This month’s wine writing challenge (#33 if you’re keeping track or ignored the title of this post) is Once Upon A Time, which was selected by last month’s winner Wining with Mel.
To most people, Once upon a time probably makes them think of a plethora of Grimm fairy tales or perhaps a certain tv show, but not me. Once upon a time makes me think of college. This is because at the time I was living with my BFF and whenever she couldn’t sleep, I would hear her yelling from down the hall: I can’t sleep, tell me a story.
All of my stories (at least that I can remember–it has been few years ago!)–started with: Once upon a time in a land far, far away there was a beautiful princess named Christina. If I were feeling loquacious, my stories would be rather long and involved, often based on my own travels. If I didn’t, the story would be exceptionally short and sweet, like this*:
Once upon a time in a land far, far away there lived a beautiful princess named Christina, who drank all the wine in her castle. Unfortunately, her sommelier could not get her more wine immediately, so she had him guillotined, and then cried herself to sleep. The End.
*This story has been changed to fit the parameters of writing about wine. It is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event (don’t panic people: no castle has been depleted of their wine stores nor any sommelier guillotined!).
Of course, because it is a wine writing challenge, I feel if I just left you with a horror story about a castle with no wine and a guillotined sommelier, I would be banned from further participation in future MWWCs. Plus, I’m feeling a bit loquacious…so Sissy, this one is for you!
Once upon a time in a land far, far away there was a beautiful princess named Christina. Princess Christina lived in a big, beautiful castle overlooking a
pool small and peaceful lake and sprawling lands. One beautiful morning, Princess Christina went downstairs to find her cook distraught. The wine cellar was empty! The sommelier? Gone! Neither of these were through any fault of Princess Christina (despite a previously mentioned horror story). However, Princess Christina decided that moving forward she would be personally checking all references on job applications.
But hiring a new sommelier was the least of her worries–SHE HAD AN EMPTY WINE CELLAR! What is a princess to do? Not wanting to wait through the drudgery of finding another sommelier, Princess Christina did the only thing she could think of: she loaded up her carriage and set off immediately in search of great wine.
Her first stop was to find a buttery chardonnay, so she headed west to California. While chardonnays today aren’t quite as buttery as in the days of yore, she knew she could still find something delicious at the La Crema Winery.
She was definitely not disappointed. The 2015 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, while not buttery per se (for definitions, click here!), is still very creamy and complex with oak and melon flavors. It is hearty enough to pair with a meal, like Thanksgiving dinner, but is smooth enough to enjoy with a cheese course or simply paired with a good book while sitting by the
pool small and peaceful lake.
As much as Princess Christina wanted to spend the day at La Crema, her empty cellar kept her on task. With a few cases of this classic chardonnay loaded in her carriage, Princess Christina set off for Italy (she has a special flying carriage, don’t question–this is a fairy tale!). Home of Italians, Chianti, Prosecco, Mount Vesuvius, and a delicious little thing called Montepulciano.
The Tralcetto Montepulciano from Catina Zaccagnini is a great addition to the wine cellar as an Italian alternative to the traditional Chianti. This Montepulciano is quite bold and fruity–although not as much as a zinfandel–but has a dry finish. It is flavorful without being overbearing and because it is aged in steel then oak it is very balanced. It drinks well with a wide variety of pastas (as any good Italian wine should!), especially venison ragù. And in terms of pure novelty/coolness points, each bottle has a small twig of the vine tied around the neck of the bottle.
Princess Christina was very excited to add this to her carriage and as much as it pained her to leave, she still had to make at least one more stop before heading back to her castle. There was some inner dialogue as to where her final stop would be, but she soon realized that there was only one real choice: Champagne.
Of course within Champagne, the possibilities were endless. So–being ever the diplomat–Princess Christina decided to randomly pick and ended up at a quaint little house called Perrier-Jouët. With a plethora of champagnes from which to choose, Princess Christina tried them all several times and perhaps she came home with at least a case of each. It was hard not to do so, after all it is champagne and one can never have too much champagne on hand! Like the Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut. It has floral and citrus notes with a nutty, crisp finish that makes it very easy to drink.
Laden down with a carriage full of wine, Princess Christina decided that she had a very good start to restocking her wine cellar and the best thing for her to do is go back home where she could sit by the
pool small and peaceful lake with a glass of wine. Her only worry now was which wine to drink first. And as she sat and enjoyed her glass of wine and the tranquility of the pool small and peaceful lake, she reminisced on the fun of her wine buying trip . While she still wanted to hire a new sommelier, perhaps she needn’t hire one just yet.