Snow piled up over much of the country this weekend, except in the Cleve. Cleveland, which tends to get many of Old Man Winter’s biggest dumps, was relatively sunny and clear. It was as perfect for barbecue cooking as you can get in February. And while we didn’t jump into our shorts and T-shirts, being outside wasn’t too bad. On the menu: Spiced chicken burgers, home made pommes frites ~ which sounds way cooler than French fries: fresh greens and a 2011 Vineland Estates Elevation Riesling. I rarely drink white wine during the winter; favoring reds for their robust qualities and ability to help keep me warm. But since the temperature rose a bit, I wanted to enjoy some lighter fare with my pseudo-summery dinner.
I’ve enjoyed Vineland Estate wines before so I was looking forward to pairing this one with the dinner. Looking in my collection, I discovered it was one of the last remaining guests from the past summer. I gave it the 15 minute rule and made sure to aerate as I poured it into my glass. It was very clear with a color of light straw. In the above picture, it looks almost like water, doesn’t it? This was deceiving. Based on the color, I thought it was going to be almost too thin but it packed a sweet and refreshing mix of lemons with a crisp green apple finish. The mouthfeel was grippy and dry and it had a sharp, oak-y grape vibe on the nose. At first, I thought it wouldn’t really pair well, but it surprised me by providing a nice balance to the spiced chicken and off-set the earthy quality of the potatoes.
The forecast in the Cleve for the rest of the week is changeable. But for this past weekend at least, I began to think that spring might actually be on the horizon. For those who spent their weekend digging out from the blizzard, I wish you well, and I feel your pain. I tackle snow the old school way; with a shovel…and a prayer.
I hope that there was a favorite drink as a reward for all your hard work ~ you earned it.