn parties with these properly cooled selections.
The idea that wine should be served at “room temperature” is in
error. Wine served outdoors at 80 degrees or warmer can be “hot”
from the alcohol and out of balance or almost clumsy on the palate.
We like our whites at 45 to 50 degrees and reds at 60 to 65 degrees
for best presentation.
In the picnic season, one of the biggest challenges to a bottle
of wine’s integrity is temperature. Place the bottle in an ice chest
or an insulated bag with a block of “blue ice.” Even if the bottle
is a bit cool, a minute or two breathing or swirling in a glass
will let it open up. Don’t use plastic or foam cups; the foreign
smell overpowers a wine’s delicate bouquet.
IMPRESS YOUR GUESTS WITH THESE WINES
Tablas Creek Vineyard, 2000 Clos Blanc Estate. A pretty, rich proprietary white blend hints of spring flowers and white peaches for the nose and lingers on the palate. This wine goes well with ash rind goat cheese and crusty peasant bread.
King Estate 2003 Domaine Pinot Gris. Golden straw and tropical fruit
aromas with a pleasant dusky, mineral finish are offered by this
Oregon wine. Pinot Gris is an all-around pleaser with a nice dry
structure and fruit and spice components. Serve with diver scallops
and lemon rosato.
Domaine Desertaux-Ferrad, 2003 Cote De Nuits-Village. This French Chardonnay
is lighter than a California Chard and is great in warm weather.
A flinty earthiness pairs well-balanced fruit and wood. Cold poached
salmon with crisp field greens make a wonderful summer brunch.
Robert Hall, 2003 Rose de Robles. An explosive classic-style rose offers wild strawberry and light-skinned cherry fruit with a hint of rose petal balanced by a crisp clean finish. Duck rillettes or homemade chicken liver pate with brioche toast team up as the perfect Artown accompaniment.
Chateau Ste. Michelle, 2002 Canoe Ridge Estate Merlot. The unique location of this Washington-state single vineyard, with long moderate growing season and sunny exposure, might yield one of the best merlots in North America. Fire up the grill with fresh farmer’s market vegetables and a prime New York steak.
Carl Ceccarelli has been in the wine business much of his life and on many
wine-tasting panels. Bill Cowee is a recipient of a Governor’s Arts
Award and a Nevada Arts Council Fellowship in Literature.