WINE RICHARD EHRLICH Keepsummergoingonandonandon
When George Gershwin died at the shockingly young age of 38, the writer John O’Hara wrote: “George Gershwin died July 11, 1937, but I don’t have to believe it if I don’t want to.” The passing of the seasons is a triviality compared to the premature death of a genius, but I can’t resist saying, nonetheless: “August will be over in two days, but I don’t have to believe it if I don’t want to.”
September often offers fine weather, but it is not the same thing as summer. I agree completely with Henry James: the two most beautiful words in the English language are “summer afternoon”. It isn’t just the lovely weather today, it’s the promise that tomorrow will be just as good. And the day after that. Endlessly. This week’s drinks are chosen with the express purpose of helping me not believe that September is upon us. They are quintessentially summery drinks. First is something I rarely drink: fizz in a can. Cawston Press fruit juices are made from real fruit, and they taste like it. I have been smitten by their Rhubarb and Apple, bracingly tart to balance out the sweetness. Available as a six-pack from Booths and Waitrose for £4.99.
The second item is Sipsmith Summer Cup, gin from the outstanding Sipsmith distillery with a small basketful of botanical flavourings and a soupçon of Earl Grey tea. It all makes for a slightly smoky, spicy package, good with the officially recom- mended lemonade but dryer and very refreshing with a lightly fizzy water such as San Pellegrino. Not cheap: around £18.50/50cl at Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and independents. But very good.
And finally, a superior rosé: Domaine Les Filles de Septembre Rosé 2013, Côtes de Thongue (Yapp, £10.75). It goes without saying that rosé is the quintessential summer wine, but it is equally obvious that a lot of pink wine is insipid and boring. Not this one. Very dry, nicely ripe, and highly versatile for food. Soon I’ll be drinking it in September. Though I don’t have to believe that if I don’t want to.