Yesterday: 74 degrees and sunny. Today: 62 and cloudy with showers. Yup, autumn is officially here. We often have Indian Summers here in Northern California and this year was not an exception. Which is good for the grapes, since everyone was so far behind anyway. But if you’re not done now, you can likely kiss those grapes hanging on the vines goodbye. Just come away saying better luck next year. I know that isn’t what anyone wants to hear, but that’s about where we are.
But on to the good stuff….
I love living here in Northern California for many reasons, of course, including that I get to work in the wine industry. I’ve lived here all my life (except for one year in Las Vegas), so I don’t really know any different, but one of my favorite things is that we usually have four seasons. All of you that live in states where it snows will probably argue with me saying we don’t really get winter. But I disagree, there is definitely a difference between fall and winter and we can see it in the vineyard. After the first overnight freeze (yes, it happens here) all those beautiful colorful leaves on the vines right now turn brown and fall off, leaving bare sticks.
Like the four seasons of the year, I also go through changes in what wines I want to drink. Just the weekend before last, I was sipping Sauvignon Blanc enjoying the nearly 80 degree temps. But last night when it turned cold, all I thought about was what Cabernet I would pull out of the cellar for tonight’s consumption….
A. Rafanelli 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery is located in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. They are a small-ish producer of primarily Cabernet, Zinfandel and Merlot. The winery name has been around since the early 1900’s, but didn’t survive during prohibition. It was later started again in the 1950’s at its current location just outside of Healdsburg.
There’s just something about a cold(er) night, a bottle of Cabernet and a fire crackling in the background….
Yes, the fuzzy slippers are absolutely necessary! Changing weather calls for changing what’s in my glass. A big, rich Cabernet that matches up nicely with a cool evening and a rain storm. Although, I may have busted into my cellar a little too soon as the rain was more of a threat today than anything else.
It’s not just Cabernet though, I’ve tended to consume bigger, bolder wines in the winter and brighter, lighter wines in the summer. Spring and autumn are in between where depending on the climate that day can bring any number of different wines. I’ve also been known to break out a creamy, oak-ey Chardonnay on a cold winter night as well. However, I tend to enjoy those at closer to room temperature than Sauvignon Blanc, for instance.
I know I’m not the only one that changes what they drink with the season, but I’m guessing that most people probably don’t realize they do it. I look forward to new seasons and re-discovering what is in my cellar that pairs nicely with the weather. I also look forward to the next (real) rainy day, digging in the cellar and getting lost in a good book. Although, with two kids and a busy life, it’s probably a pipe dream!