Have you ever wanted to learn to Swig Well? Thanks to a Seattle drinking academy of the same name, you, too, can achieve unknown levels of knowledge and pleasure in the art of distilled spirits as well as with the cocktails that celebrate their flavor and heritage. I was thrilled that Swig Well Founder Anu Apte, also owner of the bar Rob Roy, invited me to teach a class about wine. What, you missed it? Let me recap for you. For this departure from the distilled and journey into the world of the fermented, I chose the theme of Summertime Porch Pounders. Light and lively wines that go with outdoor seating and drinking. Maybe you don’t have a porch like the one pictured? Neither do I. But these are wines that can also be enjoyed in these summery spots:
- Golf course
- Leaning out the window of your studio apartment
So what wines did I select? Here’s the rundown:
- 2011 Tasca d’Almerita Regaleali Bianco (Sicily): A blend of Inzolia, Cataratto, and Grecanico. (OK, I had to look that up to jog my memory. Could not recall these three grapes off the top of my head.) A super-refreshing, unoaked white wine. I got a chance to visit the Regaleali Estate a few years ago courtesy a trip sponsored by Winebow. It is a place I did not want to leave. Ever. Here’s a view of the estate from the vineyards:
And check out the estate courtyard, possibly the best place on the planet to enjoy Regaleali Bianco outdoors:
Close second would be luxuriating on a Sicilian beach:
Where was I? Oh yeah, summertime porch pounders. Here are the rest of the bunch:
- 2012 Triennes Rosé (Provence): Textbook pale, dry, lovely stuff. A blend of mostly Cinsault with some Grenache, Syrah, and Merlot in the mix. Get yourself some bouillabaisse or a chicken roasted with herbs de Provence.
- 2011 GiA (Piedmont): A Dolcetto/Barbera/Nebbiolo blend, this Italian gem is notable for coming in a big, shareable 1L bottle. And clocking in at only 11% alcohol, it’s a red wine appropriate for summer’s heat. Try it chilled. Enough with the high-octane Zinfandel for BBQs!
- 2012 Tenuta Col Sandago Brut Rosé (Veneto): What, you think I could teach a class without any sparkling rosé? Unimaginable. Made from the rare Wildbacher grape, it’s an elegant sparkler that comes wrapped up in an equally pretty label/bottle combo.
Bonus Porch Pounder material! I was on the excellent radio show Seattle Kitchen. Listen to me talk about wine with Chefs and Cohosts Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau. Don’t skip; listen to the entire clip. Because you can’t miss some great discussion about Bloody Marys and currants. (Not together.)
So what’s your go-to wine for summertime porch-pounding? Let me know in the comments. And make sure you always swig well.
Idyllic porch photo courtesy Sonja Lovas.