Ad Spot

Wines to complement summer, featured at next tasting

By By Stan Torgerson / wine columnist
April 17, 2002
Some wine tastings are more difficult to put together than others. Cabernet sauvignon or chardonnay tastings are relatively easy. If it's a cabernet there are many different choices, but, while they vary in flavor and quality, they are all basically the same grape. It's just a matter of selecting an assortment of good, better or best.
The same is true of the chardonnays. The market is flooded with them. Some are weak and watery. Some are big and bold. It is again a matter of good, better or best when selecting the six or seven or even eight wines to be shown.
But next week's "Anything But Chardonnays" tasting has proven to be both different and difficult. If you remember last week's column, the basic premise was that there are many different or unusual wines, other than chardonnays, that are made for springtime or summer drinking. My friend and fellow wine lover Tommy Temple calls them patio wines. They're made for warm weather sipping, particularly when sitting outside on the patio with friends, enjoying the wine accompanied by something on which to nibble.
That type of consistent weather is just around the corner. What we wanted to do was to make this a learning seminar as well as an enjoyable one. Our goal was to say to those who look forward to this summer season that there are white wines ideal for such occasions other than the familiar, and loved, chardonnays and that you really should try them.
So we started to do our homework and in the process I was reminded of the late Harry Mayer, men's clothing merchant extraordinare and one of the great poker players of all time. I know because we were both members of a Tuesday night poker club that ran for years. Harry was a no-expression player who never gave you a clue as to what cards he held, or didn't hold. About twice during the evening he would play a lesser hand with such skill that he would bluff someone out of a pot. Afterward Harry would sit back in his chair, tap his long tapered fingers together, smile a wicked little smile and say, "You've got to know your customers."
There's nothing lesser about this tasting. All are outstanding wines of their own particular type. But in the going-on-two-years of these tastings, I've gotten to know our customers. Their preferences vary widely. Some lean toward wines with a sweet background. Some like only bone dry wines. There are those who like the crisp sauvignon blancs. Others will tell you they never met one on which they would spend their money. There are those who like lighter weight reds, but the big red zinfandels, shiraz from Australia or the aforementioned cabernets certainly have devoted followers as well.
We have done our best to assemble a wide variety of these so-called patio wines. Yes, we do have one or two sauvignon blancs on the list. There is a lovely white burgundy. We shall also serve a wine or two from Alsace, wines well known for their spicy flavors. A beaujolais produced by famed Georges Dubouf is on the list. It is a fresh, fruity, charming red wine, made to be sipped on a summer's eve. But we've also included a Cotes du Rhone, a bit fuller than the beaujolais and a product of the Rhone Valley in France. We've discovered a highly regarded white wine from Italy, the Bertani Le Lave, which a reviewer called "a delicious white with aromas of lemon, lime and toasted almonds and an aftertaste of pear and peach." Does that sound like a summer wine or what?
At the moment we have eight wines on the "Anything But Chardonnay" list. Included, in addition to the beaujolais, the cotes du rhone, sauvignon blanc, white burgundy and the Italian wine, is a pinot blanc and a pinot gris and a sancerre. There are going to be wide differences of opinions on many of these wines. That's fine. So many of you have told me the tastings are a learning experience fun, but a learning experience. That's what they are designed to be. This one certainly will qualify.
The tasting is April 25. As usual, it will be at Northwood Country Club and will start at 6:30 p.m. We emphasize that you do not have to be a member of Northwood to attend. You just have to love wine and desire to learn more about it by tasting those you would not be inclined to serve had you not had the opportunity to try them first. The cost is a very nominal $25 per person and we request reservations be made. Call at 482-0930.

Franklin County

Cattlemen convene for annual banquet

Belgreen Bulldogs

Belgreen hires football coach for fledgling program

News

City approves temporary fire department promotions

Franklin County

Commission decides to request bids for elevator maintenance

News

Whimsical window art brightens RPL

Belgreen Bulldogs

Belgreen gets football coach

Franklin County

Martin Luther King commemorative march takes place in downtown Russellville

Franklin County

New district attorney swears in

Franklin County

Cattlemen’s Association prepares for annual meeting

News

Russellville Public Library director speaks at Book Lovers meeting

Franklin County

Vina native returns to hometown church to share her story

Franklin County

Couple continues annual Christmas jail ministry

News

City officials reflect on old year, look toward new

Franklin County

MLK march returns to Russellville this year, set for Jan. 16

News

Council approves additional funding for Cramer Children’s Center

Franklin County

2022 REVIEW: Big news stories shape Franklin County

News

State association names RMS principal as middle school principal of year

News

REB plans customer appreciation event

Franklin County

Distinguished Through the Decades: 2022, Madeline Cooper

Galleries

Faces of Franklin County: A Walk Thru Bethlehem

Franklin County

Distinguished Through the Decades: 2021, Lily Pounders

Features

Distinguished Through the Decades: 2020, Bailey Bolton

Franklin County

Distinguished Through the Decades: 2019, Elizabeth Pierce

Franklin County

District attorney Joey Rushing prepares as retirement nears

x