I love men who wear pink shirts. They either have better fashion than I do or are comfortable enough in their masculinity to be seen in the feminine hue. Men who wear pink shirts have a lot in common with guys who are comfortable enough to order wine as a cocktail and for that matter, actually drink it out of a wine glass instead of asking for a highball. Recently, a young male friend of mine asked me if it was ok for men to order white wine? ”Of course,” I said, “what’s wrong with white wine.” He conveyed his interest in white wine because of its temperature and refreshing acidity, but he had been teased by friends for drinking it. ”You’re not sipping a piña colada with extra whip cream and cherries,” I said. For goodness sake. Unfortunately, this is the stereotype that many men face. That’s why every time I see a 20-something-year-old guy drinking a glass of white wine, or God forbid, champagne, I feel the urge to throw my right hand up in the air for a high five while simultaneously uttering the words, “you go boy!”
While I realize that some men are fearless creatures like Steve Irwin, the crocodile hunter, others are not. So, I’ve got the perfect wine for all you macho, macho men. It’s called Plavac Mali. This grape, indiginenous to Croatia and produced off the Dalmatian coast, reminds me of a man, or at least what I want in a man! It’s strong, rustic, bold, dark and spicy. Rumor has it that Plavac Mali is related to Zinfandel, which totally makes sense after you taste it. Its high in alcohol, plummy, spicy and meaty like Zin, yet its Mediterranean spices and hints of dried fruits add a southern European flare to this wine.
Plavac Mali is limited in production so it may be harder to find than most wines. I’ve recently been enjoying the 2007 Postup Donja Banda Plavac Mali from the Peljesac region of Croatia. The grapes for Postup are hand picked and also picked late so that they are somewhat overripe. The result is a wine full of flavor and intensity that could benefit from a little time spent in glass with exposure to air. It’s suggested this wine be served slightly chilled, as it is very high in alcohol and can come across even more alcoholic at too warm of temperatures. Plus, the slight chill helps to retain the wine’s fruit character. And like most men, this wine loves grilled or roasted meat. You won’t have to worry about looking weak if you’re holding a glass of red wine and at the same time eating a slab of beef without utensils like a caveman. Cheers!