The sun kept peeking in the windows where I work today, reminding me that it’s beautiful outside and that I needed to be out soaking in the glory of mother nature. I swung by the market on the way home and, when I arrived, stepped out onto the back stoop, almost giddy in anticipation of firing up the grill. This is my favorite time of year.
Normally, standing in front of my grill at 600 degrees, I like to have a glass of refreshing white wine or, more often, an ice cold beer, but I had partaken in a chardonnay tasting on the way home this evening, and by this point, Nebraska beef in hand, I was in a red wine state of mind.
Wanting a wine that would be enjoyable to drink on its own while I grilled, yet would also pair well with the burgers and dogs when they were finished, I selected this Lake County Cabernet. A good balance of robust body and youthful red fruits, it succeeded in pairing diversely, as I had hoped. Fine, grainy tannins offer something of a delicate structure while the fruit-driven palate graces you with the occasional hint of spice, leathers, and pipe tobacco. The long, dry finish lingers for quite some time. I’ve always enjoyed the story on the back of the label as well (I won’t spoil it — just don’t forget to read it.)
Standing at a grill with tongs in my hand and drinking from a “glass-glass” that had been complimentary after a tasting at a local winery, I was undeterred by the need to screw the cap on and off of the bottle. I could hear the birds all around, smell the grill, and feel the sun. Inside, my family read books together and awaited dinner, and soon we were eating. Over dinner, we discussed our days. Sonja had kept Titus home from daycare to take both children to the zoo, which she said was both a ton of fun and also exhausting. Looking at pictures of Titus petting a goat, I couldn’t help but be a little jealous.
A fitting picnic or grill-side wine, later in the evening Sonja and I shared the rest of this bottle in the living room while trying to get our infant daughter to go to sleep. When finally little Zooey stopped yelling at us, I looked over at my wife and asked “Any thoughts on the wine?” She lifted the glass to her lips, looking over at me, and replied in her straightforward manner: “It was needed.”