Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Wine Blogging Wednesday #50: Wine and the Great Outdoors

Welcome to Wine Blogging Wednesday #50, hosted this month by Russ the Winehiker. He picked a great theme for us to think about this month: what wine would you take into the outdoors and share with your loved one on a walk, hike, or picnic? Russ promised to give us extra credit if we shared where we would walk, and even more extra credit if we actually walked the walk.

Unfortunately, we're too busy giving extra credit to our students to go outside right now and earn some from the Winehiker, but if we could take a walk I know just what we'd pack up in the picnic basket: a bottle of the 2007 Clif Bar Family Winery The Climber White Wine that I recently had a chance to sample. ($12.50 suggested retail; available online for between $10 and $15) The Clif Bar Family Winery was started by the same folks who brought us, among other treasures, the Mojo Bar which we find so necessary to survival that we buy them by the case at Whole Foods. The owners of the company, Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, believe in good food, good wine, family, and enjoying the outdoors. What wine could be better-suited to this WBW theme? It's even packaged using a Stelvin screw-cap closure, so you don't even have to worry about packing a corkscrew.

Of course, no matter what the wine-making philosophy or the portability of the wine, the bottom line is that it has to taste good. I'm here to tell you that this was a terrific, affordable white blend made with a core of juice from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Pinot Blanc (12%), Chenin Blanc (4%) and Muscat (3%) were added, with the result that the wine has good acidity but an impression of softness--if not quite sweetness--that makes it very versatile and appealing. When I opened the wine, I immediately detected aromas of pink grapefruit and nectarine. These were followed up by flavors of Meyer lemon, nectarine, and white peach. The aftertaste was fresh and juicy, and you just wanted to keep on sipping it because of the bright fruit flavors.

This excellent QPR wine will go with anything you like to have with a chilled white wine, from Chinese takeout to roast chicken to a crsip salad. If you're looking for a recipe to take on your hike or picnic, I highly recommend making some of the Spaghetti with Thai Peanut Sauce that we had. I subbed whole wheat spaghetti for the regular that the recipe called for, and substituted shredded cabbage and sliced cucumbes for the chicken. This not only made the recipe more healthy and suitable for vegetarians, it also made it portable. It's good chilled, too. I'm taking the leftovers into work for lunch tomorrow. And I'm packing a Mojo Bar for dessert.

Thanks to Russ for a terrific theme. I'm looking forward to hearing what others would take with them when they head out into the great outdoors.


Anonymous said...

great post. As a climber and long time lover of their bars, I have wanted to try there wines for some time. Your review has given me even more reason to run out and get some.


Unknown said...

Deb, despite your wearing your hiking shoes only figuratively, yours is such a great post. And of course, a great wine selection in that Climber White, which I have enjoyed on more than one occasion - so very much like a winehiker-type thing to do.

Thank you for participating! See you soon in Santa Rosa.


David said...

sounds like another good theme for WBW, and good choice by you. We've been hiking a lot less since our now 3 year old was born, but he's starting to show interest in it so hope to be back on the trails more now.

We were hiking a lot before I was into food & wine as I now am. We'd pack a simple picnic often involving bread and cheese, along with some fruit. Now let's see, perhaps a Borough Market Cheddar with a good Rioja...just had this combo sans hiking recently and would be happy to pack it along.

Dr. Debs said...

Borough Market Cheddar--one of my absolute favorites! And John, you'll love The Climber. Very versatile food wine.