Loralyn Mears, PhD
Wine Down and Chill: Get Your Umbrella
This article was originally published on April 24, 2020 at https://gritdaily.com/wine-down-and-chill-cloudy-chardonnay/
The world is still struggling and all of us behind wine down and chill are still trying to help you through it by doing our part. Most of you are drinking more wine lately with virtual happy hours (VHH) so you’re even more interested in learning about different wines so that you can get down to drinking it! 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. Grit Daily News Podcast, Like a BOSS 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.
Theme: cloudy with a chance of snowballs It’s that kind of morning as I sit here typing away. Sure, we could lament how dreary it is in the greater NYC region or we could throw a little empathy over the midwest and Canada where it’s cloudy with a chance of snowballs this weekend. Or, we could take a wine down and chill positive attitude and sing in the rain.
Listen: it’s raining songs, Hallelujah! There is no shortage of wine down and chill music options today. It’s a good thing we’re suggesting a 1.5 L bottle of wine because you’re going to need a long time to get through all these awesome tunes.
Kick it up with a dance party at home with “It’s Raining Men” by the Weather Girls, “Here Comes the Rain Again” by the Eurythmics and “Umbrella” by Rihanna (back in the day when she used to make songs). “Blame it on the Rain” by the infamous lip syncers Milli Vanilli and “I Love a Rainy Night” by Eddie Rabbitt. Get a little moody with “Purple Rain” by Prince, “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele, “The Rain Song” by Led Zeppelin, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain” by CCR. Here’s a rainy play list.
Learn: wine down and chill never rains on Chardonnay This wine down and chill green grape is unabashedly the most popular white wine varietal in the world; in part, because it is so easy to grow. As it turns out, Chardonnay was an accident! History suggests that Chardonnay is Pinot Noir’s “daughter” after a chance crossing of a Pinot Noir vine with a Gouais Blanc vine, the latter of which is essentially nonexistent in France today where it originated some time around the 5th Century.
How did an accidental vine crossing become so popular? Leave it to a woman, as they say! It was first cultivated and named in France from the Mȃcon region of Burgundy over 1200 years ago because the wife of Emperor Charlemagne (who’s name has been lost to history) purportedly demanded that her staff grow green grapes and make white wines so that she no longer had to look at her husband’s “disgusting beard stained with red wine.” That wine region is now known as Carlton-Charlemagne.
Flavors change so do wine down and chill trends Chardonnay changes flavors depending on where it’s grown. Warm wine down and chill regions like Napa Valley and Australia bring out tropical flavors like pineapple, mango and coconut with soft acidity. In contrast, Chardonnay grown in cooler regions like Willamette Valley bring out apple, pear and citrus flavors with bright acidity. The toasted oak, marshmallow and vanilla notes are not characteristic of the varietal itself but are brought forward through barrel-aging. Unoaked Chardonnays, which began gaining popularity in the 1990s, offer consumers non-buttery options.
Up until the 1950s, it was called “Pinot Chardonnay.” Back then, there were less than 100 acres in California dedicated to Chardonnay. Today, the number exceeds 100,000 acres and Americans consume over 840,000 bottles per year. Monterey County is the region with the most Chardonnay vineyards at nearly 17,000 acres. This wine is best served 55ºF – 58ºF in a glass with a wide bowl and a narrow opening.
“From the last rains of winter to the flowering of spring vines, nothing is as exciting as the cycle of the vineyard and the promise of new wine.” ~Cloud Break Wines
Wine: Cloud Break Chardonnay There are some trends happening in and around our wine down and chill effort. “Zoom fatigue” is now a thing and people are pushing back on virtual happy hours everyday of the week. People are starting to shift back towards norms like having wine on the weekends versus everyday of the week – by 3:00 pm! That said, Cloud Break Chardonnay by Cloud Break Wines is so buttery smooth, that you’re going to be very happy to upsize given that the 1.5 L bottle is only $20. Can you find the faint notes of coconut? Start dreaming of the clouds passing by so when the summer sun and scents of the beach will once again be within our reach. Vanilla and toasted oak are the characteristic notes that you’d expect from a wine down and chill barrel-aged chardonnay but the slight whiff of pear and green apple add a freshness to this wine that takes you from COVID chaos to zen.
Dine: cloudy with a chance of meatballs Not only is that movie with that namesake one of our favorites over here at wine down and chill, but it’s just a fun and silly title that all you can do is smile when you hear it. And we all need more smiles and laughter! It’s been a tough slog and the virus has exacted an unimaginable toll. So, we need to find ways to keep our communities strong and help each other.
Begin by making dinner with a quick pasta and optional meatless balls or meatballs. Your choice! Given how limited ingredients are around many parts of the country, we’ll keep things simple today. Fry up some onions, garlic and tomatoes in oil or butter if its available to you. Quarter the meatballs so that they get all sauced up in the frying pan. Add boiled pasta, garnish and then pour yourself a nice, big glass of icy cold Chardonnay so that you can wine down and chill.
Watch: Singin’ in the Rain This 1952 classic starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds will have you cheering for more rain. Singin’ in the Rain offers comedy, romance and a musical production. What more could you want after you’ve streamed everything else offered on Netflix and Amazon? It’s the weekend (yes, it’s Friday). Time to wine down and chill. Cheers!