Summer Wines Make Me Feel Fine by OMWC
As the days get longer, the green shoots peep through the layer of accumulated dogshit left when the snow melts, and my grill beckons for rust removal, my fancy turns from big, heavy red wines to wines which are a bit lighter, more agile, more suited for warm breezes and sunshine. Riven recommended a rhubarb wine she gets locally. Don’t be like Riven. Let’s consider a few nice bottles that might not be on your radar screen. There’s many, many more possibilities, but these are what’s for dinner chez OMWC/SP.
First and foremost, SP and I have an unnatural love for Bugey Cerdon, the greatest summer wine in existence. Bugey Cerdon is lightly carbonated, pink, slightly sweet, and more than slightly earthy. It’s made from Gamay (the grape used for Beaujolais) and Ploussard (you never heard of it) grapes grown in the Ain region of France, which is tucked between Lyon and Geneva, and within a radioactive whiff of the Large Hadron Collider. The alcohol levels tend to be low (8% is typical), and there’s a crispness and snap which elevates it above most other off-dry pink wines. The method used is an old one – the wine is partially fermented, then bottled to finish fermentation. Unlike Champagne, there’s no added sugar, so the bubbliness is more subtle and muted. This is my safest recommendation – EVERYONE loves this shit, and it goes great with food or can be a warm-up before doing serious drinking. Our favorites are Renardat-Fache and (easier to find) Bottex “La Cueille.”
Next up, Beaujolais. Yeah, yeah, you think you know about that one. You don’t. The market is dominated by Georges duBoeuf, and his industrial product defines “mediocre.” And they tend to smell like bananas because of the particular cultured yeast strain used. Fuck that, take a walk on the wild side. What you want is a single-producer wine, one made by a guy with big, rough, hands and who doesn’t own a suit. There are a bunch of these (Michel Tete, Alain Coudert, Jean Foillard, Louis Desvignes, to name some that we love), but the primus inter pares is Jean-Paul Brun’s fabulous Terres Dorees. The reds are, as required, made exclusively from Gamay grapes, wild yeasts, and minimal processing. It’s the opposite of an industrial product. If we see any of the l’Ancien or Cote de Brouilly, we max out our credit cards. But you can’t go wrong with any of the names I mentioned. Keep your eyes open for the rarely seen but eminently wonderful Beaujolais Blanc from one of the farmers – this is what Chardonnay would be like if only it were more interesting. Racy acidity, stony minerality, none of that heavy, oaky crap that California spews.
And lest I run on too long, I’ll tout what reputedly is the best seafood raw bar wine on the planet: Muscadet. And of all Muscadet, Domaine de la Pépière is what I’d want to be drinking tonight, at least if I were out of Luneau-Papin. Domaine de la Pépière makes an array of them at prices ranging from friendly to oh my, but you can’t go wrong here. Stony, steely, a hint of almost saltiness, and an acidity that just begs you to put some deep fried food into your whore mouth. This is serious wine, but so delightfully refreshing as the sun gets low in the sky and the food on the grill crackles and crusts.
Too long, so I won’t mention Gruener Veltliner Federspiel except to mention it. You know what to do.
Derpetologist’s Spot the Not: Maine Governor Paul LePage
1. What I think we ought to do is bring the guillotine back. We could have public executions.
2. The traffickers … these are guys by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty. These type of guys that come from Connecticut, New York. They come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home.
3. They never admit it, but most women like it when a strong man takes control and slaps them when they get out of line.
4. Sen. Jackson claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.
5. If you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. And so the worst case is some women might have little beards.
6. Everybody looks at the negative effects of global warming, but with the ice melting, the Northern Passage has opened up.
Bonus: Bill O’Reilly
1. It’s discipline that begets love.
2. You don’t have free will when you have lung cancer.
3. Americans will respect your beliefs if you just keep them private.