Greetings and a happy summer to everyone!
With the hot weather finally here, I was feeling a bit nostalgic about summer, and what it means to me now vs., say, 1988. Summer is and always will be a time for celebration. I can close my eyes and smell the coconut oil and sand of the Florida panhandle, taste the barbeque and sweet corn, and of course, I can hear David Lee Roth** singing “California Girls” as it blares through my awesome Sony walkman cassette deck. It seems to me that each summer had at least one “summer anthem” that every radio station played, and MTV had on constant rotation. Be it Bryan Adam’s “Summer of 69” or Katrina and The Waves “Walking on Sunshine”, these songs resonate with me. The fact that I do not listen to the radio (save for KEXP of course) may show my ignorance of today’s pop music, but, thank you very much, I can do without it. I sort of feel responsible for educating the masses on the great music still being made today, but that does not get commercial radio play. So here is my top 10 list of songs for the summer (in no particular order) you may or may not have heard! Some are new, some are a few years old, but all are great!
1. The Kooks – Ooh La
2. Band of Horses – The Great Salt Lake
3. Silversun Pickups – Lazy Eye (pop genius)
4. Yo La Tengo – Take Care (At the end of Summer, or on a lazy summer evening, this song says is all)
5. The Walkman – The Rat (maybe my favorite song from 2008)
6. Pearl Jam – Oceans (OK, you didn’t think I would NOT include a PJ song here, did you?)
7. The Flaming Lips – It’s Summertime (from my favorite FL album, Yoshimi Battles the Robots)
8. The Drums – Saddest Summer
9. Bad Lieutenant – Summer Days
10. Afghan Whigs – Summer’s Kiss (Rock Genius)
(**Jerry wanted me to make sure that everyone knows, because he is from ye olden days, that the Beach Boys version of "California Girls" is WAY better than that of Mr. David Lee Roth.)
Today, summer reminds me that we are only a couple of months away from harvesting some awesome grapes! This year has seen a cool, wet spring that has recharged all of the groundwater in the Columbia Valley, and as of July 5th, some really warm, sunny days to start the ripening process for our grapes. Only time will tell the overall quality, but if it is anything like, say, the last 10 vintages, we should be OK!
Summer also screams Rose’, and as most of the mailing list for Sleight of Hand Cellars knows, we make a pretty good one. Production on this wine is always limited, and we sell out by Labor Day every year. We are blowing through it again this year and wanted to remind everyone that it is only available in the tasting room here in Walla Walla (and a few select placements in Seattle). Call us or order online. Weather permitting we will ship it out, and if it’s too hot, we’ll hold onto it in the back room until shipping weather returns. Of course, you could make a journey to wine country and pick it up yourself!
Our other amazing summertime wine is the 2009 Magician, a blend of 60% Gewurztraminer / 40% Riesling. We seem to be selling this wine twice as fast this year so be sure to order this crisp, mineral and fruit driven white wine before it is too late.
Sleight of Hand Cellars has a few events that you should put on your calander. We hope to see you at a few!
July 30 - La Porte Brune Winemakers Dinner in Seattle
July 31 - Wine in the Pines at Suncadia Lodge
August 6th - Meridian Valley CC Winemakers Dinner
August 12th - Ecco Restaurant in Atlanta GA - Winemakers Dinner
August 18th - Palisades Restaurant - Winemakers BBQ 5-8pm
August 19th-21 Auction of Washington Wines (Picnic, Winemakers Dinner, and Grand Gala Auction)
Next month we’ll be sure to update you on some awesome wines from the 2008 and 2009 vintage that are getting bottled. Until then, go and enjoy the sunshine! We’re sure you’ve earned it!
Trey, Sandy, and Jerry