Summer 2024 Patio Pounder #1: Chillin’ and Grillin’

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Photo: Angela reacting when I announced It’s Wine Time! while in Badlands National Park. Her fashion choices that day were dictated by finding an awesome sweatshirt for sale that happened to match her pants. “Garanimals! Hell, yeah!” she exclaimed.

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Hi everyone –

It’s that time again. It’s Patio Pounder season.

Two whites, two (summertime drinking) reds, all ideal for July and August enjoyment.

Just to confirm they go well with outdoor living, we brought all four wines with us on our camping trip to South Dakota, to be enjoyed al fresco. See the notes below for drinking details.

But first, a definition:

“Patio”

Noun. A patio (/ˈpætioʊ/,[1] from Spanishpatio [ˈpatjo]; “courtyard”, “forecourt”, “yard”, “little garden”) is an outdoor space generally used for dining or recreation that adjoins a structure and is typically paved.[2] In Australia the term is expanded to include roofed structures such as a veranda, which provides protection from sun and rain.[3]

“Pounder”

Pounder is a surname and may refer to Rafton Pounder (1933-1991), an Irish politician.

rice pounder is an agricultural tool, a simple machine that is commonly used in Southeast Asia to dehull rice or to turn rice into rice flour.

Pounder is an EP from Nuclear Assault, released on June 1, 2015.[4] It is the band’s first EP since 1988’s Good Times, Bad Times, and their first studio recording since 2005’s Third World Genocide.

“Patio Pounder”

A wonderful glass of wine often served chilled, that is immensely affordable and as the cool kids would say, “crushable.” Often it is consumed faster than the drinker may expect, only to be followed by another round.

It is proper form to top off your guest’s cups before topping yours.

Multiple bottles are essential, nearby and at the ready. Bonus points if you have them in a fridge in the garage.

There is debate in the patio-pounding community if the outdoor temperature must be a minimum of 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but the modern consensus favors ignoring this old-fashioned rule. The only requirement for 21st-century patio pounding is the wine is cold and consumed outside. Dew points above 59 are an added bonus.

PATIO POUNDER 2024 #1 PICKS

2022 Felines Jordan Picpoul de Pinet, France

Patio Pounder research conducted in Custer State Park, South Dakota, Game Lodge Campground, Site number 31.

The return of an old favorite. This is always one of our favorite summertime wines because it’s always so damn good. Thank you to the discoverer of this wine, Annette Peters of Bourget Imports, for bringing it directly to Minnesota.

Picpoul literally means “lip stinger,” so you know already what you’re getting into here. The region of Picpoul de Pinet is located a stone’s throw from the Mediterranean Sea, just down the coast from Montpellier. It’s where the famous oysters of the region are grown and harvested, so you can imagine what I’d suggest for food pairing.

There are many great Picpouls in the market, and it’s a regular addition to our summertime drinking. But what sets this one apart is clean farming. While most Picpouls are produced en masse in order to drive the costs down and compete only on price, this one is all about the quality. 100 acres farmed with organic and biodynamic principles, along with careful winemaking, make this stand out.

Aromas of lime and apple, with a bit of sea breeze and oyster shell (seriously). This particular Picpoul, while invoking its lip-stinging translation, has a touch more roundness and far more detail and layers than all others on the market today.

Learn more about Picpoul de Pinet.

2021 Capo Nativo Casablanca Chardonnay, Chile

Patio Pounder research conducted in Custer State Park, South Dakota, Game Lodge Campground, Site number 31.

A new favorite Chardonnay! So affordable, so crisp, so clean, and so pure.

I make a big deal during wine classes that Chardonnay is a ‘winemaker’s grape’ meaning that it can be pushed and sculpted through winemaking tricks to make the flavors that the winemaker (or the company they work for) be produced.

So I have HUGE respect when a winery/winemaker has the guts to focus on growing great grapes, then getting out the way and letting the wine make itself.

Organically-grown grapes, hand-harvested, grown with care and love that is uncommon with Chardonnay at this price point. Stainless-steel tank fermented and aged, but on the lees, making for a great combo of citrus and length. This is the embodiment of “patio pounder.”

Refreshing citrus aromas of grapefruit and lime that play with subtle tropical fruit aromas, especially pineapple, with a touch of herbs. On the palate, it is a balanced, fresh and fruity wine with velvety texture and a persistent, enjoyable finish.

This is ideal Chardonnay for the hot and sticky days ahead. You’ll finish the bottle faster than you expect (like having a small bag of potato chips … you just keep going back for more until suddenly you wish you bought two).

Angela showing off her new badass cowboy boots. Custer State Park, June 2024.

2021 Giovanna Sicilliani Nero d’Avola, Italy

Patio Pounder research conducted in Badlands National Park, South Dakota, Hay Butte Overlook on Sage Creek Rim Road.

Another incredibly priced gem from organically-farmed vineyards, this time from 1200-1800 foot elevation outside of Palermo, Sicily.

Serve this sucker with a chill. That is the key!

Nero d’Avola is perfectly poised for summertime enjoyment as long as it’s served at the right temp. The variety itself delivers plump and juicy aroma and flavors, falling square into the refreshing-as-can-be box. As an added bonus, it may be the wine god’s perfect hamburger wine.

Stainless steel tank fermentation results in punchy aromas of currants, raspberry, wild blackberries, and violets. It’s like taking a triple berry pie and covering it with beautiful (edible) flowers.

2022 Chateau Croisillie “Croisillon” Cahors, France

Patio Pounder research conducted in Custer State Park, South Dakota, Game Lodge Campground, Site number 31.

100% Malbec from 30 year old vines, from the home of the great Malbec grape, Cahors. (Learn more about Cahors here.)

Cahors is super interesting, still relatively under the radar, and totally untouched by American tourists (we’re planning a Flying Grape trip to the region for 2025!).

A number of terraces go from the river banks up to the top of the hills, and each terrace represents a different style of the grape variety due to soil and elevation. Of course winemaking comes into play as well, and this one fits our theme with a fresh style as long as it’s served at the right temperature, with a chill. (Are you sensing a theme here?)

Again, just as the wines before, it’s made in a way to make for BURSTING fruit, like carefully putting a perfectly ripe blackberry between your molars and sloooooowwwwwwwlllllyyyyyyyy closing your jaw. At some point, some magical point, it EXPLODES. That’s what drinking this is like (at the right temperature … chilled. Maybe not refrigerator chilled but definitely towards about 50 degrees).

Plums, blackberry, mellow spice (not pepper, ala Zinfandel, but more like the spice of Syrah), medium body, and PERFECT with a steak on the grill as long as it’s served at …. you know the rest.

Buying advice

It may seem strange to have a “patio pounder” selection with two reds and no rosé. Trust me on this one, these wines are perfect for the season as long as … you know the rest.

And rest assured more Patio Pounder collections are coming this summer.

Affordable, gulpable, enjoyable, shareable … all the things that make a Patio Pounder a perfect wine.

Thank you, everyone! We couldn’t do this without you!

Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education


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