Nov 12 2009

An Open Letter to Summer

By Raquel Scianna

Photo by Distressed Jewell


First let me start off by saying I am fully aware that it’s November. Fully, agonizingly aware.

But really, Summer. WTF.  You leave us mid-September (oh yes, I remember those 80 degree September days fondly) and just as we’re about to resign to impending winter, you give us an incredible, 70 degree weekend–only to take it away…again! Well guess what, Summer, I don’t need you or your tricksy ways anymore. Yes, I miss your dozens of colorful street festivals, your sweltering humidity, your sun browning my shoulders! Sure, I miss lying by the pool, being fanned by palm fronds and fed sliced, exotic fruits by hunky Ryan Gosling look-alikes while sipping on some good Riesling. (Ok, that never happened, but only because there wasn’t enough time.) But I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve too, in the form of new, downright tropical whites we just got in here at Just Grapes to keep the party going just a little longer.

The 2007 La Vis Dipinti Pinot Grigio is beautifully aromatic with white, summery flowers, and hints of peach–the kind of wine that’s meant to be sipped while lying in a hammock in the shade on a hot, June day, or during a deep Chicago freeze while fantasizing about that hot, June day.

Our 2007 Andrian Pinot Bianco is crisp and refreshing, with nice minerality, ripe melons, and a smidge of honey. This is  reminiscent of picnics in the park and maybe even a kite-flying date, and would be lovely with chicken-asparagus risotto or some grilled shrimp-onion-pineapple kabobs.

If an Indian Summer were somehow bottled in all its delightfully unexpected glory, 2008 Conundrum would be it. Way juicy apple, nectarine, pear and yummy white flowers make this medium-bodied white blend the perfect surprise for a cool, fall afternoon. I see this going fantastically with a chicken salad with some tart, vinegary dressing.

Part of our Gluttons for Gamay series of Beaujolais wines at the shop, 2008 Terres Dorees Beaujolais Blanc Chardonnay is a lovely, minerally white that eases you into fall. Like a sunny November day, this Beaujolais Blanc is crisp and crunchy, but also has a ripe, peachy juiciness and a touch of citrus.

Summer, we had some fun together, didn’t we? And these wines just remind me of the good times. With friggin’ Winter looming just around the corner, you’ve faded just like my once-immaculate tan…for now.

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