Welcome back from Mercury Retrograde. Hope you didn’t sign any contracts or buy large appliances. I did all those things. New homeowners. #fear. It’s ok, I have a farmhouse table and a sexy succulent. Life is good.
Let’s discuss the weather situation…there was no Spring. It’s just the hellscape of Summer now. As one who molts above 70 degrees, I am generally displeased to go right from wearing a coat to imminent swamp ass in less than 2 weeks. And just in case you’ve never heard the term “swamp ass”, allow me to summarize the Web MD for you:
Swamp Ass, abbr. Swass- A dark humid phenomenon in which Satan sets up his demonic greenhouse between your gluteal cheeks from May to September.
Insert Web MD subliminal message: IT’S PROBABLY CANCER.
Special thanks to my brother for teaching me this term many years ago during band camp, known for it’s particularly nightmarish manifestations of “swass”. Women have it the worst. Spanx(heat+friction) × anatomy ÷ bras=get me a glass of cold wine and an epidural.
Before you concede to spending Summer in an air-conditioned basement dungeon, losing any remaining melanin and self-respect, THERE IS HOPE! FOR THE HUMANS BUILT DECKS AND PATIOS AND IN 2016 THERE IS NO NEED FOR STRENUOUS OUTDOOR MOVEMENT! Work out inside or pay to sweat in a heated yoga studio like a normal person. I like to observe The Nature at a safe distance, especially this year with the impending cicada apocalypse. Absolutley not, heifer arthropods. I SAID GOOD DAY.
I’m currently experiencing a closer connection with the outside world as my new urban backyard soaked up the impromptu monsoon season that poured for weeks after Prince’s death. #whendovescry #toosoon. This extra irrigation created a jungle straight out of Jumanji behind my house.
Don’t despair, the wine’s been flowing. Home decor should be covered in pre-marital counseling…this shit is not a joke. Finding the right rug for the living room took 3 trips to Ikea and a long discussion about our feelings. Luckily, our 5th anniversary occurred shortly after the move so we had a decent excuse to heal our relational strife with pricey champagne. IT WAS THE CHOICEST OF CHOICE. I also had my birthday and drank some lesser, albeit very tasty, domestic sparkling still unaffordable to peasants on most weeknights.
Now that it’s hot as balls with no end in sight, I’ve compiled a #basic list for all you sweat-fearing, indoor folk wishing to venture outside for 30 minutes at dusk to enjoy some chilled wine, whilst feigning a connection with the wild. If I read Jack London with a glass of Pinot Gris, does this make a survivalist make? SIGN ME UP BEAR GRYLLS. Maybe you’re just insane, fancying a wine to accompany your noontime picnic of certain fiery sun death, but hey, at least you’ll be slightly tipsy. It’s all about the journey.
We’ll have more deck/stoop/patio/anything outdoorsy wines as the season progresses and the swass epidemic worsens, but for now, these are my must-haves.
2015 Qunita Aveleda Vinho Verde: For only $10, you can drink this all summer while making it rain with all the extra cash you’ll have lying around. You’re friends still buying Yellowtail (no shade…ok maybe just a little…) will be impressed and never know you spent less than the cost of a hipster artisanal cocktail. Zippy and slightly effervescent with a myriad of citrus aromas (LOTS O’ LIMEZZZ), white flowers, and delectable acid, Quinta Aveleda should be a staple “house white” for the Summer 2016. As it’s almost dangerously refreshing, try not to pound half a bottle while cooking dinner; it’s not Surge, you monster! Note: Make sure to get the one that says “Quinta Aveleda” rather than just plain “Aveleda”. That one is good too, but the Quinta is baller. And in case you’re a nerd bomb like me, this Vinho Verde is concocted from the Loureiro grape…another one of Portugal’s, like, million indigenous grape varieties.
2015 Rosa de Arrocal: MY BEER-ONLY PARENTS LIKED THIS…Stage One of Operation Parental Beer Eradication is complete. Beer is fine…if you’re the raucous Orc type. Even I like the odd sip every now and then, but let’s be real-beer is a snack food, not a beverage. I am ready to fight all those opposed. Anyway, I had to include at least one rosé for the inaugural summer post, and for $11.99 you should stock up. Hailing from the Spanish region of Ribera del Duero, this 100% Tempranillo is a beautiful, tangy explosion. Lemon peel, bright cherries, and pink rose petals round out a surprisingly rich flavor profile able to stand up to sautéed shrimp and a damn salad. BONUS: The acid wash on the back end will quench your swassiest thirst. HELLA FRESH. Enjoy the following gif of my Orc-type parents caught dancing after drinking this delightful rosé. They’re probably asking themselves how they spawned such an insubordinate child.
Cava Avinyó Reserva Brut NV: You may have sensed a little Iberian Peninsula theme, and you’d be right. Sorry not sorry, they have some of the most affordable vinos. Don’t worry, we’re going to Peter Jackson Land in two seconds. But first, drink this deliciously crafted Cava and rejoice, for you only spent $12. Hark, I hear the harps eternal. This may be one of my favorite Cavas I’ve tried in the last year with its delightful lemon meringue pie vibes, ripe pear tones, toasty brioche aromas, and, in the words of Antonio Galloni from Vinous, “bright mineral snap”. He could have added a sweet gif to better illustrate his point, but that’s what I’m here for: Strobe Tiger, a visual interpretation of “mineral snap”.
2015 Cottesbrook Sauvignon Blanc: New Zealand occupies it’s own little corner of the world, providing us with several essentials of human life: hobbits, grass-fed butter, bad ass mountains, and incredible wines. Summer would be unbearable without a go-to Sauvignon Blanc, and a zesty Kiwi expression cuts through the Bayou of East Coast humidity. I’ve been pleased with the last 3 vintages of Cottesbrook; the 2015 continues a tantalizingly crisp tradition.
The first sip harkens to Frodo and Sam being rescued off the side of that lava mountain after destroying the ring: DAMN WE ARE SO EFFING HOT OMG THANKS GANDALF FOR YOUR BIRD FRIENDZ JUST WANNA BE NOT DYING FOR ONCE. Gooseberry, grapefruit, and herbaceous undertones compose the profile. Drink with a block of aged cheddar and LOTR marathon. Obtain from Total Wine. $15. FLY YOU FOOLS.
I’ll have some summer reds next time once the swass subsides. And after I eat more BBQ. Because brisket needs Garnacha.
Now go forth, get tipsy in your backyard, and enjoy this compilation of my anniversary/birthday wines and food that you didn’t get to have.
Update: The sexy succulent is in imminent danger.