I’m not a big believer in “special occasion wines,” in part because no occasion ever seems right for these “special” bottles, and they may end up aging past their prime as you wait for that “perfect” occasion. Given that, once we bring a bottle home, it’s pretty much fair game (although some bottles are bought with the specific intention to age them or with a specific food pairing in mind).
That said, sometimes a wine is just a wine. It might come home with us because we enjoyed it when we tasted it or because we’d heard good things about it, or because we got a good deal on it. These bottles are the ones that make up the bulk of what we drink. Not all wine has to be a religious experience. Sometimes it just needs to be enjoyable.
The Cuvee Larent is a chambourcin dominated blend that got a bit lost in the shuffle of the last few years. We suspected that it wouldn’t really hold up for too much longer, so one evening when we were having a low key night at home playing games, we popped this one open to add to the evening. It wasn’t a wine that had a lot going on with it, but it was an enjoyable addition to an evening with a great partner. It had a lot of bright raspberry flavors with a tiny hint of earthiness that would be easy to miss had I not been looking for it.
The LoCo Vino is a traminette/vidal blends that runs a bit sweeter than I normally go for. Sometimes, that’s just the right kind of wine, however. When we decided to grill some shrimp with a southwestern rub and pair it with some cornbread pudding and steamed veggies, I thought we’d give this wine a try. The food pairing was a bit lackluster (too floral for the shrimp – although the sweetness worked well with the cornbread pudding), but the wine was still enjoyable (particularly for my mom who was visiting at the time). The sweetness/acid balance was working for me in this vintage, and the wine offered plenty of the rose notes that made it clear that this was a traminette. There were also some enjoyable tropical fruit flavors. I’m not going to be reaching for this one often, but it definitely has its place in the world.
So, yes, sometimes we take our wine very seriously, plan our wine and food pairings carefully, and analyze what we’re eating and drinking. Other times we just open a bottle and enjoy it. Both versions of drinking wine work for me depending on my mood and my company. What’s your style?
The Winemakers Ponder: Does an Angel Flailing In the Snow Call Itself a “Snow Me”? by Swirl, Sip, Snark, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.