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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

These Two Wines Got Me Through The Toledo Water Crisis

Untitled design(2)Toledo is in the news again, unfortunately not in a positive way. Our water problems, stemming from an algae bloom on Lake Erie that caused the water system to be shut down, made national headlines.

I got word early Saturday morning at about 5:30 AM. Wondering who on earth would be calling at that hour – I listened to the “no drink, no boil” message and was relieved it wasn’t a call about a family disaster.

After tennis, I got word it was OK to shower. It would have been a long and stinky day otherwise. During the water crisis – during which there was news coverage only rivaled by an invasion of Iraq – we couldn’t drink any tap water. We had about 10 bottles of water in the house, but more importantly, we had plenty of wine.

It was sort of a bummer on Saturday because we had planned on going to dinner. But the crisis shutdown almost all restaurants in the Toledo area. My crafty idea was to head south to Bowling Green for a dinner there. We arrived only to find that half of Toledo had the same thought. The restaurants were overflowing. We kept on driving to Findlay and ended up with a delicious meal at Rossilli’s.

How did we stay hydrated, you may ask? The first wine was the delicious Dry Creek Vineyard 2012 Heritage Vine Zinfandel, Sonoma County. Pre-Prohibition vines were grafted onto new rootstock to provide “young vines” that display “old vine” characteristics.

This wine is smooth with intense blackberry and plum flavors. The fruit is mouthwatering and there is a slight woodsy note from the French, American and Hungarian Oak. This is only $20 and is an outstanding Zin value.

On Sunday I was parched. Normally I would fill up a big glass with ice water, but that was verboten. Instead I reached for the Domaine Labbé 2012 Abymes Vin de Savoie. This is one of my “go to” white wines. It comes from the foothills of the Alps in eastern France and is 100% Jacquère. Jacquère (jah-KEHR) is the predominant grape in the Savoie region and produces light, dry wines.

Abymes has the flavors of a lemon slice with a delicious undercurrent of minerality. It can stand alone as a superlative refresher, as it did for us, or can pair well with lighter food. I picked this up for $12.99 at Walt Churchill’s Market in Perrysburg.

It’s over now, but who knows when the next crisis will be? We’ve endured the Polar Vortex and the Water Crisis. Perhaps something for the fall, like a raging brushfire of dried leaves? Whatever the challenge, with these trusty wines – and perhaps some fresh flashlight batteries – you’ll be tastefully prepared.

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