Pour the man (or woman) a glass of Longoria Pinot Grigio from Santa Barbara County. There’s no relation between our Longoria and their Longoria except that they’re both tops in their field. The crisp refreshing flavors of the wine will help quench that parched feeling Florida heat gives and pairs well with one of our area favorites at the Hurricane — blackened grouper sandwich.
I think it’s fantastic that the RNC is in Tampa. It’s great for our area’s reputation as a place that can handle a big influx of people, it puts us in the national and international spotlight and hopefully brings us an economic boost. But I don’t think it’s so great to close such a large swath of the Selmon Freeway.
Closing that big section of the Selmon means either staying home from work for four days or coming in late and leaving early. If it doesn’t count against vacation/sick time, I say stay home and take Friday off for good measure. Does all this unproductive work time counter the economic boost this convention is supposed to give us?
Well for the person who thought closing the Selmon wouldn’t hit the working man, I offer a white wine mojito. In a pitcher, mix a bottle of white wine (like the 14 Hands Washington State Riesling), one cup of sparkling lemonade, one cup of chopped mint leaves and two limes sliced and juiced. The sweetness of the Riesling is offset by the tart flavors in the lemonade. This little concoction is awesome with the “masas de puerco frita” (chunks of fried pork) plate with yellow rice and “platanitos fritos” (ripe fried plantains) at Arco Iris in West Tampa. At least we can still get there.
Finally I turn to the hostage holding of two of the area’s sport complexes: Tampa Bay Times Forum and Tropicana Field. Grant you there are no games and no one has complained and I am only throwing out conjecture. But a whole lot of Republicans packed into a sports arena can’t be good mojo. What about superstition? Isn’t that part of sports lore? Look at B.J. Upton’s batting average when his socks are up and the single-line procession the Lightning follow. Add in some leftover Republican karma and I don’t have such a good feeling about play-offs.
We’ll need to conduct an exorcism when the last visiting Repub leaves town. You don’t necessarily need a priest but you’ll need some water; grab a couple of buckets and fill them up at the shore. Once the perimeter of each facility has been exorcised, pour yourself a glass of Les Trois Couronnes Châteauneuf du Pape from France. You're so smart, you guessed that. “Les Trois Couronnes” means the three crowns and “Châteauneuf du Pape” means the new chateau of the pope. That’s pretty holy! And holy moly is it good!
A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault, it’s best enjoyed paired with an aged steak (think Bern’s) or roast duck (think Café Vienna). Most of all, this wine begs to be enjoyed in a tranquil place — undisturbed by anyone’s politics or motives.