flipflop—wines for the soul (and soles)by Bonnie Lewis on Feb. 23, 2011, under Vineyard, Wine General, Wine people, Wine Tasting, Wines
flipfloptime! Not the simple, comfy, casual footwear worn nearly year-round footwear here in Tucson; it’s time to break out the new flipflop wines for their just due and review.
I was inspired by the attitude of David Georges, vintner of flipflop wines in Southern California, “People have a personal attachment to their favorite pair of flip flops, their favorite food, and to their favorite wine style. We crafted seven different varietals that allow each wine lover to discover a favorite. That’s the spirit of our philosophy—to each, their own.”
On that thought, I chose to pair each of the three flipflop varietals I tasted with my favorite foods.
Chilled Riesling balances hot chili
The flipflop Riesling 2010, from Washington, is medium-bodied—ripe with aromas of peach and melon on the nose. That translated to a tropical and slightly sweet taste, leading to a satisfying clean, smooth finish. I enjoyed the overall softness of this one—not too sweet, not too fruity or overpowering. It provided the perfect balance and ideal contrast to my spicy home-made chili.
Georges said, “I’m not sure what I love more…wine or California’s laid-back lifestyle…I’m the luckiest vintner around, as we combine all things I love in life in an expressive, well-balanced wine that everyone can afford.”
He’s offering a real winner here for those with the proper casual mind-set.
The flipflop Pinot Grigio 2010 was on deck for sampling; the menu called for grilled salmon and asparagus. As the potent aromas from the grill filtered in, I took my first sip. This medium-dry wine truly expressed the individuality of its vintage—light and refreshing with more of that tropical citrus aroma, ripe pear on the palate, and a sharp, clean finish. The Pinot Grigio was a great balance to this meal, truly gratifying my flip-flop state-of-mind.
“My goal was to stay true to the varietal character, to be expressive, to be well-balanced, and be affordable for people of all economics levels,” Georges said.
Comfort wine enhances comfort dine
The flipflop Pinot Noir 2010, released in January this year, was the final wine from this vineyard remaining in my stash. It had been a rough day, so my soul was calling for comfort food. I popped a Lean Cuisine macaroni and cheese into the microwave and prepared a small spinach salad, thinking, “This is how real people eat–not those elegant entrees paired in all those other wine reviews.”
The first nose detected cola and vanilla from the Pinot…a pleasantly comforting surprise. Once my not-so-elegant dinner was plated and sufficiently salt-and-peppered, I sat down in my favorite chair to enjoy. I took my first swish of this medium-bodied Pinot. Ah, the cherries and spice—almost cinnamon-y on the tongue. The long velvety finish was worth the anticipation. It was not at all at what I expected from an inexpensive bottle of Pinot Noir. Who knows—perhaps I’ve started a new trend of pairing Pinot Noir with mac and cheese; I surely enjoyed it.
Winemaker Georges attended the University of California at Davis, first to study viticulture (grape growing) but then decided to also study enology (winemaking). In 2009, he began working on wines that would become his inaugural vintage for flipflop, the newest brand in the Underdog Wine Merchants portfolio. He’s done a memorable job.
For each flipflop wine bottle purchased, a pair of flip-flop sandals is given to a person in need, through Soles4Souls, a non-profit partner. With more than 300 million children in the world without shoes, flipflop’s dedication to the cause is helping put shoes on more than 100,000 feet. This will help prevent the spread of parasitic diseases that can be absorbed through the feet, even through the toughest soles.
Georges said, “Great wine that does good—two of my favorites: flip flops and wine…what a pair!”
At the value price of $7 per bottle, I’d say a case or two is in order, specifically stashed for those casual and joyful, flip-flop sort of days–cheers to many such days come!
The flipflop collection also includes a Chardonnay, Moscato, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.