This wine’s for you, too

The day started quietly but soon developed into chaos.

You know how it goes. Your day is planned — everything is in its place and perfectly scheduled. Then the sun comes up and it seems like everyone you know needs something like right now.

Naturally our immediate response is…sure I’ll help you. After your multiple “sure I’ll help you”statements are made, you realize there is no way under God’s blue sky, you can do it all. And anxiety sets in — you’ve got too much on your plate and now you are looking for an escape — it’s too much.

Too much on your plate — remember last week when I mentioned how I would relate one of our four children to a part of a holiday meal? Last week “I” was like the appetizer part of the meal. Well, this week it’s “J” who is like the main course.

The main course of any meal is the backbone of the event and to use an all inclusive phrase — it’s the meat and potatoes of the dinner. It’s where we really fill our bellies with dish after dish of strong and fulfilling — like “J” — foods.

If the main course is what it should be, every dish can be a stand alone event. It has its own flavor — like “J” — but can also pair nicely with the other dishes being presented — like “J.” But it can certainly stand on its own — like “J.”

Yet, once in awhile, there’s that main course dish that’s unexpected and catches your attention. Maybe it’s the new seasoning on the meat that catches you by surprise or, perhaps it’s the addition of a red pepper in the vegetables that catches your breath and gives you a wonderfully new and satisfying taste gift — just like “J.”

However with all those big flavored foods, you’ll need a wine that supports, cooperates with and bolsters each segment of the main course. For example…

If your holiday meal circles around white meat, go for a nice white wine and a Riesling is a good choice. One of my favorites is Horse Heaven Hills’ North by Northwest Riesling. This is a dry — like “J’s” sense of humor –white wine that is balanced nicely between being too acidic and too sweet. With its mild minerality and light citrus flavors, it should please everyone around the table.

Round Lake Vineyards and Winery (Round Lake) produces a fine LaCrescent that is made less than 75 miles from here. It has a pleasing floral aroma, a light sweet flavor and it has a nice crisp citrus finish. By the way, the winery is located on the same ground as the Round Lake Waterfowl Station and you’re able to sit back on the winery’s patio and enjoy a view of wildlife that is unsurpassed — just like “J.”

If your meat of choice is a red meat, that calls for a wine with more flavor and robustness — just like “J.” One of the reds I discovered lately is a hearty blend of Marquette and Frontenac grapes with a bit of added Malbec called High Maintenance from Buffalo Rock Winery near Buffalo. The Malbec gives a nice base to the Marquette and Frontenac flavors and provides a wonderful luscious mouth feel to the wine.

A wine bottle that has numbers on it rather than a name always catches my attention and Noble Wines (Lodi, Calif.) produces a Cabernet Sauvignon called 337. It’s an amazing — just like “J” – wine grown from old vines that have lived through great adversity (diseases, fires) and are now so special they are designated by numbers. At 14.5 percent alcohol, 337 is not only very dry but full of spectacular blackberry flavors that balance well with its tannins. This is one of my top 10 wines.

If you’re seeking a milder red wine, give one of the many merlots on the market a try. Today’s merlot is not yesterday’s merlot with its washed out weak flavors. The merlot of today is a great wine (and value) and will stand beside any dish you place on the table.

Yes, there are times when our plates are full — it’s a fact of life and we all have our ways of dealing with those overfull situations. We just need to realize there is always someone upon whom we can count to support us — just like “J.” Yes, “J,” this wine’s for you, too.

Next week, another chapter of the book.

As always, eat and drink in moderation but laugh with reckless abandon!