Monday, May 19, 2014


Summer, summer, summertime!  Memorial Day is upon us!  Some consider it the official beginning of summer.  Pools open, the beach traffic in this part of the country starts to pick up, and vacation plans are executed.  We've anxiously anticipated its arrival and now it's here!   This weekend, I hung out with The Tipsy Sommelier.  Saturday was a bright a sunny day and warm enough to sit outside comfortably.  So we sat down with a few open bottles of wine and enjoyed a buffet of crabs and sweet corn on the cob.  Our interest wasn't about pairing initially. It was merely supposed to be a social occasion.  But we started a discussion about what wine do you take when you are asked to bring wine to the cookout.  What goes with what?  I ended up with two glasses.  Not because of greed but because I was drinking a delicious Cabernet Franc before we sat down to eat and wanted to finish it after cracking a few crabs. Can't waste good wine, you know. I used the second glass to try a few different wines with my meal.  (Disclaimer:  I am not big on pairings.  I believe that you should drink what you like.  But since people often times ask, I don't object to sharing the little bit that I've learned over the years.)  I tasted through 2 oz  pours of Pinot Gris, Muscat, and a semi-dry Riesling.  The Pinot Gris didn't seem to stand up.  Compared to the spiciness of the seasoned crabs and the sweetness of the meat, the Pinot Gris faded way to the back.  It played like a blank canvas waiting to be brought to life with vibrant color.  Secondly, I tried the Muscat.  This Alsacean style had fruit on the entrance but a clean and dry finish.  For my personal preference, a little too fruity for the succulent crab meat but I did love the fact that the sweetness didn't coat your tongue like some muscats do.  I made a mental note to have that Barth Rene' Muscat again with Thai or Indian food.  Finally, the semi-dry Riesling made perfect sense.  It was just sweet enough to balance out the spice rendered by the Old Bay on the crabs and just acidic enough to balance the butter of the corn on the cob.  Lamoreaux Landing Semi-Dry Riesling could easily be a crowd favorite at cookouts as it will handle most salads, chicken, and seafood and be an excellent stand alone offering as you sit around the pool.  So what's in your glass?

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