Saturday, July 23, 2011

Life on Mercury

I was going to title this "Life on Mars" because I always thought Mars was closer to the sun than Earth, but au contraire mon frere, Mercury is closest to the Sun.  Today it only feels like we're the closest planet to the Sun.

Two Similarities between the United States and Mercury this week:
Mercury has no atmosphere, the U.S. feels like we have no atmosphere.  Because Mercury is so close to the sun, it's atmosphere is quickly blown away by the Sun's solar winds, leaving virtually no air on Mercury.  Hasn't it felt like that this week?
It's hot here AND on Mercury.  The surface of Mercury that faces the Sun can reach about 800 degrees Fahrenheit.  I think it got that hot in my car yesterday, but can't confirm because my thermometer only goes to 120 F.

So what does one do when it's this darn hot?  We switch from red to an ice-cold white wine.  One of my favorite summertime whites is the Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region in New Zealand.  They have been making incredible whites for many years, and I have recently discovered the Brancott Estate S.B., 2010 vintage.

Winemakers notes tell me the wine is pale straw in color with green highlights, and I would agree. Aromas of ripe gooseberry and capsicum dominate with tropical melon and grapefruit notes apparent. (I don't know what a gooseberry smells like, so I can neither confirm nor deny this.  Your help/comments would be welcome.)  For me, the grapefruit and tropical fruit flavors really shine, with a very nice mineral background, which makes it especially nice on a hot summer day like today.  There is also a hint of green apple and grass to spice it up.  It's not as sweet as other Marlborough sauvignon blancs that I've tried.  It is a well-balanced wine showing the crisp, vivacious acidity associated with this style.  The acid gives a slight zing and the wine itself is very refreshing.  Enjoy it with a light fruit salad or fish.

Wine Spectator gives it 88 points, which is mid-range.  I'm going to work on my own rating system.  Til then, just enjoy it well-chilled, and you'll be good to go!

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