May Wine

Okay, folks. Pay attention! May is buy your Sommelier a drink month! So, every time you see me in May you MUST buy me a drink!

Alright, yes, I just made that up but, it really should be a thing. Don't you agree?

I did an article sometime back in which I mentioned participating in May Day celebrations as a kid. I recall getting out of school early and skipping or running around a maypole chasing the girls. Does anyone still do that?

May Day celebrations predate Christianity; however, as Christianity spread across Europe, it began to loose its pagan religious character. Different cultures may attach their own definition to the day but, May Day is usually celebrated on May 1st by most. Some cultures celebrate it as the day of transition from Spring into Summer. However, I think Spring Break has pretty much replaced the May Day celebrations I remember having as a kid. Here in the USA at least.

It doesn't mean that we can't still celebrate and have a glass of May Wine though. What is May Wine you ask? I'm glad you asked, as I enjoy educating my friends as to some of the history of wine. May Wine (aka Maiwein) is something the Germans came up with. I know, right? Leave it to the Germans to come up with another way to enjoy something fermented.

Since the dawn of civilization, people have been experimenting with fermentation. The argument still rages as to which came first, beer or wine? While different so called experts explain their theories, my thought is who cares? I'm thankful that they both exist today. I do, however, enjoy the history behind both.

Discoveries have confirmed that both beer and wine were being produced during the Neolithic period leaving many historians to speculate that they may have been produced by even earlier humans. I've mentioned this before but, just imagine the first human that stored some fruit or wet grain in a container of some kind only to come back after several weeks to discovered it had fermented under natural yeast. Can you imagine the look on his or her face when he or she tried some? I can visualize them calling their friends over to try some of their discovery. Wow, the very first Happy Hour!

Back to my discussion of May Wine. It is usually made by steeping sweet woodruff (a fragrant herb) in a bottle of Riesling or other white wine then adding other ingredients, such as brandy, sparkling wine, sugar, and fresh fruit. Check out some of the food and drink websites for different recipes. Or, why not experiment with a bottle of Riesling some sweet woodruff and other ingredients to your taste? Let me know how it turns out [click here].

If you're unsure of how to select a Riesling for your May Wine, refer to my October article, "Boo!". In the article, I discussed the different styles of Riesling and what you may expect from each style. It may help in your selection. And, if you get the opportunity to attend a Riesling tasting, be sure and try all the different styles.

One of the reasons I like May Wine and Sangria is they are light and fruity and just make for a good summer time wine to enjoy while lounging around the pool, having with a picnic, or just sharing with friends (that Happy Hour thing again). Also, if you don't add too much brandy, they usually contain less alcohol than say a Mai Tai or Bahama Mama.

This month's wine recommendation is another wine I especially enjoy during outdoor events. It is Sutter Home's Gewürztraminer, which has a hint of sweetness, but not overly sweet. It has a nice floral bouquet reminiscent of rose petals and pairs nicely with finger sandwiches and other picnic foods. Oh, and did I mention that Spec's has it for $4.94 a bottle? I know, right?

No matter your choice of drink remember my mantra: ALWAYS drink responsibly! Enjoy your life but, don't lose it! I don't care if you're driving, swimming, skydiving, or whatever; I do not want to lose my friend. Yes, that's YOU!

Until next time, Cheers🍷