What to Drink this February 2013


The end of cold weather is in sight and vinous thoughts drift to lighter wines, though not quite yet to the crisp whites of summer. The solution to winter’s doldrums? Flavorful pink wines, which are especially fine choices for any Valentine celebration. Here are three bottles from vastly different regions of the world.
– Glenn Bardgett, member of the Missouri Wine and Grape Board and wine director at Annie Gunn's

Graham Beck Brut Rosé, South Africa This traditional chardonnay and pinot noir blend combines to create tiny pink bubbles with seductive aromas of as many berries as you can imagine. At around $18, this isn’t just for celebrating (unless you’re celebrating how good life is, of course). I kept thinking of smoked salmon as I was sipping.

Chase “Hayne Vineyard” Zinfandel Rosé, 2011, St. Helena, Napa Valley, Calif. The Hayne Vineyard in the heart of Napa was planted in 1903. This is a limited production of flavors that linger long enough to almost make you forget that this beautiful $22 wine is actually pink. Four-legged proteins will love it.

M. Chapoutier “Belleruche” Côtes-du-Rhône Rosé, 2011, France From southern France, this is dominated by Grenache, with some Cinsaut and syrah blended in. Pink-to-orange in color, this dry $15 bottle will conjure beautiful images of sipping along the Mediterranean. Think cheeses, charcuterie or any grilled seafood.


Still holding on to your New Year’s resolution eating habits? Here are a few beers that won’t kill your diet. Although lighter, these brews still offer enough intensity to keep the attention of any palate.
– Cory King, certified Cicerone and brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales

Batch 19 Pre-Prohibition Style Lager This golden American lager pours with a nice bubbly head, and its effervescence helps to draw out the subtle aroma of a grainy bread. The first sip has a surprising amount of earthy, grassy hops with some citrus and caramel layers. It finishes with a crisp, dry tingle that reminds you that this light beer won’t destroy your diet.

Guinness Draught I’ll say it again: Just because a beer is black doesn’t mean it’s heavy! Guinness is the classic example where the low alcohol (less calories) and dry body (less residual sugar) are offset by roasted malt and nitrogenation to create full flavors of chocolate, cream and coffee in a beer that has two calories less per 100 milliliters than Budweiser.

Berliner Style Weisse, Brettanomyces Lambicus Special Edition The Berliner Style Weisse Bier from Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof is one of my favorite styles. Full of lemon, tropical fruits, stone fruits and a rich, malty, wheaty mid-palate, they are very dry and rarely stronger than 3-percent ABV. The natural acidity in these tart session beers make you feel like you’re drinking something closer to Champagne.