Wino Wally's 






Spring Wining

Now that weíre on the downhill side of Spring and on our way to Summer, I thought Iíd shake out the cobwebs from my sleep-deprived mind and attempt to prepare myself for my favorite season of the year and the many opportunities for socializing with a little wine.

As many of you know, Winos John and Bob live in the Northern climes of New Jersey.  Heat, to them, is something that they see emanating from the exhaust of the vehicle ahead of them in the daily grind.  For those of us living below the Mason/Dixon line or West of the Mississippi, heat is here.  Imbibing the heavier red wine varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon or Rhone or Syrah is nice, but not exactly thirst quenching on a night that Hemingway, Fitzgerald, or Williams might describe as ďstinking hotĒ.  On these warmer nights, I prefer Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Noirs, or other lighter wines. 

Since Iím often outdoors kibitzing with a wino-wannabe neighbor, I need to protect my wine from increasing in temperature (Iím sure thereís an energy equilibrium theory that covers the reason why, Wino John, but I know from practical experience that if itís hot, my wineís going to get there too).  I have seen many people resolve the temperature problem by placing ice cubes in their wine.   STOP!  Donít do this.  Wino Sharon solved this problem in our household many years ago.  The secret to keeping a nice chill on wine in the summer (or for chilling wine that youíve opened after returning from the store) is to have a few frozen plastic cubes with distilled water inside.  These cubes cool the wine without melting and diluting the flavor.  They come in various sizes and shapes and are available at many stores stocking summer picnic supplies.  Amazingly, I have never seen them advertised in the wine catalogs, but then, those folks are trying to get us to buy $1,000 wine coolers and the $4.95 pack of plastic ice cubes wouldnít justify the glossy catalog space.

For those of you who enjoy taking a walk with a glass of wine in the summer evenings, an additional tip is to purchase a few quality plastic wine glasses.  Iím not referring to the throwaways, but rather the heavy-duty, picnic quality plastic glasses.  These are available from numerous sources.  They preserve the bouquet and flavor with the wine glass shape, but donít cause you the concern of walking around the neighborhood with a delicate glass that might break (of course, I have worked on training my neighbors to come out with a decent bottle of wine whenever they see Wino Sharon and me walking with an empty glass).

Hopefully, these tips are helpful.  Meanwhile, Iíll work on posting my top 10 wines to drink in the summer.  Maybe Wino John and Wino Bob will create a list too (climate adjusted for New Jersey).

Wino Wally

May 17, 2001



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