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. 

Burgers and Bubbles

I’m not a huge fan of the Fourth of July. This may come as a surprise because I love grilling, drinking and pool parties but I just have memories of being dragged to the local park by my parents with what felt like a million other people to watch fireworks. And guess what I hate-- crowds and loud noises. I have an anxiety disorder, dude. Seriously, the only way I make it through large concerts is a small dose of Xanax beforehand. So there you go, it isn’t my favorite. However, my husband and I usually just chill out, maybe have some friends over and make something delicious on the grill. Oh and drink. 

Tonight we are making some simple cheeseburgers-- so easy and so good. I was contemplating what wine would pair well with cheeseburgers and of course I decided I had to go with a red. Red is always my go to when I’m pairing it with something meaty and delicious. However, it is legit hot and humid so not just any red would do. I needed something that could be chilled a bit and was light but still had the body and depth to stand up to the heartiness of the meat. I decided to go with a sparkling Shiraz I had tried a few months ago when my local wine shop had just gotten it in.

This Shiraz is from Flegenheimer (whew, that’s a mouth full) Bros and is made with grapes from South Australia. You might not think that a medium to full-bodied red like Shiraz would be very good in chilled/sparkling form but it totally is. On the nose it is so bright, oozing with notes of cranberries, tobacco and sage. Sage is one of my favorite scents and the bouquet of this wine takes me back to college when I used this sage soap I purchased from the French Market downtown. It was delightful. I love finding an herby red. 

There is a hint of sweetness on the palate, but it is not overwhelming at all. I am a fan of drier wines but I actually like a red with a little sweetness from time to time. I used to buy this Lambrusco from Trader Joe’s and it was a little sweet and so delicious. It was also like $5 and probably filled with so many additives. This is a nice grown-up version of that. The wine is so fruit forward and tastes just like blueberry pie which is actually perfect for Fourth of July. The light sweetness cuts through the fattiness of the burger in a great way.

 I didn’t actually like burgers until a few years ago. Growing up, my dad would attempt to make healthy burgers. He used what I can only assume was 99% lean beef and cooked them until they were VERY well done. They were pretty tasteless and I didn’t get what the hype around burgers was so I just stopped eating them. Then, maybe two years ago, my husband convinced me I had to try a Town Topic burger. Town Topic is this old school burger stand in Kansas City and their burgers are SO GOOD. After one bite I was sold. Then I experimented with making my own burgers at home. I was drawn to the simplicity, whether on the grill or the stove, they are one of the quickest, easiest meals to make. For me, the perfect burger is cooked medium and served on a pretzel bun with some kosher cheddar, preferably accompanied by a nice glass of wine and NO FIREWORKS unless I’ve had my Xanax. Happy Fourth, y’all.

I hate champaign flutes so don't even start with me.

I hate champaign flutes so don't even start with me.