When we transition from Summer to Fall, New York City not only goes through a change of weather, but the energy changes as well. People start to walk a little faster, tempers are a little shorter and everyone seems to carry a mountain of stress. I, myself, start to feel more hurried, like I’m constantly running; the pile of work seems to only get bigger, and that tense feeling, like my head is being squeezed in a vice, starts to become all pervasive.
It is the feeling that the carefree days are over. No more leisurely strolls with my love, no more heart to heart with friends, no more long period of sleep not interrupted by the waking nightmares of feeling like I’m chasing a runaway train. I even feel like a different person once Summer is over. I’m more consumed with trying to check things off my list rather than enjoying the sunset. Simply, I start to miss the “Summer me”.
On a Boat from Manhattan to the Mediterranean Sea
As I mourn the loss of “Summer me,” I can’t help but reflect, during the few minutes of downtime I have in the subway, on those special moments of Summer where I felt like the beautiful, carefree person that I know I can be. The last precious memory I have was on a boat in Manhattan, drinking wines from the Mediterranean Italian island of Sardinia. This event technically took place a couple days after Fall started, September 26th, but I consider it my last fling with “Summer me”.
Santa Maria La Palma
This boat ride was an opportunity to try the Santa Maria La Palma (SMLP) wines from the second largest island in the Mediterranean – Sardinia. Since many of the grape growers on Sardinia only have small plots of vineyards, as well as limited resources, co-operatives like SMLP are a necessity. They have been making wine since 1946 and say their strength comes from their membership of growers who each have a vote in the co-operative.
While I was running to this wine event, I was stressed and overcome with the sadness that Summer had ended. But as I walked onto the boat and was handed their Vermentino wine while being told tales of the stunning beauty of Sardinia, the dunes of white sand and the saline smell from the sea, I started to feel “Summer me” coming back. It was a lovely, enchanting afternoon, eating oysters and seafood, laughing and sharing stories as many of us were just grateful that we got to extend Summer for just one more day.
But I quickly, after that delightful experience, forgot about “Summer me” – back to the rat race, the New York City grind. But it is an experience that I try to keep close to my heart. The other day, I decided on the spur of the moment to buy a wine from Sardinia and remind myself that “Summer me” is always there when I need her.
Everyday Drinking Wine (less than $15)
2015 Cantina Santa Maria La Palma, Aragosta Vermentino di Sardegna DOC, Sardinia, Italy ($10): Vermentino is the predominant white grape variety of Sardinia and it truly evokes thoughts of being on this Mediterranean island with its bright, fresh flavor of grapefruit and the distinct minerality that reminds one of their white sand beaches. A great value that is a nice go-to wine when we want to reconnect with that Summer feeling.
Special Occasion Wine (from $15 to $50)
2014 Cantina Santa Maria La Palma, La Bombarde, Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, Sardinia, Italy ($18): Cannonau is the predominant red grape variety of Sardinia and is related to Garnacha of Spain and Grenache of France. There is still a debate of whether this variety originated in Spain or Italy (Sardinia). This wine had a beautiful floral character with a hint of pepper on the finish – a light red that is ideal when we want to dream about Summer.
Fantasy Wine (over $50)
Cantina Santa Maria La Palma, Akenta Underwater “Millesimato” Spumante Extra Dry NV, Sardinia, Italy (currently not available on the market): This wine is not on the US market yet – they are hopeful to bring some of the 700 case production into New York City in the future. This sparkling “spumante” wine is aged (on its lees) underwater at 131 feet (40 meters), hence the name. The wines do have a distinct salinity, and I don’t know if it comes from the wine or just the idea of it being aged in the sea. The Akenta Underwater Spumante is sold in the original bottles and so there are markings that show the sea crustaceans and such that were attached. I don’t know what the pricing will be once it makes it into the US market, but it will be limited in quantity and hard to get, and so, it is a fantasy wine regardless of the price – plus this wine just screams Summer with its direct connection to the sea.