Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Green

I am all for breaking tradition, making my own rules, subverting the modern paradigm, etc., particularly in the name of joy and revelry. And I am ALL for theme parties. But there are some times in life when one must face the reality of a situation, and call a spade, a spade. Or in this case, a shamrock, a shamrock.

It is an undeniable truth: St. Patrick’s Day is a beer holiday. No matter what silly attempts we in the industry make to convince people that wine can be an integral part of an Irish national holiday, it just is not reasonable. And out of respect for the divine juice of the vine, I am using this blog entry as a declaration that I will no longer humiliate wine with green food coloring on March 17th! Nor will I deny myself the joys of a good pint of my brew of choice if I decide to patronize the pub on this day of Irish pride.

This all being said, I am not one to give up on the excuse to enjoy wines because of the limitations of a holiday (And it is a shame to only get a go at wearing that garishly green shirt one day out of the year)! As the hours of sunlight grow longer, and the days grow warmer, the green that graces the month of March is not the exclusive rights of those that hail from the Emerald Isle. No, this Savvy Sommelier implores you to drink to ‘the rite of spring’ this month, and what better way than with a glass of wine that honors all things green.

No, put that food dye away!

Creative thinking is at the root of all great parties; here are a few ideas to run with, and a few great wines to feature:
  • Go green by throwing an environmentally-friendly party featuring all organic goodies, and pour only the best in organic or biodynamic wines. Alma Rosa is a top organic winery in Santa Barbara County, and their Pinot Noir is always a crowd-pleaser.
  • Be literal, and in season: throw an “All About Gruner” party, and pour only Gruner Veltliner wines. “Gruner” translates as ‘green’ in German, and these super-crisp white wines have bright green herbal flavors that go very well with the fresh produce of spring. A tasty one to try is the Schmeltz 2006 Gruner Veltliner.
  • Green Spain. Spain is a gold-mine of great wine and food, but often leaves people seeing red. However, the Basque region of Spain is also known as España Verde, or Green Spain. The food is centered around the fruits of the sea, and the acidic, refreshing wines of the region are spectacular to pair with them. Celebrate the same lust for life as the Spanish and enjoy the culinary delights of this culture. The 2006 Nessa Albarino is a beautiful and delicate white that begs for oysters, while the 2006 Jose Pariente Verdelho is a rounder, peachier wine, that adores cheeses and more substantial dishes, like paella.
Once you get going, there are many possibilities for a greener state of mind when it comes to wine! Stop by Savvy Cellar's "Green Wine Tasting" this Sunday 3-5pm.

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