April 12, 2012
Pairing Wine with the Great Outdoors: Spring edition
Why you should take wine on your next outdoor adventure.

Every outdoor sport has characteristics that define it. Wine also has unique characteristics that define it; the varietal, the region, the outdoorsman consuming it. We recreate in the great outdoors for the solitude, adventure and endorphins. Here are some suggested wines for your adventures.

 

Fly Fishing and Rosé
Fly fishers have finesse, or at least they wish they did. Making a perfect presentation with no splash and a good drift, hold your breath at the magic spot and set the hook. Landing that fish is about as rewarding as finding a great rosé.

The author with the fruit of her casting.In fly fishing, elegance is the goal and the same can be said for a good rosé wine. No, we aren't talking about white zinfandel or blush wine. We are talking about a tasty dry rosé (yes, rosé is pink, but that doesn't mean you are less of an angler for drinking it).

Rosé wine gets its color from contact with the grapes' skin during crush. The longer the contact with the skins, the darker the color the wine becomes. Creating the perfect balance in a rosé is a talent only found in the best winemakers. Like a fly cast, too much is too much and too little is too little. A good fly cast and a good rosé are just right.

Recommended Bottle: Palmina "Botasea" Rosato di Palmina, Santa Barbara, California

Spring Skiing and Sauvignon Blanc
The world's most famous snow sports are crisp and compelling. Whether you're skiing or snowboarding the Alps, the Sierra or the Northern Rockies, an epic ski day of spring skiing comprises of sliding around on corn snow (refrozen melted snow with a corn-like texture).

Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand's sweetheart, is a refreshing white wine that is best served with raw fish, salads or a Sunday afternoon. This is a varietal that can stand on its own. Sauvignon Blanc might not be for everyone, but the varietal evokes attention and admiration in an irresistible way, kind-of like its outdoors counterpart—spring skiing.

Recommended Bottle: Spy Valley, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand

Mountain biking and fine wine make a splendid pair.Mountain Biking and Syrah
Single-track is a rugged, dirty and earthy sport. True devotees have been waiting for winter to end so they can get back on the trails again. And since the snow has just melted, the trails can be unpredictable—muddy or frozen, washed out or perfect, overgrown and brushy or bare.

Mountain bikers can be a bit rough around the edges. They're a bit tougher than their road-counterparts and at times can be so compassionate about their sport they're almost cult or tribe-like. 

Syrah, the varietal most famous from the Rhone region in France, can take on many different characteristics, depending on the soil and climate in which it's grown. The varietal shows nice fruit, but doesn't always finish as expected. Pepper and spice sometimes rounds out a glass. Like mountain biking, syrah paves its own path.

Recommended Bottle: Samsara, "Melville Vineyard" Syrah, Santa Rita Hills, California


[Monica Prelle is an award-winning writer and sommelier who calls California's Eastern Sierra home.]