Shakespeare and Wine

What did Shakespeare drink?  Sadly, it probably wasn’t wine, although he pined for it enough to write about it a lot.

 Wine was available in Shakespeare's England, but it was very expensive (about twelve times more costly than ale and so only the upper classes could enjoy it regularly, “ notes Amanda Mabillard in her online article, Shakespeare's Drinking. “English grapes were not adequate for winemaking so they imported their wines from France, Spain, and Greece.”

“Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used,” the bard wrote. So if you went to this year’s Shakespeare offering at Sand Harbor (Two Gentlemen of Verona), here is what you could choose to drink.
Actually, there were many good wine selections in the vendor area at Sand Harbor’s Shakespeare Festival where you pay a very reasonable $7 per glass for the interesting offerings on their tasting list.  Or, for $20, you can have three pours from the following choices.

Ruffino Prosecco DOC.  There are lovely fine bubbles in this sparkling wine that is extra dry.  Aroma that is intensely fruity leads to a taste of apples, pears and citrus.   It is crisp and clean, and lovely as an aperitif or as a versatile companion to many foods.  11 per cent alcohol.

The Borgo Conventi Pino Grigio 2012 originates from Collio in Friuli, Italy.  It has an aroma that is quite fruity, and a predominate taste of ripe pear.  It is well structured and with a harmonious yet delicate body and a long finish.  13.per cent per cent alcohol.

2012 Dreaming Tree Chardonnay from California’s Central Coast is a collaboration between Dave Matthews and winemaker Steve Reeder.  Wonderfully fruity, with a taste of roasted pear or baked apple, brown spices and a citrus note.  This wine is very easy to enjoy and absolutely delicious on a warm summer night.  13.5 per cent alcohol.

2010 Primal Roots Red Blend brings together Merlot, Syrah and Zinfandel in this wine that hails mostly from California’s North Valley, a combination of several AVA’s from Lodi and northward.  Aroma of black cherry, vanilla and spice leads to a medium body and smooth taste of raspberry, tea, chocolate and orange zest.  Nice soft tannins and gentle acidity result in a finish that’s not too strong, given all the fruit.  13.4 per cent alcohol.

2009 Rioja Vega is a blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Graciano and 10% Mazuelo that results in afragrant and well structured wine.  Aroma of balsams and spices too are found in this typical offering from Spain’s Rioja region.   Yummy.  13.3 per cent alcohol.

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