Posts Filed Under holidays
Whatever you like to drink.
End of discussion.
Look, no wine really goes all that well with processed candy anyway.
So why not do what a lot of people in my ‘hood do: grab a bottle or two of decent white vino, several beers, and convert one of your kids’ pull carts into a mobile drinks cooler and turn the whole thing into a mobile party (this is assuming you aren’t driving that mobile party to/from anywhere, and are able to walk the entire distance – so it’s a tactic best used for chauffeuring toddlers through their local neighborhood Halloween adventures). Kids get their Halloween thrills, you get your block-party quota in, and everybody wins!
Also, and you’re probably not going to do this but just in case, don’t buy a crappy wine or a wine you probably won’t like just because it has a Werewolf on the label or something.
You’ve got a week to go in planning your Halloween party, people, don’t screw it up with bad juice dressed up in a seasonal costume by a bunch of marketing folks – because that would be a really scary way to toast the Hallow’s Eve festivities!
I have a now well-documented love-hate relationship with holiday wine pairing recommendations; I recognize the need, and the hey-just-help-a-bother-out-already usefulness, but I also recognize their familiarity-breeding-contempt ubiquity. For me, holiday wine recommendations are one of those things where I can’t decide if they’re terrible or actually totally brilliant – you know, like Summer Breeze by Seals & Croft.
BUT… I like to help people when it comes to wine, and I kept getting twitter DMs and Facebook messages asking me the equivalent of “any good wine recommendations for a picnic this weekend?” in a run-up to the Memorial Day weekend. And so now that it’s officially too late to do anything about Memorial Day because lots of wine shops might be closed anyway for the holiday, I’ll be a stinker and share what I’ve been Facebook-ing and DM-tweet-ing with a number of people already.
For those sick of hearing about these types of recommendations: sorry, you’ve been outvoted by Inbox (for those sick of Seals & Croft: sorry, I’ve no real advice to help out with that, except maybe drinking a glass of wine and smoking one of those… funny cigarettes….). But before you send me angry emails (most especially in relation to my slightly-irreverent take on the dulcet, laidback tones of Seals & Croft), please note that Memorial Day wine recommendations aren’t any different from any other Summer holiday recommendations – we’re basically talking hot-weather, picnic-&-BBQ wines here, and so what I’m gonna tell you will hold true for any Summertime holiday party wine action that you’ll be facing as the mercury is rising…
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Is the holiday wine pairing idea totally over-and-done? Did it, in fact, jump the shark full-on in Arthur Fonzarelli leather jacket and scarf? Is it deader than Aunt Martha’s Christmas fruitcake?
You’re probably thinking “Why dredge up this topic when we’re between holidays?” Great question, sir (or madam… or whatever…). I mean, I’m sure as hell not going into a St. Patrick’s Day wine pairing here (that’s my birthday anyway, so for me the pairing will be “the best and most exclusive vino I can get my grubby little hands on, and if at all possible in large quantities and preferably on someone else’s tab.”).
You see, it is precisely because we’re between holidays – removed from the craziness, glass in hand (hopefully), and welcoming (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway) the onset of Spring – that I want to breach this topic. We are chill right now. We are rational. We don’t have the specter of holiday stress and deadlines looming over our heads like a f*cking Sword of Damocles. We put on the relaxation tape, take a sip, and chill out. Feel ze tension leeeeving yer boudee…
That was nice. Ok – I’m an anal-retentive East Coaster so the 30 seconds of relaxation I’ve allowed everyone is officially over. Now that we’re chill… let’s get all riled up again, shall we?
Seems to me that one of the trendiest things for wine geeks to do over the last couple of years is to declare the death of many a stalwart wine practice, and the wine + holiday pairing is one of the items in the wine geek sniper cross-hairs.
Where do you stand on holiday wine pairing recommendations? Shout it out in the comments – and on March 22 I will randomly select a commenter to win a Wine Soiree aerator (about a $25 value)! To learn more about the Wine Soiree, check out my review from 2008. Please note that Wine Soiree has no affiliation with this post idea, I just happen to have an extra one and feel like having another giveaway!
But before you get commentin’, let’s look at both sides of the story…
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Ok, so after all my talk of Valentine’s Day and the unauthentic splurges it generates like so many embers from a fire of burning love letters after a bitter break-up, I thought I’d go the total hypocrite route and (finally) detail the samples I cracked open on V-Day. So sue me. Whatever.
NV Bollinger Brut Rosé Champagne ($100)
I’m going to ignore Bollinger’s PR push to promote their affiliation to the royal family in the UK (who have awarded Bollinger with the Royal Warrant since 1884, and which is now reached a fever-pitch of hype with the recent royal engagement), because I now find the whole thing too annoying, in stark contrast to this very sexy but possibly-overpriced sparkler. It’s predominantly Pinot Noir, with the Chardonnay and Pinot Munier playing more supporting roles, and the results are quite Pinot-ish as you’d expect, with the initial impressions being tart cherry fruit and a sizeable mouthfeel despite a relatively modest 12% abv. This might explain why it got low-90s scores from most of the established wine mags, who might have been too quick to pronounce judgment – it takes a good 45 minutes in the glass for the Bollinger Brut Rose to open up, but when it does you will get some incredible baked red apple coming at you, and a great match for appetizers of almost any stripe.
More after the jump…
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