Wine Line: Readers’ respond to wine rules

03/12/2014 8:30 AM

03/12/2014 8:31 AM

In the Jan. 22 Wine Line, I listed five rules that help me keep this column consumer-friendly. Wine enjoyment should be simple. You should ignore/avoid wine snobs. You should learn to trust your palate and drink what you like. I received several comments from readers who agreed that wine should be fun. Here are a few of those reader comments.

From Modesto, Debi and her husband host a backyard wine event called Sip-And-Sample. Guests bring a wine and a food they think work well together. They circulate from table to table sipping and sampling and then ultimately vote for the best food and wine pairing. This fun (and tasty) event is celebrating its 10th year. Congratulations Debi, great idea. Good friends, wine and food are always the key to having a good time. Wine should be fun!

Alice from Atwater said she has given up trying to persuade her staff to try her favorite wine, Hanna Sauvignon Blanc. It seems they prefer sweet wines over dry. Once someone has found a wine they like, leave them alone. They like drinking sweet wines and that’s OK. Wine is wine. On the positive side, think how easy (and cheap) it will be buying birthday presents.

Bob from Modesto and a half dozen other readers, thanked me for acknowledging that it’s OK to put ice cubes in red wine. Wine should be fun and simple. There are no rules. I prefer to chill red wines in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before serving, but that’s just me.

So if you like ice in your red wine, fine, do it.

What’s on our table

A colleague of mine, Dave, from Livingston, asked me about the 50th Anniversary Gallo Family Vineyards Hearty Burgundy. I wrote about this wine a few weeks ago. Good news. It’s available and the SRP is $9 (1.5 liter). The label is very elegant in purple and gold including the 50th anniversary seal.

“America’s first iconic red blend” consists of zinfandel, petit verdot, petite sirah and alicante bouschet. The wine has dark berry flavors with a touch of oak. It has enough backbone (petit verdot?) to work well with anything off the grill, rich red sauces, Italian meats and hard cheeses. The Navigator and I gave it a hearty two thumbs up. I think it’s an excellent choice for your 50thwedding anniversary party, Dave, and congratulations. Cheers!

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