Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Happy Unbirthday To You!


Happy unbirthday! Today may not be your birthday, but here’s an idea for when it comes: the Reverse Birthday! YOU give the gifts.

Mine was Sunday and my lovely wife, Lavell, had the idea.

At our gardening friend Lesley’s Peony Party (no jokes, please) we put out an array of T-shirts and rainbow-hued socks and announced, “These are for you all. Happy birthday to me!”

Huge hit. Someone had brought a homemade Virginia Sponge Cake and it was time to open the vino. Do try this at home. Perhaps at a backyard barbecue.

A good way to start the BBQ party would be Chateau des Charmes Sauvignon Blanc 2017, $16, the perfect Pinot Grigio slayer, as a fresh, crisp (unoaked) aperitif in an easy gooseberry/citrus style. With the salad or with oysters.

Carnivores will love the Chateau’s 2016 Cabernet-Merlot, an elegantly fruity blend of Cab Franc, Cab Sauv and Merlot aged 9 months in French oak, also $16. Ageable but why wait?

If you’re craving Pinot Noir, there’s a great 2016 just under the radar, from Angels Gate, truly Burgundian in its finesse and flavors, showing berry fruits, spring flowers, cherry and raspberry notes and gentle tannins. 

All for $18. Crafted by Aussie master winemaker Phil Dowell.