Wine Line: Chillin’ on hot summer nights

08/13/2014 9:29 AM

08/13/2014 9:30 AM

I have finally found a solution to my “Novinophobia,” a condition manifested by a fear of running out of wine. Two Target Wine Cubes now fit neatly on the top shelf of my garage refrigerator, once occupied by a bowl of moldy chili beans and a half-empty jar of pickled something.

That’s equal to four bottles of red and four bottles of white. Eight bottles of wine are chillin’ in there in vacuum-sealed boxes, ready to fill in when my modest wine cellar runs low. What a relief. I can actually sleep better knowing those cute little boxes have my back.

The Wine Cube is sold only at Target stores for around $18 and is a good second-string house wine. Both the red and white make excellent wine coolers, perfect for those hot summer nights by the pool. I shared my favorite wine cooler recipe with the Navigator’s relatives in Bakersfield a few years ago and it took the city by storm. Well, not really, since there are no real storms in Bakersfield, just long hot days and nights.

Here’s my Wine Line cooler recipe: Fill a large glass with ice cubes, add one part wine, one part tonic water, a squeeze each of fresh lime and lemon and a slice each of lime and lemon. It works with both soft red wines and dry whites. That’s it. It’s easy, refreshing and perfect for bobbing around the pool on one of those noodle things.

I’m not a big fan of sweet wines but two weeks ago I tasted an ultra-premium moscato called SIP Moscato. It had aromas of peaches and orange blossoms and flavors of citrus and tropical fruits with a touch of fizziness. It was crisp and not at all cloying. It’s the best moscato I have ever tasted.

I suggest you fill a large plastic tumbler with crushed ice and drizzle the SIP Moscato over it. Voila, a chillin’ moscato snow cone!

The wine’s SRP is $15 and likely sale-priced for a few dollars less at local supermarkets. Track it down, make a moscato snow-cone and jump on a noodle.

Out and about

Saturday: Zinfandel Advocates and Producers will feature a “Simply Summer Celebration” at Lytton West Vineyard featuring 40 wineries. The following day, Dry Creek wineries will be open offering special perks for attendees. Zin lovers should be all over this event. Go to the ZAP website for details and tickets.

Weekends: Summer is not over so head to the Soquel Tasting Trail. Turn east on North Main in Soquel and taste the wines from Soquel Vineyards, Hunter Hill Vineyard and Bargetto Winery. Pack a picnic and have some nice quiet adult time. Cheers!

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