Of Empty Wine Rack and Entertaining (and removed boxes, as an aside)

Yes, I know I’ve not written in a while, and for that I have only myself to blame. Well, that, and the invasion of boxes, necessity of doing official paperwork to do with moving between different countries, and the winter plague*cough*flu*cough, all of which I have wrestled with during the past weeks.  There is also an entry on social context of food which I have been writing for a while, but have not yet finished – though, as I am now resuming my social schedule and the apartment is beginning to look less like a cardboard jungle, and more like someplace I can invite people into, it is quite fitting to get it finished and posted.

With that in mind, my eyes fell on our wine rack, which in the past months has gotten emptied/sadly neglected, and now houses just a couple of random bottles, and my quince rum sitting rather lonely in its mostly-empty expanse.  The wine rack, therefore, is also in need of being populated, and the question I pose to myself is what should go into it, and in what combinations.  And so, the following list of things I would want was born.

Image courtesy of www.israeliwine.com
Yarden Mount Hermon Red

Mind you, we are not big drinkers ourselves.  We aren’t even middling, to be honest – I think our average alcohol intake amounts to a couple of glasses of wine a week when we aren’t entertaining, and so there are considerations not only of what to stock the wine rack with, but how to balance the number of bottles of any given kind.  Now, unless my count is wrong, I have five or six spots in the refrigerator rack for white wines, and eight empty (twelve total, but the bottles there now can be moved) spots in the built-in wooden rack for red, rose and whatever else.

So, what would I want to have there (and can acquire with reasonable ease in Systembolaget state-monopoly shops in Sweden)?

In no particular order:

  • A Chianti or other Sangiovese-based dry red wine.  I like Tenute Piccini Selezione Oro Chianti Riserva, but it’s not normally carried by Systembolaget, though their regular one is.  Perhaps try that one, or find another.
  • A Pinot Grigio.  Preferably Italian, though I have heard that Romanian and Moldovan ones are very good as well, and Systembolaget carries a few.  Banrock Station is Australian, but is also worth noting.
  • Yarden Mount Hermon Red by Golan Heights Winery.  One of the better commercially-available Israeli export wines.  And they do have it here!  Yay yay yay!
  • A couple of bottles of Georgian wine (not US Georgia, but the original one).  Kindzmarauli or Akhasheni preferably, but Hvanchkara would not go amiss either.  Not the foggiest idea how to go about getting those in Sweden.
  • A Beaujolais-Villages, as some of them can be very soft, without too much tannins.  Need to see what is locally available.
  • A White Zinfandel (Cabernet Blanc).  Preferably American, and is likely easy to get hands on.  Yes, I like the fruit-punch wine too!
  • A dessert wine, such as Beerenauslese.  Or a variety of Eiswein.  Or a Vin Santo, om nom nom!
  • A bottle of Amontillado Sherry – more for cooking than drinking, though I never turn my nose up at drinking it on its very own!
  • Some sparkling wine.  I am not an expert in that by a far stretch, but I dislike it chalky or too dry, which rules a lot of it out outright.

I am of the conviction that a good wine is good more than once, and thus the above wish list is probably more than enough to populate the racks with surplus (should I get my greedy paws on it all, which I hope I can, eventually).  As mentioned above, considering my incredible lack of prowess at selecting bubbly beyond sweet Italian Asti, I will leave the selection of actual Champagne (and Cognac and Whisky) to T, since he is far more of an expert in those than I.

The point of what to drink, of course, is still secondary to the question of who to drink it with.  Thankfully, now that I am back here, there isn’t a serious lack of people to [feed] socialize with!  In fact, with the boxes removed and most of the book piles brought at least to a semblance of order, T and I both declare this place officially no longer dangerous open to the public friends and relatives to visit!  Again.  Especially if they are prepared to be force-fed entertained!

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