Thursday, May 21, 2009
Backyards, Beer, BBQ, and Brown Chardonnay?
Ah, Summer. Summer is finally upon us, a time for Backyards, Beer, BBQ, and..... Brown Chardonnay?
I'll get back to the brown Chardonnay, even though I know we are all very confused about this topic, see if I talk about it now there will be no excitement to get to the end of this blog, and you won't enjoy the substance, or "the round mouth feel" of the whole thing. Starting with barbecue, I recently had the opportunity to have probably the most mouthwatering, most well prepared pulled pork from the Bone Bucket in Boardman, Ohio (www.bonebucketbbq.com). This seductive and sultry, well, Pig was done just right with a little bit of coleslaw, and not-so-ironically pickles, which i hate, but I am sure and so I have heard are quite delicious on this sandwich. Bone Bucket has quite the arsenal of hot and BBQ sauces from around the country and a wall which to choose from. However, I recently had the chance to use their catering services to compliment a beer and wine taste at Havana House, for Charity nonetheless, (my good friend Scott is riding his bike across the country for Akron children's hospital www.califorkids.com). Back to BBQ, On my sandwich without pickles, I used the Stone Double Bastard habanero hot sauce. which was a perfect compliment to the well-balanced hops, and somewhat subtle sweetness of the Stone Double Bastard, which is an American Strong ale, although it is kind of thick, with little carbonation it has a very round mouth feel and delicious finish, and is big enough to compliment the BBQ nicely.
I have been trying to find light summer beers that are available regularly and easy to drink, especially on a sweaty summer day. They are somewhat easy to find and i suggest lagers, ales, heffeweizens, and some not-so-fruity, fruit beer. I will be tasting some stuff this week, and ill do some tasting notes on each so look forward.
White wines are also good "back porch wines" and some will actually be nice in a backyard setting or a backyard BBQ. Blends, Sauvignon Blanc, and un-oaked chardonnay, generally show tropical fruit, straw, and citrus flavors, without the overbearing butter of oak, giving a creamy full mouth feel. If your generally a Wooded Chardonnay drinker, ask your local wine specialist (me) about slight malolactic fermentation as this adds a well balanced mouth feel, and a slight, but not thick profile. Slight Malo also gives vanilla undertones as well as a nice long uninterrupted finish, without a lot of astringent acid... balancing them nicely. Again Ill be doing some tasting of these gems for your reading pleasures.
Recently I watched the movie "Bottle Shock". This movie was very well done, although it did not follow to a T the actual events leading up to the famous "Judgment of Paris" wine taste in which the 1971 Chateau Montelena chard beat the French and put California wine on the map. The one thing i did not like was the lack of mentioning Michael Grgich as winemaker of the project, considering he was instrumental in making this famous vintage. I had the opportunity to meet Bo Barrett recently at a wine taste at Moxie the Restaurant in Beachwood. We had a very interesting conversation about what he has changed in the vintages of the Napa Cab over the years, I will discuss this later also. Finally this brings me to the brown Chardonnay discussion. There was a part of the movie where Jim and Bo discover that all of their chardonnay had turned brown, right before the "judgment". Bo then travels to UC Davis to find out what the problem was, considering the wine tasted and smelled perfect. A scientist then discovers that the wine was actually made to perfection, and that a 100% lack of oxygen leads to the discoloration, and will subside over a couple of days, and the wine was done perfectly. I had to investigate. This lead me to the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, and an article written in 1976 about this very subject. Turns out its true and can happen!! check it out (http://www.ajevonline.org/cgi/reprint/27/4/157).