Food & Drink

What Irma taught us: How to pair wine with a hurricane

We’ve been a little distracted lately here in South Florida, what with the Hurricane Irma aftermath and all, but we have been doing some thinking nonetheless. Mainly about the inverse relationship between our love of sunshine, our dislike of snow and New York Jets fans and our reluctance to put up our hurricane shutters again this season. Or ever.

We’ve also been thinking about wine and how relieved we are to be able to chill it again.

We’re also glad we can still drink the stuff that was in the fridge when the power went out and that we had the sense to protect our beloved bottles from the storm in what we will call a “Florida wine cellar” from here on out.


In my defense, they DO say to store valuables in your washer. #HurricaneIrma #Florida #wine

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But hurricane season doesn’t end until Nov. 30, and if you’re like me, those two months seem decades away.

So to distract you from ruminating on scenarios that involve huddling in an interior closet clutching your dog and a bottle of Merlot, we offer hurricane wine pairings that we came up with to keep from worrying about the size of the storm vs. the size of our windstorm deductible. Keep these tips handy, because you know damn well we’re going to have another scare before 2017 is over.

What to drink before the storm

What pairs well with anxiety? We went with a Carnivor Zinfandel, thinking: Well, if we don’t like it, we won’t care if it gets wasted. Guess what? It was smooth yet juicy, with lots of berries and hints of spice and chocolate. Not a drop was wasted, and it made packing to evacuate a lot less painful.

During the storm


Thanksgiving in September. Cheers! #HurricaneIrma

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Bust out the good stuff. Go on. Do it. Why hang on to that expensive gift bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion? Your house could get blown down or flooded! The roof torn off! Even if neither of those things happen, you’re going to be lugging tree limbs around your yard for the next decade. We went with a crisp Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, and we choose to believe it saved our lives, even though we were never in danger of anything but arguing over the rules of Trivial Pursuit.

After the storm: Day 1


#HurricaneIrma made this a #thirstythursday. Thanks, Aurora Vines Old Barn Blend from #Oregon #wine #winelover

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At this point, you must seek comfort in a wine that will return you to happier times. I prowled my stash and discovered an Old Barn Blend from tiny Aurora Vines in Oregon’s Rogue Valley, which reminded me of a great day in the tasting room and helped me forget about the fact that every tree in my yard was now in my pool.

After the storm: Day 5

Literally anything will do at this point. Even the cooking sherry seems appealing.

When the power comes back on.

There’s only one beverage worthy of that sublime moment when you realize you will be able to stop sleeping in a pool of your own sweat: Champagne. Chill it in your newly working fridge and pop that cork. Then pop another one on Nov. 30.