Are you enjoying our weekly wine down
and chill columns? We understand that you’re busy; you want to learn about wine
then get down to drinking it! Got it. Each week, we share music, wine, dinner
and movie selections around a different wine down and chill theme. You can also
follow me on Instagram for wine art and photography @WineDownAndChill.
If you missed a wine down and chill article, fret not! You can find every
Theme: Royally Rotten
the past couple of weeks, I’ve been promising a “manly-man”
column to make sure we were being inclusive of all our readers! Fair enough,
steak was the featured dinner suggestion
a few weeks ago but here we go.
Listen: Princely Tunes
I wasn’t surprised that my research revealed only a handful of songs with the word “noble” in the title. There are dozens more if you stretch the theme to include mention of royalty in the title or lyrics. Here’s a playlist to set the mood for our wine down and chill noble theme. The crowd favorite? Even manly-men dance and sing along to Dancing Queen, by ABBA!
Learn: Noble Rot
As it is with pretty much everything
Française, affixing a French moniker to something makes it sound
sophisticated. “Noble rot,” or “pourriture noble” as it’s called in
France, is a desired – although tricky to manage – grape fungal infection
caused by Botrytis cinerea. The fungus secretes enzymes
which digest the grapes. If the conditions are overly moist, “grey
rot” ensues and the crops are ruined. Here’s a wine down and chill fun fact:
green (white wine) grapes infected with this fungus are so stressed out
metabolically by the attack that they turn pinky-purple
by activating a gene that’s normally deactivated in green grapes but always
activated in red grapes.
However, if the conditions are
slightly moist, the combination of the fungus and drier conditions transform
the grapes which get harvested somewhere along the way just before they become
raisins. Wines that are yielded from these grapes are especially fine (translation
= expensive) with a concentrated sweetness. Sommeliers (another French term!)
like the resulting flavors which are typically described as having “honey
notes.” In keeping with our wine down and chill theme, Pinot Noir grapes are
particularly susceptible to adverse effects from overly moist growing
conditions, including fungal infection. Softer skins and tight clusters, which
obstruct air flow, make them more vulnerable than other varietals.
Take note: fungus on grapes growing in an orchard is okay whereas fungus or mold of any sort on the cork of a bottled wine is never okay!
Noble Vines 667 Pinot Noir
in Monterey, California, this wine is smooth with gentle tannins.
Characteristic cherry, blackberry and a hint of floral notes and soft oak make
it enjoyable to drink on its own or paired with even the stinkiest French
cheese. Cold-soaking the grapes for a few days after they’ve been crushed aids
extraction of the bitter tannins. Unlike most noble items, including wines, the
Noble Vines 667 Pinot Noir
is affordable for non-royals at only $13 per bottle. Wine Enthusiast scored
earlier vintages (2014) 89 points.
Dine: Dinner Fit for a king
How’s this for a wine down and chill
selection? Not one but 437
menu suggestions for “dinner fit for a king.” Bon appetit!
For those of you with boys in
private school or those of you that graduated from a private school, you’ll
appreciate today’s wine down and chill 2019 drama, Noblemen.
The plot revolves around a 15-year old boy who is bullied at his private school
which is in direct contrast to the behaviors “expected” of such students. Bad
behaviors escalate until someone loses his life – and they all lose their
It’s the weekend. Time to wine down
and chill. Cheers!