• Christopher Bronke

Drinks of the Week: Week 8--Sipping Away the Sorrow

Week seven was a classic week of drinking with the theme being Rustic Americana. You can find last week’s suggestions here, and as a reminder, you can follow my food/wine/beverage Twitter space @ChristopherB070.

Well, football fans, it is week 8 which for many of us is enough football to know a super sad reality: your team isn’t going to make the playoffs. Dolphin, Jets, Chargers, Broncos, Browns, Steelers, Bengals, Redskins, Lions, Bucs, and Falcons fans, sorry to break the news, but your teams are not making playoffs, and there are others, myself included, who are coming to terms with this reality officially setting in just a few more weeks (i.e. losses). Bears fans, like me, plus Giants, Raiders, Jags, and Titans fans should be coming to terms with this reality soon. So, this week’s theme brings us the coping strategy of Sipping Away the Sorrow. Each of this week’s suggestions is designed to help you navigate the sad reality of the NFL season to date, and hopefully, make you feel just a bit better in the process.

**Always remember, these drinks are listed in a suggested order of drinking in the event you plan on trying all three.

Week 8 Theme: SIpping Away the Sorrow

Breakfast: Beer of the Week Corona Light

For those of you who are regulars to this column, you know I like to try to provide you with a light way to start the drinking and also find a way to make it seem less unacceptable that you are drinking for breakfast. Since you should put lime into your Corona Light, you can tell everyone you are simply making sure you get your morning fruit. I mean, after all, I don’t want to get Scurvy, do you? This is my early-morning go-to in Vegas as it works well as a “get back on the horse” kind of sipper. So, it doesn’t matter what you were up to last night, as you turn your attention to watching football this week and navigating the emotions of the reality of your team’s current status, this is a great entry point to sipping away your sorrow.

Suggested food pairings: breakfast tacos or lime and chipotle marinated grilled skirt steak with fried eggs and hashbrowns

Lunch: Cocktail of the Week Classic Gin Martini

Simply put, the classic gin martini is my favorite drink of all time. Period. In fact, it isn’t even close. I have many, many favorite gins and twists on this classic depending on my mood, but when I need to sip away my sorrow, especially the kind of sorrow caused by the Bears so far this season, I keep it as simple, classic, and as strong as I can. So, I share with you my favorite easy (and cheap--let’s be honest, craft gin can become rather pricey) classic martini.

4 oz. Tanqueray Gin

.5 oz Vya Dry Vermouth

4 dashes orange bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and STIR (don’t be lame and shake). Strain and garnish with a lemon twist.

Suggested food pairings: shrimp cocktail, fresh raw oysters, or Ceaser salad with chicken

Dinner: Wine of the Week: 2017 Boen Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Like any and all wines coming from any part of the Wagner family, this somewhat new line is absolutely stunning. The name, Boen, means “The Farm”, and the wines hold up to their value to well-farmed grapes. From the winemaker who brought us Belle Glos, Joseph Wagner has hit another grand slam with this line and specifically this wine. This wine is medium in body and has good bright fruit like cheery and pomegranate balanced with hints of blueberry pie and chocolate. There is good acidity and a nice finish with good smooth and silky tannins. Simply put, for a wine that is right around $25, you are not going to find anything better, and this makes it the perfect wine to sip away our sorrows.

Suggested food pairings: spaghetti and meatballs or grilled pork tenderloin and mashed sweet potatoes.

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