Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Winey Tasting Notes: Seaside Memories with Sea Glass Pinot Gris

As you may have gathered by reading other reviews I have written, I am a Jersey girl. Yes, I live in Ohio, and have for the past 26 years. But Jersey is where I took my first breath, tasted my first Taylor Ham, learned to drive on the Garden State Parkway and most importantly, spent my summers at the Jersey shore. For six weeks every summer, we would load up the wood paneled Ford station wagon and head out to Normandy Beach, an 8 block wide "town" located halfway between Point Pleasant and Seaside Heights. And there we would stay, shoeless and carefree, until 2 weeks before school started, when my mother deemed it was time to start the back to school shopping and head home again.

picture of Winey Mom at age 2 and her grandfather, Jersey Shore, 1965
The Winey Mom and
her Winey Grandfather
 Seaside Heights, NJ
My mother's parents lived in New Jersey and were frequent visitors to our shore homes, staying with us for days and weeks at a time (until they finally bought their own home "down the shore" when I was about 13). My grandmother loved to walk on the beach, and because of that she became the "professional" shell and sea glass collector. You can't help it. Follow the wave line and a whole sea of treasures just washes in at your feet. There wasn't a summer that didn't go by that a jar or bowl of treasures didn't find its way onto a counter or windowsill. For years, I had one such jar in my bedroom of the house I grew up in, and right now, one of the larger shells is residing in the pond in our backyard. A bit of Jersey for me in Ohio.

Grandma and I were buddies, and more often than not I was her companion on those walks. She and I both loved to look for sea glass. It sounds rather magical, doesn't it? Sea glass. Smooth, polished bits of blue, brown, green and white washed onto the sand in the foamy waves. But let's face it, in reality, most sea glass starts out as wine or beer bottles or maybe some industrial glass from a seaside factory. (For my purposes these days, I'm pretending ALL sea glass is from lovely bottles of wine.) But no matter where it comes from, finding sea glass was always a banner discovery.

bottle of Sea Glass Pinot GrisSo upon discovering a bottle of Sea Glass Pinot Gris on the shelf of my favorite wine store, my mind immediately flew back to those days of salty warmed skin and wet feet and buckets of shells and sea glass. It was a given that I'd buy a bottle.

Sea Glass Pinot Gris (2011,13.5%, CA) is made from grapes grown mostly in foggy seaside Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties. A very teeny bit comes from Napa, so we're talking some very well pedigreed grapes here. It's the grapes from Santa Barbara that give the wine it's ocean feel though. It's right there immediately in the aroma - sea air and minerals with a touch of key limes. (Can you hear the waves crashing? OK, it's a stretch, but I really wanted to.) The taste was sharp citrus on the back of my tongue and full of lime peel and minerals everywhere else. It was totally crisp and refreshing and in the end, it faded to a juicy-tart aftertaste. The perfect blend of flavors and feels for an ocean themed wine!  Plus, the label is so darned pretty.  It is widely available too and for the most part, under $10 a bottle. Not a bad price for a quick trip to the beach, huh?

Buy this if you want a tart, refreshing, zingy wine or if you are looking for something to go with seafood or spicy Chinese food. It would also go well with lighter chicken dishes (no heavy creams or BBQ sauces).

Or just take it to the beach and sip on it!


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1 comment:

  1. I've always wanted to visit the Jersey Shore! Maybe some day. I hate that I didn't get to see it before the hurricane hit.


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