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Summer Drinkin'


MeMc
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If you were going to open some great wines to compliment your outdoor/lobster seafood grill fest this weekend-- I'm thinking "quintessential summer" bottles, what would you choose?

I'd do an American Riesling. If you can, get your hands on a Chateau Montelena Potter Valley. Mmmm...

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well, if your grilling Lobsters, why not a Viognier, preferably Alban Vineyards if you snag a bottle or 2. Also, late summer still has heat, just not the humidity, so why not look at something like a hungarian white, Oremus, full bodied without the flinty acidity.

We are doing an 'Indian Summer' wine dinner that will incorporate the reds and whites that can hang-on just before the fall season.

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A couple of weekends ago, I unintentionally started an experiment. It was a Saturday night and I decided I was going to visit several restaurants that evening. It was a mix of places that I had never been and been meaning to try and old favorites that I had not visited for far too long. On my first stop, I asked the bartender to pour me a glass that tasted like summer, and an experiment was born.

The winners:

Vidalia – a half glass of a Rose from Loire, followed by a bright and cheeky Chenin Blanc

Mendocino Grille – a half glass of J Sparkling Rose (a prettier wine on the palate or in the glass I don’t know), followed by a half glass of St. Supre Elu (a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc – I think) that was lighter and better than I expected it to be.

Citronelle Lounge – after hearing my request, the server returned with an expertly made vodka gimlet. When I started this I hadn’t considered that anyone would pour a cocktail, but it was a great choice.

The losers:

A sacred cow that does not offer half glasses, would not let me order from the full menu at the bar, and had a bartender that seemingly forgot my request for a good ten thirsty minutes – no, it was not busy. A glass of Honig Sauvignon Blanc was the first offering – a one-trick pony of a wine that has only that it is cold and wet to recommend it. The second attempt was a cloyingly sweet Chateau Saint Michelle Reisling.

Café Milano (I went under duress) – a glass of plonk, some syrah the name of which I am sure that I deliberately scrubbed from my memory bank. I am sure that a thick, spice wine is a great summer choice for some, but I am not in that camp.

p.s. Rocks, I am not sure if this should be in the Beer and Wine section as it is equally related to that subject as it is to the restaurants. I am sure that you will relocate, re-title as you see fit.

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The losers:

A sacred cow that does not offer half glasses, would not let me order from the full menu at the bar, and had a bartender that seemingly forgot my request for a good ten thirsty minutes – no, it was not busy.

p.s. Rocks, I am not sure if this should be in the Beer and Wine section as it is equally related to that subject as it is to the restaurants. I am sure that you will relocate, re-title as you see fit.

[No doubt, but I'm scratching my head trying to think of what the sacred cow might be (surely it will come to me the moment I stop thinking about it.)]

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Dark and Stormy with a couple good squeezes of lime

2nd the Kolsch recommendation; I wish there was a good local one left (RIP BBC ;) ). Another in the beer category is 3 Floyds Gumballhead, my new favorite summer beer, but I haven't seen it this year and have heard rumblings that 3F is having distribution problems.

Limoncello over ice + splash of soda water. A bit of crushed mint for a little extra zing makes it a Limoncellojito

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Remember how glorious the weather was in D.C. last Saturday, June 23rd?

I had to help a customer out to their car with a few cases of assorted wine, and I stood on the sidewalk for a moment and reveled in the sunny, blue sky, low humidity and mild temperature. I told my customer, "How I wish I could bottle a day like this and sell it.", to which he replied, as he hoisted a bottle of Sancerre rosé out of one of the boxes, "Someone already beat you to it." ;)

Great rosé from France, a Sapphire & Schweppes tonic with lime, a good estate-bottled German, Austrian or Alsace riesling, perhaps an Italian Cortese, or French Côtes de Gascogne, maybe a white from Savoie... those are my favorite refreshing alcoholic beverages of summer.

Of course, there is also much to be said for the "Arnold Palmer" (1/2 lemonade, 1/2 iced tea), a root beer float (I made one yesterday with Ben & Jerry's vanilla and Dominion root beer from a keg), and a couple of other non-alcoholic favorites.

This was a lot of fun to think about.

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On a summer afternoon, I'm very fond of a vodka, lime and bitters--widely drunk in Australia, but I have to order by giving the recipe here in the U.S.

Lemonade glass with a shot of vodka, a slosh of Rose's lime juice, topped up with either sparkling water (my preference) or more traditionally sprite/7-up, plus a very healthy shake of bitters. And extra bitters, please.

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