Imagine a sun soaked day, some time on our hands, and a promising looking wine shop beckoning us within. Now imagine three twenty-something dudes in surf shorts and flip-flops hanging out in front of the beer cooler. While that visual in itself is not necessarily unusual, one would think you'd more likely see such dudes milling about the beer cooler at the 7-Eleven. As it turned out, the leader of this pack was the son of a winemaker. His comfort and knowledge of beer, liquor, and all things wine was far more than would be considered fair for his age or any age. Armed with two Belgian (750ml size of a standard wine bottle) bottles of beer in each arm and a couple of happy friends, he speaks to us in a friendly and even charming way. No doubt he can't help but notice us forty-somethings as we find ourselves unwittingly eavesdropping on their conversation. We did not mean to look so obvious, but he feels compelled to include us in his conversation anyway. We came to just peruse the impressive wine and liquor selection; instead we leave with an armful of the winemaker's son recommendations. Where were these guys when I was his age, drinking frozen strawberry daquiris and thinking I had finally arrived at cool sipping white zinfandel? I am now appreciating what could have been gained from having friends like that!
The Winemaker's Son's Recommendations:
Duvel Belgian Pale Ale ($9) 750 ml
Honey, floral in nature with a hint of pepper
Delirium Nocturnum Belgian dark ($9) 750ml
strong, complex with lots of flavors and character
2005 Leal Vineyards, Carnaval Meritage ($35)
A full-bodied fleshy wine with flavors of ripe berries, dark chocolate
and espresso. Great with everyday American fare , including chili, burgers and pizza.