Maybe it was inspired by my midlife crisis. Maybe I was attempting to replicate the success of young Max Riedel’s stemless O-series of wine glassware. Or perhaps it was simple thirst. Whatever it was, it led to the discovery of a great emergency wine glass.
If your vacation car looks anything like ours, it quickly contains several pounds of vacation detritus, much of which consists of empty water bottles. These can be handy when you’re in a pinch, a position in which we often found ourselves while in France, as our hunger struck at very inconvenient times. Invariably, our bodies thought it was time to eat 45 minutes after every restaurant, boulangerie, charcuterie and fromagerie had closed. WHEN you decide to visit the Loire, you’ll have a much more enjoyable trip if you quickly orient your body clock to the schedules of these fun and fundamental merchants.
But back to those plastic bottles. Their bottoms are easily severed from the tops using such handy devices as the serrated blade of the corkscrew kindly given to you by the ever-cheerful, English-speaking Phillipe at La Cave des Vigneron’s de Saumur (see photo). After keeping him half an hour past closing. After buying only six bottles when he was hoping to sell that many cases. And when even those measly six bottles, added to your other recent vinous discoveries, tip you over the maximum holding capacity of your baggage, offering another excuse to buy yet one more piece of luggage to be added to the neat mountain of unused bags patiently awaiting your homecoming. If bags could only say "I told you so", these would.
So this serrated foil cutter on your donated corkscrew makes quick-but-messy work of your water bottle, transforming it into the crude piece of emergency glassware being deftly demonstrated in the top photo. The wise sip cautiously.
But for those desiring glassware which can actually enhance a Picnic Rosé, you can’t do better than the Riedel "O" series, available here (about $20 for set of two) – I recommend the Riesling series for your Rosé. Speaking of which, we’ve made it easy to pick up a few bottles of Rosé – perhaps the perfect wine for your Thanksgiving table – at considerable savings…
1. L’Uvaggio di Giacomo, 2006 Barbera Rosato, (was $12, now $10.80!) – One of the best Rosatos this side of Italy. Winemaker Jim Moore consistently produces the best Italian varietals in the U.S. But just because it’s roots are Italian doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfect solution for your American Thanksgiving – this food-friendly wine goes as well with everything on the traditional table, and many of the more exotic additions that have recently become popular.
2. Ortman Family Vineyards, Syrah Rosé 2005 (was $16, now $12.80!) – One of the young Central Coast’s rarities – a second generation winery. And the Ortman family continues to impress us with the quality of their Rhône varietals. This Syrah-based blush wine is no exception!
3. Tudor Wines, the Radog 2005 Rhône-Style Rosé (Was $16, now $12.99!) – Talented Dan Tudor is the man behind this alluring wine. Nothing goes better with a leftover turkey sandwich!
Incidentally, that same serrated foil cutter serves less well as a cheese knife. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
Dave Chambers, Wine Merchant
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