Thank God for spring. I don’t mean that as an insult to winter. I have no beef. If not for winter, I wouldn’t appreciate spring so much. How’s that for a New England sentiment? But these days, these times, I need a big ‘ole warm spring hug. Used to be, I’d pause and smile at the first sight of sprouting crocuses, then continue on with my day. Not any more. Now I prowl my yard looking for any sign of color, collapsing to the ground in desperation only to find that speck of purple is just a piece of litter blown from the road. I know the weather’s been pretty mild, but I need some rays of warm sunshine.
Let us beseech the spring gods to bring their bit of brightness to the world, and I mean right now. We’re going to make/procure a meal, get some wine and wring what drips of hope and warmth we can from the burgeoning spring. For food, grill something up if you like grilling. Don’t feel like getting the grill out? Prepare something tasty and simple in the kitchen. Don’t want to cook? Order some decent take-out. The key is simplicity. Nothing too expensive, nothing too cheap. We’re looking for moderation here.
That goes for wine as well. Don’t go buy a magnum of that foot wine or blow $50 on an overpriced Napa Cabernet. No extremes. No best-of’s or just-getting-by’s. Remember: Moderation.
Get to a wine store. Not a liquor store, a wine store. Where the employees spend a significant part of their lives thinking about wine. It’s strange, I know, but their odd predilection allows you to find cool wine and they can help you select even cooler stuff. This time you are going to look for or ask for Berger Gruner Veltliner. It’s about $17.
If they don’t have Berger Gruner Veltliner, then you aren’t really at a wine store. Exit and try again. You don’t want to take shortcuts here. The Bergers don’t take shortcuts. They farm organically. They make honest wine that tastes exactly like it’s supposed to, and they even put it in a liter bottle, so it’s like you are getting almost two glasses free. Two glasses free because they want you to be happy. Why wouldn’t you want to buy wine from this family?
So you have your Berger Gruner Veltliner. You’re at home, and you have food. Have you been around people all day and need some alone time? Then it’s time to eat. Looking for some company? Invite a friend over. See if your neighbor’s hungry. Sure you could drink that liter all by yourself, and I’m not here to judge, it’s delicious, but sharing’s cool. You can always get two bottles. Trust me, you can’t have too many bottles of Berger.
That’s it. Turn the phone off. Put some music on, or turn the music off and just listen. Eat and drink. Take a look outside and look for signs of spring. Isn’t that nice?
Is there a note of white pepper in the wine? Probably, but let’s briefly note it and move on. The wine isn’t there to be analyzed, ranked, compared and contrasted. It’s there to drink. It’s easy and delicious. It’s just right. And spring is almost here. As Bek David Campbell told us, “Things are gonna change, I can feel it.”
Right, so you might not want to drink Berger Gruner Veltliner every day. There are probably other wines that fit the season. Let’s stick with wines that aren’t too cheap or expensive. Go talk to the wine geek you made friends with at the store. Tell ‘em you want a rose, a bottle of bubbles, a light red in the glou-glou style, and that you aren’t spending more than $20 on any of them. They work there, make them work. When you pop the bottle open, spend a few seconds or up to a minute thinking about the flavors and structure of the wine. Then take another sip and just think how delicious it is. Spring wants you to live in the moment; why fight it?