Battle of the Cans: Foxie and Fiction

Foxie

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Foxie is the amazing collaboration from two of my favorite winemakers, Andrew Jones of Field Recordings and Josh Rosenstein of Hoxie Spritzer. This particular spritzer is made with Chardonnay, citra hops and sour cherry essence. The Chardonnay is full bodied but the hops and sour cherries brighten it up and make it feel energetic. It is fruity without being sweet, like a La Croix. Spritzers are perfect for when you want to keep your wits about you since they are lower in alcohol than straight wine. I had a friend over last night and between him, my husband and I we had like 4 bottles of wine so I am not in the mood to get crazy tonight and a spritzer is perfect. In fact, I’m pairing this with Broad City, which I have been watching in my sweats all day-- it’s a great combination. This can reminds me of the pool. It is the best shade of light blue and would be so perfect to sip poolside. I am a professional pool-drinker and one mistake I notice novices often making is choosing a beverage with a high ABV. You don’t want anything with too much alcohol because the sun and heat can deplete your energy real fast and leave you wasted by 3:00 p.m. This is why spritzers are the perfect pool drink. I either make my own or bring Hoxie with me, but now I am dying to take this Foxie to the pool before pool season officially ends.

Fiction Red

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If you read my blog religiously, well, then you’re probably my mom (hi, Mom!) But seriously, if you read my blog regularly you might be like, “Sarah, wtf? You reviewed Fiction Red a few months ago and P.S. you talk about it all the damn time!” All true. But guess what, I’ve never had Fiction Red in a can! Cans totally change the way a wine tastes so I thought it was fair to give Fiction Red in a can its own review. Here’s the story I tell again and again about Fiction Red (sorry if you’ve heard it one million times already) it was my introduction to good wine about three years ago. I have since fallen in love with everything under the Field Recordings umbrella but I still keep coming back to this solid red blend. Speaking of blends, it is a crazy blend of a bunch of stuff including Zinfandel, Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Viognier. I like chilling this wine because as I’ve mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of non-chilled wine in cans and I’m also a fan of chilled reds. This wine is bold and tastes of boysenberry jam on biscuits hot out of the oven. There is also a hint of tobacco on the palate. I hung out with a lot of poets in college and one was super into smoking tobacco from a pipe. This tastes the way that smelled (minus the pretentious tude).

Battle of the Cans

I’ll keep it brief, but here is what I’ll tell you upfront; These wines are both from Alloy Wineworks, which is under the Field Recordings (my favorite) umbrella. They are from the Central Coast of California and they are great. That’s kind of all you need to know.

Alloy Wine Works Weissland

It is so hot in Kansas City right now that I just want to jump into an ice bath and pour La Croix down my throat. Instead, I’ve been stuck running around the city in my car, having to get out so often that the AC never seems to have a chance to really cool down. Today, the management team from my office took a team building excursion to an escape room. Two things I’m not really into are team building and puzzles. It was fine though but no, my team did not escape in time. Afterwards, we went to one of my favorite bars, Tom’s Town, for a quick drink. When we finished, my coworker and I decided to walk back to where our cars were parked, about a mile away.

I was dripping with sweat by the time I reached my car and I couldn’t wait to get home and open the Alloy Wine Works Weissland that I bought last night. This weather just calls for canned wine, preferably a sparking canned wine. The Weissland is a sparkling Chardonnay made with hops. I’m not a big beer drinker so I was dubious about whether I would like the wine or not. Luckily, it tastes like a sour beer, which I happen to love. It is bright on the palate, tasting like sour cherry pie. It is pretty perfect for the weather as it is super refreshing.

I’m really bummed that it is so hot because I would love to be porch-sitting with this wine reading my light, feel-good summertime book, Missoula. Have you read it? If so, you’ll know that i’m joking as it is about as heavy as it can get, focusing on rape on college campuses and the justice system. It’s really great though and a topic that desperately needs attention. But no, I’m on my couch, energy zapped, watching Breaking Bad. Luckily I have this refreshing wine by my side.

