Fair enough, things are far from perfect and anything but normal but we’re trying to give everyone a short reprieve with our weekly wine down and chill column. And many of you have indicated that you want to learn about wine then get down to drinking it. Got it; let’s go!
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.
Theme: Good Friday
For those of you that are celebrating Passover, I recognize that the pandemic likely interrupted your plans and traditions, but I do hope that you can find a way to safely enjoy and honor the holiday. The same holds true for those of you celebrating Good Friday and Easter Weekend; all of us here at wine down and chill wish you a wonderful holiday. And, for everyone else who is not celebrating a religious or spiritual holiday at this time, nobody needs a reason to raise a glass! Enjoy a virtual happy hour once in a while!
Listen: Good, Good Vibrations
The Beach Boys were a bit before my time but their famous song, Good Vibrations, has persisted for more than five decades and still gets people dancing today. One of my favorite bands, The Cowboy Junkies, has the perfect song for today: Good Friday. Here is a playlist with more than 50 other “good” songs.
Learn: Red Zinfandel
Zinfandel grapes date back to the California Gold Rush where they forever secured a prominent place in wine-making history. It is quite popular and represents about 10% of all grapes planted in the area. Central and Sonoma Counties have the ideal terroir for this black-skinned varietal which favors the growth of larger grapes and higher sweetness levels. Translated? This means that the wines produced tend to have higher alcohol content with a delicate hint of sweetness so they pair well with spicy BBQ dishes, curries, or roasted peppers, tomatoes and onions.
The red Zinfandel wines aren’t as bold or darkly colored as their second-cousin, Cabernet Sauvignon, but they are accessible and as good for day drinkin’ as they are for a holiday dinner, dining in of course. Higher elevation Zinfandels have greater savory and intensity in their flavors. Until Cabs “stole the show” in the 1980s, Zinfandels were California’s hallmark grape.
Wine: Murphy Goode Zinfandel Liar’s Dice
The object of wine down and chill is to avoid politics and religion, but today’s wine selection was just too goode (pun intended) to pass up. First, it is Good Friday so you get the naming convention alignment there. Secondly, according to holy Scriptures, Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples (Judas) and the relationship that he with another (Peter) was denied three times. The story continues to say that dice were cast to award the winners with the robes worn by Jesus. Hence, “Liar’s Dice” seems like a perfect fit.
Plus, it’s also an anniversary year for the Murphy Goode Winery which was established in 1985. The founders, Tim Murphy, Dale Goode and Dave Ready, were playing a game of Liar’s Dice when they decided to launch in Sonoma County. In this COVID pandemic when charitable donations are essential to helping others get through it, the winery routinely makes contributions to various organizations in California and Oregon.
Murphy Goode Zinfandel Liar’s Dice is not only spot-on with today’s wine down and chill theme, but it’s also an enjoyable wine. In my home, we routinely drink their Cabernet Sauvignon (I know, surprise, surprise, another Cab) but their Zinfandel is a fun alternative that doesn’t stray very far from our palette preferences. Priced at $18-20 per bottle, the black cherry, plum and blackberry rich, full-bodied fruity aromas are bold and plentiful – with a hint of sweetness. Aging in combination French-American casks balances out all the tannins and makes this wine smooth.
Dine: Good Fun
All over social media, I keep seeing posts regarding the first place that people are going to dine at once this is all over. We’ll be heading to one of our favorites in New Jersey, Regina’s Steakhouse & Grill where they introduced us to Murphy Goode wines. Many of us are accustomed to doing some cooking, but not three meals, seven days a week. That said, we’re luckier than most if that’s what we’re complaining about.
So, in our house, my stepdaughter is making meal-time fun by selecting a different theme every night. Sometimes, it’s a silly hat. Other times, it’s wearing one color head to toe. We even had one dinner where shoes were required to dress it up a bit! No matter what you do with your wine down and chill menu, just make it good fun and make the most of it.
Watch: The Good, The Bad …
For those of you with small children, wine down and chill is offering two movie suggestions this week. Both films, for whatever reason, have atypically long titles.
Clint Eastwood, a force to be reckoned with, will soon be celebrating his 90th birthday. In honor of that milestone, the legacy that he has created and the likelihood that you’ve probably already watched everything streaming on Netflix, today’s first movie selection is, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. This 1996 Western runs almost three hours long, so it will keep you riveted and entertained watching a couple of ruthless bounty hunters seek out their targets.
If you have younger children at home or you’re just not in the mood for a wine down and chill with a Western, funny man Steve Carrell and Hollywood’s sweetheart, Jennifer Garner, will have you laughing all the way through their silly comedy. The 2014 kid-friendly flick, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, is relatable and pretty much describes an average day in today’s era of “life interrupted” and “zoom interrupted.”
Maybe you’d be interested in reading a book that is raising funds for our foodbank? Have a look at COVID-19 The Battle for Humanity. It’s a thrilling page-turner!
It’s the weekend. Did you even know it was Friday or have you also lost all sense of day and time? Either way, it’s time to wine down and chill. Cheers!