Thursday, August 16, 2007

Columbia, S.C. — Screen Door to Hell

The joke goes that the only thing between South Carolina and Hell is a screen door. After getting blasted with ten straight days of triple-digit temperatures, I’m not even sure the screen door is still there. In case you’re wondering, 107 degrees is hot, damn hot.

When it’s that hot, common sense tells us to slow down. However, since most of the modern world is not based in any way on common sense, people continue to march around in the hottest part of the day. I’m right there with them; the bills still have to be paid and someone needs to sit in my cubicle.

I envy people who live in countries where they just stop all activity during the hottest part of the day. It makes perfect sense to get up early, get things done when it’s cooler and then find a comfortable spot to ride out the heat. When the sun starts going down, everyone picks up where they left off and works (or not) and enjoys the cooler evening air long into the night.

I’m working on my plan to adopt the “siesta” lifestyle. I’ll keep you posted.

While I have been enjoying some wine (I’m way behind on posts), this part of the summer is when I do most of my beer drinking. I enjoy beer year-round, of course, and I use beer quite a bit in my cooking, so I always have some around. There are almost always a couple Newcastles hiding in my fridge.

When I get home from work, there is nothing quite as fine as heading out to my shady back yard, kicking back in my favorite yard chair and enjoying a cold beer while the dogs play. As long as you stay in the shade, dress appropriately and keep a cold beverage handy, the heat actually feels nice. It feels like August in the Deep South.

If a beer isn’t your thing — a glass of well-chilled Vinho Verde is another option to help you survive the heat. We’ve been enjoying Famega Vinho Verde 2006, a lively, crisp, effervescent, almost clear white wine with flavors of lemon, apple, peach and a hint of honeysuckle. It’s in the single digits in alcohol content, so a glass or two won’t send you over the edge.

Hot summers are a part of living in South Carolina, just as much as pork barbecue and bad driving. There is something almost masochistically appealing about the sweltering days of late summer here. I revel in them, and yet long for the cool days of fall at the same time.

Thanks to my loyal readers who are checking back for new posts. My rapidly growing puppy is still taking all of my energy, but he’s becoming less labor intensive by the day. I’ll be posting more new material before long.

Look for posts on South Carolina’s exciting new beer selections (thanks to the revision of some antiquated alcohol laws) and a rant about how much pinot grigio people drink when there are so many other great Italian white wines.

Until then, salud.


Sonadora said...

This is one time I think the Congress gets it right by taking off the entire month of August. DC in August =swamp from hell. I think I missed the boat on the Vinho Verde, had a bad experience last year and have been gun-shy ever since.

winedeb said...

Too funny that you posted about Vinho Verde, I just reviewed one yesterday myself! It is the perfect "warm" weather beverage due to the low alcohol. I am not a beer drinker but hubby is. As soon as he hits the door on these "warm" summer evenings, the first thing he does is pop a beer in the freezer. I always look at him and he says "needs to be chilled!" Well so does the Vinho Verde which makes it so refreshing!

Anonymous said...

Hot summer days, makes me think of three things, deck party, very cold/light beer, and Moscato D Asti.

While I'm surrounded by 98.2% beer drinkers, and 45% of them being bud/miller light only, I do notice the ladies in my circle of friends gravitate toward Moscato D Asti if they don't drink beer margs or light beer. Now I don't mean to sound as if this is a "ladies" drink, I merely notice that the ladies I know turn other ladies onto this drink and they have formed a formable army of moscota only drinkers since I've never seen them drink any other type of wine.

Lately I've noticed at the grocery stores that this Moscato has been filling the end caps in the wine sections with whole displays. I live in Iowa, and curious if this type of wine has the same appeal in other locations of the country. I think it is a sweet, yet mellow wine that is great chilled for warm summer days on the deck. So what is it with this wine, is this a high end Arbor Mist? I enjoy it, but tend to lean towards lower alcohol watery beer during these times of dehydration to avoid stumbling off the deck.

-midwest connection

John said...

Hey mrT,

Sorry for the delayed response.

Moscato D'asti is a light, semi-sweet, sparkling Italian white wine. It's not my favorite thing, but it bears no resemblence to some of the products in grocery stores. Those are much closer to wine coolers or Arbor Mist.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

It seems to be one of those cases of hijacking of a place name. Real Moscato D'asti can be really good, especially with fruit or something sweet. The crap that gets sold as "Asti" and "Moscato" can be pretty awful.

As for how I keep from stumbling off the deck...well, that's a story for another day.

Thanks for reading.