What Should You Drink at 115 Degrees?
They’re here food fans — the blistering, convection oven days of a Vegas summer — and nothing puts ELV off his feed like a succession of 110 degree afternoons.
But while metabolism adjusts by slowing down during these torrid months, thirsts must still be quenched, fellowships shared, victories celebrated and women seduced. So, what is a bloke to imbibe when the mercury hits the heights that drove the Paiutes into the mountains for thousands of years?
Some would argue beer is the only potent potable to properly present to one’s pursed and parched palate…
….and it’s hard to argue with a nice, crisp German pilsner or a hoppy IPA as an effective thirst eliminator, but what is one to do when a more formal form of festivity is being flaunted?
Well, that’s where Marche Bacchus comes in — the best (and best priced) place in town for wine imbibing.
ELV sat down last week with Jeff and Rhonda Wyatt and peppered them with questions about what they recommend to customers when the weather gets so hot, the thought of a grand cru Burgundy makes about as much sense as a fireside chat.
As you can see above, Rhonda loves her bubbles, and it’s hard to argue with any crisp, well-chilled bubbly as a way to beat the heat. (Be advised however, that all liquids, but champagne in particular, lose their chill almost immediately in this heat (ELV doesn’t know the scientific explanation for this, but he’s sure there is one), so if you’re drinking al fresco, keep your pours small and your sipping rapid.)
If bubbles aren’t your thing, then surely white wine must be. (Before you even think it: ELV understands that you might not even like white wine, and that he shouldn’t call you Shirley.) But, if you are looking for the perfect potent potable to drink in the worst place in America to drink wine (for the next two months), boy, does Jeff Wyatt have a couple of duesies for you.
Before we get to them, Rhonda gave us great tip: “Chill your wine glasses in the freezer. We started doing it for a good customer who likes his champagne super cold, and it helps a lot to keep the wine at temperature during these sweltering days,” is how she enlightened us, and now ELV even pour his reds into frozen, cut rim Riedels — especially if he’s going to be sipping poolside on a 90 degree evening.
All of these generalities are great, of course, but we asked Jeff to get real specific, as in: What does he think the customer should be reaching for on these ungodly days?
He started with the basics. “I look for good acidity, balance and low alcohol,” he said. “That’s where a kabinett Riesling fills the bill.”
And that’s when he broke out a Schaefer Kabinett Riesling to prove his point:
…with acid so smooth and integrated into the wine that it pulled you in for sip after sip. “The acid is so good it’s literally mouth watering,” was Wyatt’s perfect description.
ELV’s description was that it started sweet and ended dry and went perfectly with David Middleton‘s Hamachi (yellowtail) crudo with dried kumquats:
As drop your goblet delicious as that combination was, Wyatt’s next pick was the real stunner:
…a Greek Robola wine of uncommon aromatics. “It doesn’t pull your palate forward like the Riesling,” said Jeff, “but it’s more a food wine — a wine full of peach, quince, and apricot aromas that, even at 13% alcohol, is light on its feet.”
Truer words were never spoken, and a truer food match was never made than this Greek Island wine with a plate of Middleton’s grilled octopus:
….all of which was so lip smacking-ly tasty that ELV almost forgot to take the copious notes for which he is known:
Some of those notes reminded us that Wyatt — one of Las Vegas’s great wine aficionados — thinks nothing of tossing some ice cubes on top of a bone dry rosé or one of these thirst quenching whites during these dog days. (However, he doesn’t advise doing it with a $300 bottle of white Burgundy or a 30 year old bottle of Trockenbeerenauslese.)
And like all fine wine guys, he urges you not to forget the most luscious of liquids during these horrific heat waves.
The Greek Robola retails for $22 at Marche Bacchus shop while the German Riesling* runs $32 in the store. Both are marked up only ten dollars if you want to enjoy them at the restaurant, and would easily cost you double these amounts on the Strip.
2620 Regatta Drive.
Las Vegas, NV89128
* Hmmm. ELV is 50% Greek and 25% German.** Coincidence? We don’t think so.