The sun is tempting all of us at wine down and chill to get outside and absorb some rays, in a social distancing way, of course. It’s patio season and we know that you’re all interested in learning about different wines so that you can get down to drinking them! Got it.
We’ll continue to offer affordable suggestions for music, wine, dinner and movies with a different wine down and chill theme each week. You can also follow me on Instagram for wine art and photography @WineDownAndChill. We’re here to help you sit back, wine down and chill. If you missed an article, fret not! You can find every article here.
If you like podcasts, well, wouldn’t you know, I’ve got one of those, too! Join me for Women-in-Tech “Like a BOSS” every week for snappy insights in a quick power-up 10-minute format; find it on Apple, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more.
Theme: a diamond in the rough
Diamonds seemed like the perfect wine down and chill theme today; the most beautiful gemstones emerge under explosive pressure from the darkest of places. Rather fitting given the current state of the world, don’t you think? But these uncut gems don’t shine until they’re polished and exposed to light. So, all you uncut gems out there, polish yourselves up, get outside, and go sparkle in the sun!
Listen: diamonds are forever
Learn: wine down and chill with Claret
This is the first Claret that we’ve featured here on wine down and chill. To many, it sounds obscure but it’s actually American Bordeaux. Yes, it’s fashioned the way that the French do it, only it’s produced on US soils using grapes harvested from anywhere except the illustrious French region from which it derives its name.
It’s amusing how things change over time. During the Middle Ages, Bordeaux was a spicy, pale rose coined, “clairet” by the French to call out its “clear” or light coloring. The term was also used to reference the process of pouring heated wine over a bag of spices. In 1151, Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine were married in a trade deal between Bordeaux and England; numerous casks of Claret were shipped to the UK in celebration of the marriage which helped establish it as the “Englishman’s wine.” Sometime during the 18th Century, it morphed into the dry dark red wine blend as we know it today and was affectionately named “Claret” by the British who were said to be its biggest fans.
Claret is commonly a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (my favorite, as we know!), Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, which we have featured in previous wine down and chill columns. The magic of Claret is that it blends all of these luscious, dark grapes into a dry, full bodied wine. Like most things, popularity ebbs and flows, and Claret is currently receding – perhaps it’s time for its renaissance?
Wine: Coppola Diamond Claret
As a fan of all the wines produced by the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, it’s challenging to select a wine down and chill favorite, but their Coppola Diamond Claret stands above the others. Based on the scores awarded by Wine Enthusiast for this wine, it appears that I’m not the only one who loves it. Indeed, Coppola crushes it with this blend of
All of my favorite wine notes are there from jammy berries and cassis to roasted coffee. Unlike the majority of Claret wines, this richly aromatic blend does not contain Merlot grapes. Aged 14 months in French Oak, priced around $17 per bottle, this wine approaches 14% alcohol and packs a pleasant punch!
Dine: sparkly salt
Yup, there’s some of that happening in our household as our normal routine has morphed a bit over the past couple of months. We try, but, alas, it doesn’t happen every day of the week. Since it is patio season (translation – summer is unofficially here now that we’ve celebrated Memorial Day), make some homemade ice-cream. Buttermilk, caramel syrup, crumbled peanut butter cups and oh, yes, the “diamonds” are the sea salt crystals that you need to sprinkle liberally on the top of your scoop just before you consume it.
Watch: Uncut Gems
I’m not a fan of Adam Sandler’s “comedic genius” but his dramatic portrayal as a gambler who’s in over his head with his bookie deserves respect. “Uncut Gems” is a riveting story of a man on the edge, willing to gamble everything. Clocking in at just over two hours and also starring Idina Menzel, this wine down and chill thriller paces perfectly with the glass (or two) of Claret that you’ll be enjoying.
It’s the weekend. Time to wine down and chill. Cheers!
Lead Photo by Elina Sazonova from Pexels