19th Hole won’t venture into the argument over who really said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Could have been Einstein or Twain or Ben Franklin – but, also could have been a frazzled GottaGoGolfer hailing the drink cart and ordering a glass of wine.
We know there’s beer, Bloody Mary mix, Jack Daniels and no wine on that cart. But still we keep asking. Lunacy!
Well, here’s our exercise for retraining the brain: Remember to pack your own screwcap-sealed bottle of wine – selected from our tasting list this month or your local vintner’s recommendations – for your next 18 holes.
Yes, we know that unscrewing a bottle of wine deritualizes the restaurant experience of watching a server wrestle with the corkscrew. And we realize that there’s little evidence yet on how the screwcap impacts a wine as it ages.
But we’re talking about a wine we can drink right this minute, on the golf course. So before you hold your nose in memory of early backseat days with Boone’s Farm or Mogen David, consider the following support this month’s panel mustered for screwcap wine of the 2000s:
1. You can afford to buy more of them because metal is less expensive than cork.
2. You’re saving Cork Oaks.
3. They are just so easy to “uncork” after your evil twin sister has just sent your ball sideways into the lake on the adjacent hole.
4. Those tall skinny bottles of white wine no longer fit in the fridge when you recork them; screwcap wines go right back in.
5. Screwcaps are the most pristine closures for wine: No one on the panel had ever gotten a “corked” screwcap wine, while an estimated one in 12 cork-sealed wines are “corked” or at least somewhat tainted.
6. Sharing a screwcap-sealed wine can raise some lively in-round conversation that will get your mind off your absent golf swing.
And need we mention, you don’t have to carry a corkscrew? Try the recommendations below from our panel – or let us know about your own favorites at feedback@GottaGoGolf.com.
New Age White (Mendoza, Argentina) – This refreshing, light-yellow starter comes from Bodega Valentin Bianchi, one of Argentina’s oldest wineries. Somewhat effervescent, its blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia tastes fruity but off-dry with just a hint of sweetness. With alcohol under 10 percent and a price under $10, it definitely beat par for the tasting!
Polka Dot Riesling 2006 (Pfalz, Germany) – It was the blue bottle with the pink polka dot and the pretty price tag ($6.88!) that jumped off the shelves at our local Cost Plus, our surprise hit of the tasting. A classic German Riesling, medium sweet with floral notes and lots of ripe stone fruit, it finished so beautifully, we finished it fast. Note: If you find this Riesling with a green polka dot, that’s a more citrusy wine than the sweeter pink dot.
Laird Cold Creek Ranch Pinot Grigio 2009 (Carneros, Sonoma) – Enter this wine into a blind tasting and your guests will declare it a Chardonnay. Yes, it’s got a little bit of the expected apple flavor, but it’s not too tart and has the fresh and bright minerality of an unoaked Chardonnay more on the French side. Don’t guzzle it like you might a typical Pinot Grigio – 14.6 percent alcohol - if you can help yourself! Can be found online for around $17.