Space Wine

I almost called this "Out of This World Wine" but people already say such hyperbolic (albeit deserved, so I hear) expressions about the one, the only, Château Petrus . Why get witty with a name when I could be concise? It worked for Star Wars. Ergo, "Space Wine". Simple and effective. May the force be with you. The gravitational force. That force was NOT with 12 bottles of the Château Petrus (2000 vintage) that spent a year zooming in a very different way than most of us creatures on earth have Zoomed in the pandemic. No, these were zooming through space on the International Space Station. A bunch of vine canes were sent too, as part of a project through University of Bordeaux and Space Cargo Unlimited. Obviously, I wish I could write a retrospective of Petrus vintages and also review the space Petrus. And drink wine in space. I’ll get there someday, kids—both to space and to Petrus retrospectives, albeit who’s to say which will come first? Plot twist—what if both happened at the same time? Ooooh. Here’s another plot twist—the experts who tasted the space wine next to wine that had stayed home found that the space wine exhibited more signs of aging than the earth wine! That is the last outcome I’d expect. Why? Because quantum physics and mechanical physics and things like string theory are my secret passion and—get this—when traveling at high velocities, less time passes. The ISS travels 5 miles a second, orbiting the earth every 90 minutes. So I would think the high-flying vino would age more slowly. If you aren’t picking up what I’m putting down, read some Stephen Hawking. Or at least watch Interstellar. Perhaps the accelerated age came from lack of gravity. Or were cosmic rays, aka radiation, hurtling down on the space station unhindered by the atmosphere that surrounds Earth the culprits? There will be more chemical analysis to come. Right now all I’ve got for you are the tasting notes. Since most of us aren’t going to try space wine any time soon, I have two pairing solutions: space movies and space foods. Of course Space Mountain isn’t so far from me here in Los Angeles, but I don’t think Disneyland will let me take wine on a roller coaster, even if I explain that wine has already been to REAL space. So now I give you space movie wines in no particular order except I saved the best for last: INTERSTELLAR This is the movie that will help explain why I thought space wine might taste younger. So, lets go with a wine that really needs to age, and since this is a long movie you’ll need a lot. Ergo your pairing: BAROLO EN MAGNUM Boom. THE MARTIAN One of my favorite space movies! Not counting the finale of the top ever ever EVER space movie franchise which…oh I don’t care whether it is Baby Yoda or old school Han Solo, I’m Star Wars forever, but that aside…I really like The Martian. Where Matt Damon goes heavy on the potatoes and at some point pairs them with Vicodin or some such thing because if you may die on Mars, might as well. But don’t do that. Instead find an alcoholic analgesic that pairs well with potatoes. And we all know what the best French fry pairing is. With The Martian drink: SPARKLING ROSÉ Perfection. SPACEBALLS Tis a hilarious movie. So good that I don’t mind that it’s a parody of the best space franchise on earth. The first thing I think of is Yogurt. AKA their version of Yoda. So what came to mind as an appropriate pairing was a wine whose classic tasting note (or at least one somms like to cite) is peach yogurt. With Spaceballs drink: ZINFANDEL Peachy-keen. STAR WARS Epic happiness, that is what Star Wars is for me. I grew up in a Star Wars family. I was Princess Leia for a few Halloweens, and Yoda once. I also associate it with family and happiness, as recently the movies have come out around Christmas, so my family tradition is to see Star Wars movies on Christmas. In my mind they go with Midwest winter wines—spicy, heady, and warming. Happy wines. And wines that go with popcorn. And joy. Omigosh what to pick? Okay, my desert island wine that is as agile in summer as winter is (hold onto your hats), a rosé. With Star Wars drink: TAVEL Eternally. ***** Okay, so how about space foods? I wish I could pair astronaut ice cream, but I’ve never had it. Yet I somehow think cream soda would be the match. Anyway, here are some space-named foods and the wines to wed them to. ROCKET POPS Oh those glorious red, white, and blue popsicles you try to devour before the summer sun melts them! At least this is my Midwest fair sense memory of them. Instead of worrying about them melting, how about dipping/dissolving them/using them as a garnish on a cool bubbly beverage, one that is carefree? Unwrap a popsicle have your way with a bottle of: PROSECCO Party. MILKY WAY BAR Obviously we need a sweeeeeet wine that echoes and enhances caramel, chocolate and nougat. Something with all those nuances plus a little smoky something something. Eat your candy with: MALMSEY Excellence. SATURN PEACH Also known as donut peaches, but I don’t like donuts, so I like the Saturn moniker. These are otherworldly (ahem) peaches. They are full of sweetness and methinks some florality. Get your peach riper than ripe then hoover that oozy juicy fruit into your gullet with a splash of: MOSCATO Hedonist. STARBURST These contain gelatin, so being vegetarian since age 12, I haven’t had Starburst in a…BLUE MOON. But sense memories run amok, and all I can say is if you are an adult eating them, you are already embracing your adolescent side, so I think you should have them with: VODKA Amen. BLUE MOON Of course I didn’t think of this beer until I was writing about Starburst. But can you pair beer with wine? It seems unwise. But the classic garnish on a glass of Blue Moon is orange so obvi chase your Blue Moon with a wine known as orange even though no oranges are involved: SKIN CONTACT WINE Hipster. ***** Lastly all I have to say is Pluto is a planet. Come on haters, that rock did its time. Let’s give it credit. I also like it because it has the most goth moons on earth; wait, I mean most goth moons in space. Charon!? Styx?! It’s all about death. RIP. Rest in Pluto. Also have another glass of Barolo. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: More Wine Women Guilty Pleasures All I Want for Valentine’s Day Is Some Skin Contact Bridgerton, Beverage by Beverage Make Your Own Wine Winter Whites Wine For Kamala Women in Castles Down by the Loire River Whole Wine - Pairing Optional You can also listen to Ellen's podcast , The Wine Situation here . Check out her recent transcripts of the Final Five questions: Wine Situation Final Five! With Theodora Lee Wine Situation Final Five! With Lisa Warr-King Packer