Methodé Aluminum Pinot Noir

All right, it is the next day and I honestly think it may be hotter outside today than it was yesterday. Why can’t we stay home when it is crazy hot like we stay home on snow days? I got an email today that our ceiling is collapsing from the heat at my office and immediately went home. Anyhow, I tried the Methodé Aluminum sparkling Chardonnay a few months ago and was truly impressed. This is saying a lot because it was in the height of my Chardonnay nay-saying days. I was super excited to give the Pinot Noir a try because this is a varietal that I’ve virtually always loved. I popped this in the fridge because a. It’s hot af (see above) and b. I like my light-bodied reds a little chilly.

I just opened this and exclaimed to myself, “Oh my God, I can’t believe this is sparkling! I didn’t expect that and I am so excited!” Had I read the entire label instead of just tearing into this like a disgusting sweat monster, I would have seen that this was sparkling. This is so fucking refreshing and I know that a lot of people don’t think of red wines in that way. All I have to say to that is, GO LIGHT-BODIED, HONEY. Get on that Gamay or Pinot Noir train and never look back (until fall).

This tastes like straight up raspberry juice. Why isn’t that a thing? I’ve seen cran-ras, of course, but never just raspberry. That sounds so delightful. This has the nuttiness of fresh raspberries, like sliced almonds in a spinach salad. I have finally cooled down to the point that my toes are cold and honestly, it feels so good. I never want to put socks (or pants) on again, or at least not until October. I’ve never had a sparkling red in a can and it is so perfect. There is something a little odd about opening a can of still wine…  Don’t get me wrong, I still love non-sparkling wine from cans but I don’t know, we are just conditioned to expect bubbles from a can. Therefore, this is absolutely great. It would be perfect by a pool or on a beach somewhere. Mmmm.

Okay, I know "Battle of the Cans" insinuated a competition. But this is the best kind of competition where everyone is a winner! C'mon, you know I'm a millenial and am all about participation trophies. But seriously, I will only ever feature wines that I believe in on this blog. 

Bernier Chardonnay

I’ll be honest. I have never been a chardonnay fan except for this brief period in college when I was trying to avoid reds and got really into that oaky, buttery Chardonnay game. However, it quickly ran its course and then I never wanted to taste notes of oak or butter again. I should note that  the Chardonnay I was drinking was most likely under $7 and mass-produced nonsense. I learned to appreciate other white wines, mostly crisp, light wines like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and later Grüner Veltliner and even Viognier. I replaced butter and oak with herbs and fruit and loved it.  

I wanted to give Chardonnay another chance though since it’s probably been seven years since I bought a bottle and I figured I shouldn’t swear off an entire varietal just because of a few bad experiences. I went into my wine shop and said, “look, I don’t like Chardonnay, but I want to try it again, what would you recommend?” And this is why I love wine shops, they know their shit. The woman working showed me a range of unoaked Chardonnay that she promised were light and fruity not at all heavy and full of Bath and Body Works vanilla body spray notes (my words). I chose the Bernier Chardonnay because she swore it was good and it was less than $15. At least if I ended up hating it, I wouldn’t hate myself too.  

The Bernier Vineyard is located in the Loire Valley of France and their website claims that they were the first to plant Chardonnay in the region more than 25 years ago. The wine smells bright and energetic, not at all what I expected out of a Chardonnay. It evokes apricots and green apples and tastes like nectarines, peaches and all of the light stone fruits. Also pamplemousse La Croix. It almost reminds me of a great Sauvignon Blanc because of its fruitiness and crispness but it still has the bigger body of a Chardonnay.

I’m pairing this with chicken fajitas and the light sweetness cuts through the spice while the fruitiness enhances the mango salsa I should have used. I would love to be in Mexico City right now, where I would probably be eating something more authentic than chicken fajitas. I would be checking out Frida Kahlo’s Blue House and taking all of the pics (and selfies) in the world. But guess what, this is reality and I’m in Kansas. But this wine can transport you. Maybe the winemakers didn’t assume I would be transported to Mexico City but hey, you never know where you’ll end up! If you are a Chardonnay nay-sayer, go to your local wine shop and ask for a great unoaked Chardonnay. I am now referring to myself as a Chardonnay convert rather than a former nay-sayer.

Kahlo's Blue House in Mexico City. Photo by Ursula Rothrock.

Kahlo's Blue House in Mexico City. Photo by Ursula Rothrock.