Happy Earth Day!!! What do you love about the planet? I love strawberry patches, corn mazes, hot springs, forests that remind me of Decemberists songs, creeks that remind me of Tuck Everlasting, the redwoods, Outer Banks beaches, and all of the scenes from GOT.
This Earth Day is especially exciting because I'm back in Virginia for a few nights. Wednesday was my mom's birthday, yesterday was my parent's anniversary, and tomorrow two of my good friends are tying the knot. There's a lot of reasons to celebrate, and thus, lots of reasons to drink.
Last night my brother and I decided to make dinner for our parents. Both my mother and father work like crazy, and yet, growing up, they often managed to find time to squeeze in a family dinner or two. This is especially lovely in Virginia, where we feel the most extreme of each season, including the fall-iest of fall and the spring-iest of spring. In October we have cider and cinnamon waffles, wearing sweaters and drinking Bloody Mary's on the back porch as if we were attempting to imitate a J. Crew catalogue. Summer is all about shrimp tacos and margaritas, and in the winter we eat soups on the couch.
Right now we're swimming in the definition of spring, with some days rainy and cool and others breezy and demanding a 3'clock rosé. Last night we decided to make Branzino, a European seabass that looks like something out of a fisherman's storybook. I ate it once in Italy, buzzed off table wine, shamelessly flirting with the server, and halfheartedly trying to avoid the bones. It was poached in butter and layered in herbs. I didn't think it was possible for anyone who was not Italian to make.
But it is! It really is! We used this recipe from Food & Wine and paired it alongside roast fingerling potatoes with thyme, Himalayan rock salt, salt, pepper, and parmesan, roasted broccolini, and a salad topped with spring veggies and a homemade vinaigrette. The booze had to be a Sauvignon Blanc.
I currently have an affinity for New Zealand Sav Blanc's, which are often described as "cat pissy." Which I find a little weird, because I love this flavor, and it has me concerned that I have a taste for cat pee. Oh well. You can also say it's musky or grassy and then maybe people won't look at you like pee-drinker.
Branzino and Sav Blancs are best friends forever. For my purposes, I went to the wine shop and asked for something New Zealand-y, Sav Blanc-y, and please go well with my fish-y. My new wine friend Dana introduced me to Paddle Creek, which was basically an invitation to the grapefruit party. Let's get into it, shall we?
What I drank: Paddle Creek 2014 Sauvignon Blanc
Where it came from: The Marlborough wine region of New Zealand, which sits at the top of the South Island and is the country’s largest growing wine region. It’s known for their Sav Blanc’s (some of the best in the world, say those who know way more about wine than I do!), but they also apparently make a kickass Chardonnay, Riesling, and Pinor Noir.
The weather in Marlborough sounds like a dream: low autumn rains and cool nights, which pretty much warrants the best Halloween season ever.
What it tasted like: This wine is essentially grapefruit, but you get a different grapefruit flavor throughout the entire experience. On the nose it's like peeling the fruit, or accidentally getting a bite of the bitter, white rind. There's also a hint of lime. When it hits the palate, it's a grapefruit wedge or grapefruit juice: crisp, acidic, and refreshing. The aftertaste is when it really got me. When you swallow this wine, it's like the juiciest, reddest grapefruit ever, the kind your PopPop would eat at the table on Sunday mornings before going off to church.
Where to drink it: I imagine this wine on a summer night when you don't feel like drinking red. Or as an accompaniment to a seafood meal, particularly if you're cracking shellfish and dipping the meat into melted butter.