this is to entice you to read through my babbling until I get to the point
For Christmas (or was it my birthday present?) last year, T bought me, among other things, a small wine fridge. It’s supposed to hold 35 bottles, and it pretty much does with some creative positioning. We have a couple less than that because we also shoved some
champagne California sparkling wine in there, too. It apparently gets poor reviews from Amazon.com, but one of them has to do with shipping, which didn’t apply to us. The thing is really quiet and for a while I kept wondering if it was still on because it wasn’t making any noise. I did stick a small refrigerator thermometer in there because the control is just a dial with no numbers or any sense as to where it is.
The reason I got the wine fridge (other than the fact that T is awesome and buys good presents) is because the summer before, we had this ridiculous heat wave that no one knew how to deal with –
side note: Typically, we in San Diego struggle through 2-3 really hot days in a row. We complain, the news reminds us to keep electrical use to a minimum to avoid rolling blackouts, the weather goes back down to 80 and we all forget it ever happened. This happens maybe a few times over the course of the summer. Last year, it lasted well over a week (I know, I know, a whole week) or something and it was hard to sleep, to move, to do anything but lie still and melt. I finally caved in and bought a portable air conditioner for the bedroom so we could sleep comfortably and ended up spending most of my time in the bedroom, with my laptop, just to stay sane. My point, anyway, is that the heat wave was so bad that when we thought to buy a window unit for the family/dog room, stores were sold out of air conditioning units of any kind. They didn’t know when they’d get a new shipment in, they didn’t know what kind they would get if they got them, it was crazy. I even considered going to Vegas to buy a unit to bring home (my parents live there, so it would be like an errand/visit). But then the weather got nicer and we forgot about it for the most part. Before this summer hit, though, I bought a window unit for the family/dog room, just in case. And we have turned it on a couple times already. The end. So much for just a quick side note.
– anyway, we had this long heat wave and the few bottles of wine I did have ended up going bad. Thankfully it was nothing special we had been keeping, but I still was sad that I had no way to protect future wine from the evil summer heat. And that is why I got spoiled and have a 35-bottle wine fridge.
Along with the wine fridge, we hit BevMo! for some wines with which to stock the fridge. We went by intuition, reading point values on the little cards, prices, wineries we’d heard of, and stayed away from Puppy Dog Syndrome.
another side note: Puppy Dog Syndrome is when wineries put some cute picture or label on the wine to entice you into buying it. Odds are the wine will not be good and you will have become their latest sucker. We first discovered this at Wilson Creek Winery when they had some awful wine that suckered me in because it was named after the two new Golden Retriever puppies at the winery, whose pictures were also on the wine label. Thankfully, I had only lost a tasting ticket and not a bunch of money. You have now been warned.
We found some really good wines and some okay wines. I don’t think we had any bad ones (see above re: stay away from Puppy Dog Syndrome). We also went back for the BevMo! 5-cent sale in February (?). Something we (okay, T figured it out) learned about the 5-cent sale is that they take all these wines and put them back at their “retail price” and then say you can buy a second bottle for 5 cents. However, if you had been there the week before, that same wine might have been on “sale” for half the retail price, meaning you could have bought 1 bottle for the same 5-cent sale price but only have to invest in 1 bottle of the unknown. Does that make sense?
Example: A bottle of XZY No Puppies Pinot Noir retails at $20. BevMo! regularly sells this wine for $11 (sale or no sale, due to whatever markdowns BevMo! gives its customers). But, for the 5-cent sale, you can buy 1 bottle for $20 and another for $0.05, making each bottle about $10. What if it’s not good? Then you would have spent $20 on 2 bottles of not-good wine instead of just trying the 1 bottle for $11. See?
So, now I’m going around flipping price signs, doing calculations, trying to see which wines are a good deal and which ones we should just wait on. Also, the wine fridge is pretty full already so I have to make sure I don’t buy too many bottles. We did okay with our picks, but so far the favorite one we got was the Mas de Caralt Rose. Most roses I’ve tasted are nice, but a little too sweet for something I want to drink with dinner. But for a lot of warm summer nights, you don’t want a heavy Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. You also don’t want Chardonnay. I forget what we ate with the first bottle of the rose we opened, but I remember that we finished the bottle, and considering I’m a total lightweight that’s saying something. We took the other bottle to a friend’s house for dinner where he was making chipotle bacon pork chops (oh, they were so good) and we thought a rose would be a nice complement to pork.
It’s a light wine, with hints of strawberry (much like a white Merlot) and apple, but it’s not sweet. It’s not dry or tart, but you don’t drink it and feel a sugary taste in your mouth. It’s just a clean wine to enjoy with a good meal. I am terrible at describing wines, but this is a really good one, trust me.