Memorial weekend is the un-official start of summer vacation. I've always loved this holiday not only because it mean't barbecuing and swimming all weekend, but because it also meant my birthday was just weeks away. My grandmother and I would head to the store to buy hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs, the makings for potato salad, chips and Otter Pops. Otter Pops were a must have for my cousins and I. My grandmother had an outdoor fridge in her garage. We'd run around the side of the house and into to the garage to sneak dozens of Otter Pops out to the backyard. Although we thought we were being sly, the trail of wrappers around the edge of the pool was a dead giveaway of what we had been up to. My favorite Otter Pop has always been the Louie-Bloo Raspberry®. I loved the flavor and loved the fact that it turned your tongue blue. On Memorial weekend in particular, we'd try to get a red and blue Otter Pop and put both on the sides of our tongue to stain it to look like the colors of the American flag. Poor Little Orphan Orange® was the only Otter Pop we left alone for grandma to eat. Although we always had an adult outside with us, it was usually my older brother and my grandmother had no idea what we were up to. She'd yell at us as soon as she saw the wrappers around the pool. "You kids need to stop eating all those damn Otter Pops, you're going to ruin your lunch!" And sure enough she was right!
Otter Pops and wine? I know, it's a stretch. But because Otter Pops were such a large part of my Memorial weekend holiday I had to pair it with wine. And I have to tell you, I was pleasantly surprised. Astoria Lounge is a sweet sparkling blend of 50% Prosecco and 50% Moscato from the Veneto, Italy. The wine has a delicate balance of peaches, pear, and a nice punch of flower power to round it all out. Astoria Lounge also has a nice balance between acid and sugar and has a wonderful finish. And more importantly, it's delicious with Otter Pops! The first thing I notice that I enjoy about the popsicle and wine together is that the sugar in both matches up beautifully. Sometimes the wine can be too sweet for the food or the food can be too sweet for the wine. At first the flavor of the wine overpowers the flavor of the popsicle but only for a moment. Like a boomerang the flavor of the popsicle suddenly re-emerges and the flavor is prolonged. Texturally the crunch of the popsicle and the sparkle of the bubbles play nicely together. I also enjoy how cold the wine is against the chill of the popsicle. In addition, the bubbles in the wine help to wash the flavors off the palate and because the wine only has 7% alcohol, I think I could enjoy this along with the dozen or so Otter Pops I ate as a kid poolside. Cheers!