Testa Vineyards

100 Anni Mendocino County Old Vine Zinfandel 2015

Pepper as perfume is an odd thought but what if it were and you liked it?! So it is woth this wine. Also that fun mix of dried and fresh fruit Xin excels at. Good times at the old-vine corral! — 2 months ago

Daniel P., Matt and 11 others liked this

Jugo Santo

Frankenwine Skin Contact Riesling 2019

All I ever wanted of new world skin contact Riesling? I didn’t know what I wanted but now I’m pretty sure it is this. — 7 months ago

Serge, David and 16 others liked this

Vietti

Cascinetta Vietti Moscato d'Asti 2018

This is my favorite moscato yet. Thank you Vietti for being a beautiful winemaker and also making this. If there were white peach jolly ranchers tossed into some grapefruit and Meyer lemon juice and then you dashed in some orange blossom and magically gave it velvet bubbles that’s this. It’s...delicious. You’d think at a mere 5% abv I’d have a cooler word than “delicious” but damn this is. — 2 years ago

Severn, Eric and 32 others liked this
Ellen Clifford

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@Joseph Barsky oooh this is something I need to try!
Severn Goodwin

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@Ellen Clifford It must be autocorrecting based on your recent virgo wine feature article, some of it had me LOL for real. 👍
Ellen Clifford

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@Severn Goodwin haha, you’re likely right! And thank you, happy to hear it made you laugh:)

Blandy's

10 Years Old Madeira Malmsey

I love Madeira. I don’t know if it loves me but it is at least on friendly terms with my taste buds. My taste buds like dessert. Even if you think you don’t like sweet wine the acidity on this may turn your head. It is a nuts cutting down molasses mountains carpeted in trees loosing glazed nuts. Malmsey. Definitely my friend. — 3 months ago

Severn, Trixie and 16 others liked this

Corte Rossa

Barolo Nebbiolo 2015

I might be tempted to call it a Sangiovese if blinded on it, but I was rather shocked how good this was for the price... — a year ago

Eric, Ron and 26 others liked this

La Marca

Luminore Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore

Hey! A bubbly-er bubbler. Anything that might be flabbish is not. It is bright and orange flower-citrus fun. Less mineral (early palate) yet still smart (mid-finish-afterIswallow) finish. Way tops for a Prosecco makes sense coming from Conegliano Valdoviedene — 2 years ago

Daniel P., Severn and 14 others liked this
Severn Goodwin

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@Ellen Clifford Nice post, wasn't aware of National Take Your Cat To Work Day, until now.
Ellen Clifford

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@Severn Goodwin thanks for reading it! Yeah I didn’t know about it before either but seems worth celebrating 😻

Rock Wall Wine Co.

Yolo County Sparkling Rosé Blend 2018

If you need to make peace this will bridge the gap betwixt bitter and sweet. — 5 months ago

Neil, Serge and 10 others liked this
Neil Valenzuela

Neil Valenzuela

Their tasting room in Alameda, CA use to be very cool (pre-Covid)- loads of Cirque du Soleil things going on.
Ellen Clifford

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@Neil Valenzuela whoaaa i gotta go (and/or be part of the show my contortionist roots are coming out) when the coast is clear
Ellen Clifford

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@Neil Valenzuela whoaaa i gotta go (and/or be part of the show my contortionist roots are coming out) when the coast is clear

Vignobles & Compagnie

Réserve des Chastelles Tavel Rosé Blend 2018

Shockingly for the price. Mostly fruity—red berries, sweet grapefruit, served up in a cantaloupe bowl and garnished with pure whipped cream. Dry desserts. — a year ago

Stanley, David and 9 others liked this