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Fall Cleaning

September 2, 2012

Shortly, I’ll be headed down to Hudson for the first annual Bacon Fest. Hope I’ll see you down there. It promises to be a beautiful day. The high is 75 degrees and partly cloudy with only a 20% chance of a thunderstorm. I have faith it won’t rain. And if it does, I’ll have the bacon to keep me dry. Fat repels water.

If you are not going to Bacon Fest, perhaps you are headed to Scotia to take part in Jumpin’ Jack’s final day of the 2012 season. On September 3, they will be closed until the spring.

Speaking of September 3, that’s Labor Day. To some that signals the final day of summer. Tell that to the college students who have already started classes. But even still, summer doesn’t officially end until September 22, which is the Autumnal Equinox a.k.a. the first day of fall.

All the signs are here. Fall is coming. But while there are still a few days when the sun’s intense light can still cause a forehead to glisten, I have something important for you to do.

It’s time to clear out the liquor cabinet and wine rack!

Not all of it, mind you. Just the stuff you got for the warmer weather. Your whiskies can stay. The white rums and blanco tequila should probably go. I’m talking about the stuff that you bought to make margaritas or daiquiris. If you have a bottle of unaged Corzo tequila laying around, I have one word for you. Lucky. But that stuff is for sipping. Hold onto it tightly.

The other stuff should be finished up this weekend at your Labor Day bash. And for all that’s good and holy, don’t buy more bottles of it. Because soon there will be a nip in the air. Things are going to start to die. And you are going to want something other than the cooling breezes of the tropics. You will desire something warming and soulful. Dark rums and smoky mezcals will be the order of the day.

The same goes for those fruity vodka infusions. If you made your own limoncello, I’ll forgive you, but it still needs to go. I’m even going to work on finishing my stash of Harvest Spirits’ Peach Jack. I think it has the structure and the spice to get through the first part of fall. But come winter, it’s just going to be out of place. Luckily the distillery has the Rare Pear and Applejack to help me get through the months to come.

Gin you can keep. Thankfully there are a small handful of seasonal gin cocktails that are warming instead of cooling. One of these is pink gin. The other is gin and it. But they are not for everyone, so perhaps you dispatch the gin on Labor Day too.

Light white wines are in the same boat. I’m not talking about your age-worthy burgundies. But if you picked up some fresh and light pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, riesling, albarino, or torrontes, it’s time to put them in the fridge and open them with a simple weeknight summer on any remaining warm-ish evening or sunny afternoon. Ideally, you’ll finish them off during tomorrow’s festivities and make room for the lighter reds of fall. If you fail to heed my advice, over the winter these wines will fade, and when you open them up in the spring, they will be less vibrant than in their youth.

Summer styles of beer don’t really seem to stack up in the same way as wine and spirits. So presumably all you pilsner lovers aren’t sitting on a stash of bottles at this point of the year.

Drinking seasonally is a great way to help mark the passage of time, and enhance your enjoyment of the season. But it does take a little effort and a little maintenance. The good news is that it gets easier to do with experience. For instance, this is the first year where I don’t have several bottles of pinot grigio in my wine rack on the eve of Labor Day. Last year I overbought, so this year I adjusted. And planning ahead, I consciously tried to prioritize tequila and white rum cocktails in August to clear those bottles from the bar.

Hopefully you enjoy the last remaining days of summer. It’s been one of the best! And I have every confidence it’s going to be an amazing fall.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 2, 2012 12:44 pm

    Yes! Time for the seasonal shift in drinking. No whites after Labor Day. Fall is for Applejack!

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