I’ve decided to do something different this week and reveal my some of my personal favorites which I believe you will find to be varied, affordable and hopefully overall in good taste and tasting. So without further ado, here they be.
Henry Weinhard’s Belgian Style Wheat
There are moments in life that present you with simple seeds; seeds of both flowers and weeds. Henry Weinhard’s Belgian Style Wheat was a seed of the wonderful and mythical beer tree of opinion. In other words, this humble beer is what got me started on the path to Drinking with Cruthers. I would expound to my friends of the wonderful flavor of this beer in relation to its modest packaging and price, to which they would reply with a varied degree of ho-hum response. I realized that speech simply did not have the gravity in which I wanted to express myself and thus turned to the written word; permanent and a creature of it’s own will once it left the tip of the pen.
I have not written of Henry Weinhard’s Belgian Style Wheat before because, it’s cloudy orange body, citrus effervescence, enjoy-ability and relative scarcity made me covet this beer, and in the world of alcohol this is simply wrong. Booze is to be fun, tasty and enjoyed with others, which this beer excels at. See it, buy it, no regrets.
One of the perks of living at UAF is the chance to interact with Alaska’s wild animals in an up-close and personal basis. I speak in this case of the wily Canadian hockey player, more beast than man, the boys of the UAF Hockey team my sophomore year were Kokanee chuggin’, mean muggin’, lovable characters that introduced me to the manly beer of the land of the north.
Years later, I discovered the more pleasant tasting Kokanee Gold. An American Dark Lager created in Creston, Canada, the beers slight skunk and initial bitterness should not turn away average drinkers, this is just its character. Displaying an amber pour with a sweet tasting finish this average beer is often overlooked but should be respected for its surprising drinkability.
The thing that sucks about being a young man is the fact that we’re often poor and have accomplished relatively little in order to impress the fairer sex. To these young men I say, do not fret but learn to wine and dine your date in the comfort of your own place. Our generation it seems has lost for better and worse the stereotype of the 1950’s super-women; a lady in the street, a master-cook in the kitchen and a sexual tigress in the bedroom. And as they say, the straightest way to a mans heart is his stomach. Well in our time this is true of women as well, learn to cook and offset with wine and you’ll be in your desires grasp in no time.
Fetzer, a wine maker based out of Mendocino County, California, form in 1968 produces a wide variety of table grade wines. Their merlot is what first peaked my interest and their Gewurztraminer is what sealed the deal. Displaying apricot and citrus flavors, this wine compliments spicy foods, seafood and funny enough Ramen quite well. Split the bottle with your date, serve chilled and things will soon enough heat up between you.
Clos Du Bois Merlot
My parents are not drinkers and that being said it’s strange and funny that my favorite merlot is my mothers. My mother, a strong woman with deep opinions is one to be trusted in judgment even when they are a bit conventional at times; she delivers them with finality in the gentlest manner possible. So when she says she enjoys something, she can and will tell you how and why she came to this decision. I’ve always admired this aspect and hope as a journalist I can live up to this level of open honesty with the people around me and the readers dependant on me for their news.
Clos Du Bois is a very dry Merlot with a strong chocolate taste and hints of red berry fruits. The 2003 is a better bottle than the current 2005 that has recently been made available in Alaska for half the cost of the previous. However, the 2005 is still a great wine that I suspect would lean towards aging a few more years to enhance it’s already enjoyable flavor.
Bombay Sapphire Dry Gin
When I think of gin, I think of older men and classic style. These men exhibit firm but just masculinity and reason, and I hope to achieve the same one day. And in context of style, classic is named classic for a reason, it never goes out. Gin or the Gin and Tonic is such a drink that when ordered by a man of my age gets me suspicious looks and ridicule by friends of being “old-fashioned”. Nevertheless, once you’ve started on the road gin, there is no turning back. Its simple nature and clear flavor is on of the only clear liquors that I can think of that can stand on its own in mixers and with only carbonated water.
Bombay Sapphire in my mind is the pinnacle of rich juniper and citrus flavor gin. Outstanding in merely a tonic, no lime wedge is need added. Its price expresses this but the occasional ride is well worth the price of admission.
As a young undergraduate I remember many an underage party filled with excitement, fears of being caught and the prospect of meeting good looking and interesting women. Each Friday or Saturday my friends and I would dress up (jeans, clean shirt, nicer shoes and a good jacket) find out where the party was and figure out the booze situation. Someone would know someone who would then take our order and for nominal fees provide us with the liquids we desired. Often terrible choices of light-beers, flavored vodkas and (shudder shudder) Smirnoff Ice was received and drank in plenty. I remember a turning point in my drinking came when I began to care about what was mixed, ingested and later disposed of one way or another. This turning point was the classic Rum and Coke.
Bacardi Superior is a clean drinking rum suited to mixing without over powering a drink unlike often its relative liquor Vodka. When mixed with coke, one enjoys the benefit of the syrupy flavor with the high alcohol content of the rum. My personal variation and evolution of this drink is Bacardi Superior with vanilla Coke-Cola and a wedge of lime. Very sweet but perfect for summer time bonfires and chasing pretty girls