By Shannon Burrows
Welcome to this week’s Second Glass!
I hope everyone survived this week’s time change without too much trouble. Among my favourite Sunday afternoon guilty pleasures – time change or not – is bottomless coffee and watching documentaries with a couch-hogging tabby cat. This pastime held particular appeal last weekend when the time change had many of us feeling out of sorts.
I especially enjoy documentaries that are positive and a little off the wall, and man, did I find a honey.
Called Scott’s Pizza Tours, it’s about a New York man who makes a living giving walking or bus tours to New York pizzerias. Scott Weiner also holds the world record for most pizza boxes collected (1,300 when this documentary was filmed) judges pizza at the annual Pizza Expo, consults for quality control for overseas pizza companies and co-ordinates Slice Out Hunger, an annual pizza-eating fundraiser that raises tens of thousands of dollars annually for New York food banks.
I was left entertained, amused, inspired – all the good feels.
I also really, really wanted pizza. A homemade Caprese pizza. Nothing else would do. Which was odd; I’ve never eaten a Caprese pizza in my life, much less made one.
Off to the store for my ingredients. Pizza crust, basil, mozzarella, vine tomatoes . . . now what to sip?
After several messed-up tomato and wine pairing attempts in my time, I’ll be honest: Coupling the two has ever after struck a quiet note of fear in my heart. Because tomatoes are so acidic and fruity, they can be a finicky partner to wine. I’ve since learned success relies heavily – yet simply – on the method of prep.
In this instance, I was using fresh tomatoes and so I wanted a fresh, acidic wine. When I’m in need of fresh, acidic wine, Sauvignon Blanc it usually is. (En Primeur Winery Series, South Africa)
I (sort of) try not to play favourites with my wine. They all have their beautiful qualities and places where they absolutely shine. But, my heart belongs to Sauvignon Blanc. She’s dry, bright, clean, and effortlessly goes toe-to-toe with fresh tomatoes. This fun little impromptu experiment turned out great; the pairing worked beautifully and I now have another option for enjoying my favourite wine. Win, win and win.
Suds or no suds?
Questions on cleaning glassware have come up over the last couple of weeks. With the number of tastings we do, washing stemware and glassware is a way of life in my home and for my businesses.
To help keep your glasses pristine, rinse your stemware straight away. Use warm water, swirl and drain. If you are not going to wash your glasses following a tasting or until the next day, at least do this step to avoid staining. Wash with hot water, rinse with cold, and allow the glasses to stand upside down briefly before drying. If you are using dish-cleaning fluid (and some choose not to, as alcohol is a natural disinfectant, and there is the chance detergent can leave residue behind) use a mild one and only a drop at that. Rinse thoroughly.
Keep an eye on the rim, and the outside of the glass where lipstick, saliva, fingerprints and other goobers tend to congregate. The outside of your wine glass can actually be dirtier than the inside. Wash low and close to the sink in case your glass slips out of your hand, and don’t grip by the stem; they can easily snap if twisted.
Dry your glasses; microfibre is recommended, as other materials can leave behind fibres or marks on your glasses. When your glasses are clean and thoroughly dry, pop them back in their cupboard upside down.
If you want to polish like a pro, hold your glasses in the steam of a boiling kettle or pot of water and shine ‘em up with your cloth. Don’t burn yourself.
Remember . . .
I’m so excited about the number of customers asking about The Grape Exchange. Chris has introduced this new program, whereas customers can exchange a bottle of the wine they’ve just made for a different one of equal value. Try something different and expand your cellar! Please note, exchanges must take place at time of bottling, one bottle exchange only, all bottles traded in become property of Argyle Wines until traded out.
Don’t forget to get in on the good stuff! Everyone making a purchase at Argyle Wines throughout March is automatically entered into a customer appreciation draw at the end of the month. I’m filling up the giant wine glass with ballots, so make sure your name is in there.
Thanks for joining me for a Second Glass.
See you next week!
Argyle Wines Listowel is located at 155 Argyle Ave. in Listowel. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. After hours available by appointment. Follow Argyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and contact us at 519-418-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Proudly named 2018 Food & Drink Business of the Year by the North Perth Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards.