Summer is here! From lazy Saturday afternoons with the family to neighborhood BBQ’s and poolside refreshments, here are three beverages we’re drinking now.
Photography by Aaron R. Thomas.
1. Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon
Gelson’s Market is our local grocer of choice. The boutique California-based chain features an amazing selection of fresh produce, the highest quality meats we’ve ever tasted (including Mr.’s fave: one-inch-thick hand-cut slices of Kobe beef), fresh-caught seafood and a constant line-up of new gourmet ingredients to cook with. I always seem to discover something new at Gelson’s every visit—which is at least three times a week! My latest finds are Envy apples, Intelligentsia coffee and Jeni’s ice cream sandwiches.
Recently, Gelson’s had Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010, on sale for $69.95 and we couldn’t get enough of it. Wine Spectator rated the Napa Valley cab 92-points and recommends best drinking of this “young and appropriately vibrant” vino from 2014 to 2024. It’s so delicious now that we can’t seem to hold any bottles for next year! Bursting with currant and big-berry flavor, it needs no time opening up and it’s the perfect big cab to go with Mr.’s fave Kobe beef, Lady‘s cumin-crusted pork chops or simply by itself on a sunny Saturday afternoon!
The 2003 Private Reserve vintage is featured here with a hand carved French Colonial chair back (which was the inspiration in The Frenchie chair by Aaron R. Thomas) and one of our fave indulgences, Humboldt Fog cheese (another Gelson’s find), along with my version of Blackforest cake: The inner workings of a handmade Fanz Hermle grandfather clock disguised by a Baroque mask.
2. Horin Sake
A spirit that may be reserved for sushi in many minds and palates, premium sake is making its way on wine lists and being paired alongside fine culinary dishes across the country, proving it’s as nuanced and refined as the finest vintage. One of our top picks to enjoy at home is Gekkeikan’s Horin sake. The ultra premium Junmai Daiginjo sake features Yamada-nishiki rice (renowned as the “king of sake rice”) and Gohyakumangoku rice. Polished down 50-percent, the duo of rice is combined with pure spring water and slowly fermented at a low temperature to produce a fruity aroma with a delicate flavor. Served chilled, it’s a refreshing accompaniment to a fresh lobster salad or light fish dish. But usually, we enjoy it on ice as a pre-dinner apéritif.
3. Margerum Riviera Rosé, 2012
We consider rosé a requisite for summer sipping. The light, refreshing blush wine is perfect for poolside or as winemakers Margerum cheekily propose on their Riviera rosé label—it’s suitable for an open-ended list of “other activities.” We suggest purchasing a case and letting your imagination run wild! This crisp, not-too-sweet variety features Grenache gently pressed and blended with saigneé of Grenache, Counoise and Cinsault. The result is fresh strawberries and dried rose petals—a perfect balance of sweet and dry.