Where did summertime go? I can’t believe Labor Day is already here.
Although this end-of-season, three-day weekend traditionally brings summer to a close, don’t despair just yet. We could have a few more weeks with sunny, warm days before fall arrives with its cool temps and soft rains.
There’s still time to drink pink!
If you’ve been to The Wine Shack or the Cannon Beach Farmers Market this summer, there’s a good chance you’ve tasted our own Puffin Rosé. It’s our first rosé vintage and — like the other Puffin wines — it’s been very well received by our customers. Made for us by Del Rio Vineyards in a dry style comparable to a French rosé, this wine is a beautiful salmon color and has abundant strawberry and citrus flavors. Honestly, it has been one of my favorites this summer, and I can guarantee that we’ll have another Puffin Rosé next year as well.
One of the main reasons I love rosé is that while it’s fine by itself, it also pairs nicely with almost any food. From tacos to sushi, you can’t miss with a nicely chilled bottle of rosé. In my opinion, rosé is the perfect summer wine. But, for those of you who can’t bear to drink a pink wine, I’ll move on…..
Back in May, I wrote a column about wines to enjoy with grilled foods. In that column, I mentioned some tried and true favorites like pinot noir, zinfandel and rosé (enough about rosé, I know), but as the summer winds down, I’d like you to go outside your comfort zone and try something new. Instead of zinfandel, try a nice bottle of Angel Vine Primitivo.
If you aren’t familiar with primitivo, this grape is closely related to zinfandel and shares many traits of its clonal cousin. I love this wine because it’s packed with fruit flavors of plum and cherry but also entices you with smoky accents. It seems to be made specifically for grilled foods, so if you’re a bit adventurous, you should give primitivo a try.
Did you know that The Wine Shack is one of the top sellers of port in Oregon? While not an official statistic, I know it’s true because when I put in my weekly order for more port, my distributor laughs and tells me that I’m the only store in the state selling port at his time of the year. How do we do it, you ask? It’s easy, because it’s never 90 degrees during the day and our nights are always a bit brisk. Port is the perfect night cap when the temperatures dip a bit.
Maryann and I recently went to a fabulous “Syrah’s on the Stones” patio party. As the crowd started dwindling and the bonfire began roaring, I opened up a bottle of Angel Vine “The Sweet One” Port. I did my best to keep within the theme of the evening, as Angel Vine’s Port is a blend of petit sirah and zinfandel, in a ruby style that gives it fruit flavors of plum and raisins, with tantalizing notes of chocolate. The port was a smash hit with those who stayed for the “after party,” and it’s a good thing I had a second bottle of port in the bag, because the first one went so fast. You can pair port with chocolates or dessert, but, instead, this group found the Angel Vine best pairing for port was a bonfire and laughter. That’s what wine is about, anyway, sharing with friends.
Lastly, as summer comes to a close, Maryann and I would like to thank everyone who came into The Wine Shack, stopped by our farmers market booth or visited our tasting room this summer. We have great customers, and we really enjoy the many conversations we had. Sometimes we talk about football (Go Packers!), sometimes we talk about music (the Beatles are THE greatest band ever) and other times we even talk about wine.
Our goal is to make new friends and help you find the perfect wine while you’re in town. We hope to see you again next year, but if you can’t wait until then, you can always find us online at www.beachwine.com.
Steven Sinkler and his wife, Maryann, own The Wine Shack in Cannon Beach. His column appears every month.