• by Jenny Benzie – Advanced Sommelier and Proprietress of Épernay Wine & Spirits •
School’s out, summer is here, and it’s time to have some fun. This is the time when you say Goodbye to All That and make your way to your favorite island destination. There are numerous choices for the backdrop of what will transpire as your own personal summer saga here on Nantucket. It may include celebrating Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, your own rendition of The Nanny Diaries, or trying to crash 112 Weddings between now and Labor Day. Whatever is the storyline for your ‘Summer of ’14’ movie production, here are five key tips to ensure you make it A Good Year.
SOMM – You don’t have to be a Sommelier who works in a restaurant every night to play one this summer. You can act as though you are one though by holding your wine glass properly. You always hold the glass by the stem, the same as you do when holding a rose. This enables you to properly swirl the wine to watch it as it cascades down the side of the glass. It also helps you to avoid getting fingerprints all over the glass. You know how in winter you cup your coffee to keep your hands warm? Well, when you do that with the wine glass, you are actually warming up that amazing rosé you just poured. Unless of course you are at the beach, which may be a different scene. You are probably using your ultimate GoVino stemless glasses that are shatterproof, reusable and recyclable. They pack quickly in a tote to make you look like a star when you arrive at the party, wherever that may be!
BOTTLE SHOCK – The quality of your wine service can make your summer a big splash or dead in the water. A memorable way to get your celebration started is by sabering your bubbly bottle. You don’t need to be a ninja to perform this trick. It can be done with something as simple as a butter knife once you learn the proper technique. Champagne service should be done “island style” when you christen your new boat for its maiden voyage. Be sure to save the good stuff to actually drink while cruising around Nantucket harbor and waving to the crowds. For those soirées that have a big cast and crew, big bottles are the way to go to quench the thirst of that crowd.
THE BILLIONAIRE’S VINEGAR – Avoid disappointment on opening night by buying your wine from a reputable wine source. When buying older vintage wines, it is important to know the provenance of the wine (i.e. where it came from) and how it has been stored. Be sure to purchase your wine for the party on your way home so that it doesn’t sit in your car basking in the sun all day while you are at the beach. Having the opportunity to taste a wine before you buy it is key for any dress rehearsal. Screwtop closure wines are a perfect co-star for the beach so you don’t have to worry about forgetting your props for the shoot. The Vinolok glass closure makes for an understudy never to disappoint as well.
NO WINE LEFT BEHIND – There are two plot points here. First of all, whatever you take on your Great Point adventure, be sure to bring it back with you. This includes the foil wrapper, the cork, and the bottle itself, which can be recycled here on the island. It is our job to lead by example to our up and coming stars. Secondly, if you have been partaking at a local restaurant, did you know that you can take your unfinished bottle of wine home with you? You say you always finish that bottle of wine, but it is when you order a second bottle that sometimes you need to take advantage of this perk.
SIDEWAYS – But before the cast party gets out of control, always be sure to drink responsibly. You don’t want to ruin your epic summer by one bad decision that was not part of the manuscript. Make arrangements with your co-stars of family and friends for a designated driver or call a cab. It is important that you do not drink and drive. It’s just not worth it. Period.
In closing, these tips will help guide you as you rehearse the summer of your life here on the island. Be confident, know that sometimes it is the shock and awe that gets the award and play it safe on the set. May you have many sequels to your epic Nantucket summer experiences.