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Drinks at Wolf Trap

This past weekend we attending the matinée performance of South Pacific at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. The performance was held at the Filene Center which was first constructed in 1971, burnt down in 1982 then reopened in 1983. Almost half of the seating (some 3,000+ spaces) are located on the steeply pitched lawn. For both matinée and evening performance most patrons bring picnic blankets, baskets and coolers of food, and alcoholic drinks. Wine seems to be the most popular choice. If you forget your bottles you can buy them along with glasses and glass holders at the concession stands. I brought a mixture of drinks along with stemless glasses which proved tricky and required being propped up or stuck in a shoe. Experienced patrons bring spiked metal holders which are pushed into the ground and firmly hold a stemmed glass. Note, the Baudry label incorrectly lists the 2010 vintage whereas the cork is correctly branded 2011. Both of these wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2011 Crocker & Starr, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley – $29
The color is a very light straw, The light to medium nose reveals textured aromas of grassy pastilles. In the mouth the wine is fresh with lots of acidity and nutty flavors as a supple mouthfeel develops. There are sweet spices, mouthfilling flavors, and tang to this acidity driven wine. This wine delivers a luxurious profile while retaining lively energy. *** Now-2013.

2011 Bernard Baudry, Rose, Chinon – $18
Imported by Louis Dressner. This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc made by vin de pressurage then fermented until dry. The color is an interesting rather light salmon and rose. The nose reveals light sponti aromas and is simpler than the palete. In the mouth there are delicate, drier floral flavors and sponti that are delicately balanced by acidity, dry sweet spices, and ripe tannins. It picks up momentum throughout the mouth revealing its pleasing structure. *** Now-2014.

While most patrons serve wine others prefer to bring cocktails. One party mixed martinis which were appropriately served out of large martini glasses. Another party simply poured their pre-mixed cocktails out of a stainless steel thermos. The lawn is pitched so you cannot exactly set up a bar so it is best to simplify ones drinks. I thought this would be a fun time to try a bottle of Keep It Simple Syrup (K.I.S.S.) which was sent to me by owner Susan Martinson. Susan had caught wind of my tailgating experiences and had asked me if I would be interested in trying a bottle. I prefer a simple mixture of K.I.S.S., Bourbon or Rye, and ice. Rich in flavor and body this simple mixed drink is easy to make outside and refreshing to drink.

Keep It Simple Syrup
This syrup is a mixture of pure cane sugar, filtered water, natural spearmint extract, and citric acid. It is a light golden color in the glass. Mixed with one part K.I.S.S. with two parts Knob Creek, 9 Year Old Bourbon it was surprisingly good. There was a lively start as Bourbon flavors came through followed by spearmint. There was good body, racy flavors in the middle, with a long minty aftertaste. At this ratio the drink was quite refreshing to both myself and my wife, who does not like Bourbon at all. For those who love Bourbon you might want to reduce the amount of syrup. The sweetness is powerful, as explained on Susan’s website, so experiment beforehand. When making a Mojito with Berkshire Mountain Distillers, Ragged Mountain Rum initial versions were too sweet from the combination of the syrup and rum.

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  1. March 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm

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