Thursday, May 18, 2006

In defense of a great garden wine

I was reading one of my favorite irascible wine critics (is there any other kind?) Mike Steinberger of Slate today. Usually I find him very entertaining; his 2004 series “A Wine-Soaked Tour of Bordeaux” is brilliant. I’ll never forget his description of Jancis Robinson’s cracked lips and purple tongue. Or was it his? Or did she write that? Shit, who knows, I read it two years ago.

At any rate, the subtitle for the current column was not calculated to arouse my sympathy: “why sauvignon blanc is overrrated.” Oh, please. Who’s overrating sauvignon blanc? It’s a great crisp summer wine with fantastic grassy, citrusy, exotic aromas and a clean sharp taste. Nothing more. A perfect garden wine. Sure, it doesn’t evolve in the glass, but neither do other summer quaffers like most Muscadets and other comparably priced brisk whites. I don’t need it to evolve in the glass, but I do love the aromas. Scents are important in the garden and fragrant whites are perfect to drink there. Although Steinberger does not mention it, given that there are Chilean, Californian, and New Zealand ones of comparable quality, you do have a certain variety as well.

Dry rieslings are great for garden drinking too; they can offer a range of spicy and flowery aromas. And there’s a Spanish wine that we have been enjoying: Gramora Gessami. Robert Parker finds rose water and acacia flowers in it. I don’t know about that, but it is fragrant and complex.

I follow my nose when it comes to drinking in the garden.

Today’s image: one peony standing in for a bouquet.


Amy Stewart said...

I prefer a juniper-y martini in the garden myself, although there are few pleasures greater than ending a day in the garden by taking an ice cold beer into the shower--preferably an outdoor shower, where the sun can shine right in.

Sign of the Shovel said...

Gewurztraminer, gewurztraminer, gewurztraminer. The Trimbach is available everywhere for $17 a bottle. Really fragrant.

EAL said...

Martinis, of course.

Beer in the shower, though? I think my friends would justifiably insist that I seek help.