Ready to wine down and chill after a tough week?

Ok, maybe your week wasn’t all that bad? Fabulous – you’re just jazzed about the weekend and having a friend or two over to hang out and relax. No matter what your plans are, we have a fun column with suggestions for affordable wines. Plus, we pair the wines with easy to make-at-home dinners and a viewing selection that fits with the theme. Let’s wine down and chill together!

As the month of May winds down, we only have a couple of days left to celebrate Asian-Pacific American Heritage month. Back in 1978,  President Jimmy Carter first declared it a national event. Over the last few weeks, we have suggested two (1, 2) wine-food-movie pairings that celebrate the heritage and culture of our Asian-Pacific American friends and neighbors. Today, we’ll squeeze in one more in a bit of a hodge-podge wine down and chill where Asia meets America meets France!

Many people complain about the heaviness of red wines. Others dislike how the tannins give them a headache. Some of my friends feel that the full-bodied taste of Cabernets and Merlots is too much for them. No worries, we’re going to cover each of these issues in future columns. But, for now, let’s stay focused on a lighter wine down and chill theme. 

Wine down with a lighter shade of pale red

Yes, that’s a nod to the 1967 mega-hit by the one-hit wonder, Procol Harum. But it’s on-point with our theme this week which is taking a lighter approach – to everything. We just celebrated Memorial Day. For some, it’s a heavy day of loss and mourning. Whereas for others, it’s a day off work synonymous with BBQs and over-indulging on meat and beer. Over the past week, we’ve had terrifying weather with numerous tornadoes plus violent t-storm disasters that have wreaked havoc across the nation. So today, we’re going to lighten up a bit.

Wine Down and Chill with Radius Red BlendToday’s red blend by Radius is a popular choice, broadly available for around $12 per bottle and generally well-liked. Within just 10 years of launch, the winery reached a big milestone: 4 million bottles have now been sold. It is a medium-bodied wine. The tannins are balanced out with the smoothness derived from the vanilla notes which are a result of aging in French oak barrels. Cherry-berry forward flavors make it easy to drink. Perfect, actually, to wine down and chill.

The Radius Red Blend is produced in Washington state, which is the second largest wine region in the USA. California, is, of course, the largest. That said, it’s only taken about 50 years for Washington to make its mark in the field for reputable, reproducible wines. This is no easy feat! The climate conditions in the state are atypical for wine regions ranging from desert-like extremes of intense heat to below-zero temperatures and high rainfalls in other regions.  Combined, weather issues create considerable challenges to optimize growth, ensure the continued viability of the vines and create balanced flavors.

 

Nothing cheesy about our next event

Grit Daily News is on the scene at tech conferences and key events that are shaping society today. Additionally, we routinely host special events to bring people together to network, have fun and learn a thing or two. Our next event is June 5 in NYC at the fabulous French Cheese Board in Manhattan.

And if the draw of creamy French cheeses wasn’t fabulous enough on its own, the event will feature the Founder of 7:47 and Chief Question Asker, Chris Schembra himself. Chris is legendary as a Broadway producer who has a substantial amount of hardware on his mantel. Specifically, 14 Tony Awards, 7 Emmys and 1 Grammy. Interested in some dynamic conversation and touching shoulders with the who’s who in the city? Then buy your tickets here. See you there!

Five ingredients and five steps

One, pick out a selection of cheeses. For some, this can be challenging. Good thing that the French Cheese Board made a list of the Top 10 that you must try!

Two, to keep things easy (after all, this is a wine down and chill column), select Trader Joe’s Cracker Assortment to get variety plus convenience in one box.

Three, select red grapes and green grapes, blue grapes if you can find them, plus some unexpected fruit combinations like pomegranate seeds and star fruit to mix things up a little.

Four, assuming no nut allergies, select salted peanuts, something interesting like Blue Diamond Smokehouse almonds and Emerald Nuts sriracha cashews. You should also consider adding an Oriental Snack Mix for a flavor punch.

Five, aesthetics count here. Select a large, wooden cutting board or any type of platter that you have. Think about the layout and mix brightly colored fruits with cheeses and line up rows of crackers in between to make it as pleasing to view as it is to eat.

Pour yourself a big glass, toss a grape or two into the air to try to catch it with a gaping mouth, then get seated to wine down and chill.

Maybe – maybe not

As you know from columns earlier this month, I am a fan of Keanu Reeves who just happens to make an epic entrance for his cameo-plus role in the new film on Netflix tonight, Always Be My Maybe. FYI, I did get to the theater to see his latest big-screen movie, John Wick, Chapter 3: Parabellum and it did not disappoint. If you’re looking for heart-pounding action movie featuring non-stop fight scene with a body count too high to tabulate complete with Horse-Fu and Dog-Fu but not so much dialogue, then this is the movie for you!

If you’re planning to wine down and chill in that uncomfortable friend zone but need to figure out how to get unstuck, then you will want to watch tonight’s featured RomCom, Always Be My Maybe, to get some tips. Actors Randall Park and Ali Wong light up the screen with sexual tension, nuance, and awkward laughter. Sit alone, closer together or at opposite ends of the couch and do whatever works for you. Just make sure that you lighten up, wine down and enjoy a tasty red blend, a few decadent kinds of cheese and a bunch of laughs.

Cheers!