Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find." By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean "Hey, you really need to go find this" and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.
Each week as part of our Friday Find I try to tie in a little bit of knowledge dropping. Sometimes its about philosophy, like last week, sometimes it's about literature, like that time I said I didn't like Ken Kesey and made at least one person angry enough to no longer read this blog, and sometimes it's about a thing more essential to the human condition than even those academic pursuits. Today is such a day. Today, I'm going to explain to you why those of us who race bicycles shave our legs.
The most typical misconception is that cyclists shave their legs for aerodynamic reasons. This may be a real upside but in order to see that pay off you'd have to be racing at such an elite level that it's not really something I can comprehend. So, in most cases this has nothing to do with it. Another reason that's cited and has a lot of credence in the professional cycling ranks is the difficulty that is associated with giving deep tissue massages to the hairy-legged. In any case, I don't have a soigneur going to work on me, so that's not it here either.
So then why do I shave my legs, particularly given my low ranking within the great bicycle racing community? I'm a Category 3 Cyclocross racer and a Category 4 road racer. There are no contracts on the horizon for me, unless I get a new cable service or something.
For me it boils down to three things, tradition, vanity and band-aids. As a guy who's not exactly hair free, shaving your legs is a royal pain in the ass. All women who do this, and let's face it, they do it because of a male social construct, should be given medals. Shaving your legs is incredibly time consuming and man, when the leg hair is growing back and you're wearing denim. NOT COMFORTABLE.
Yours truly a few laps before the crash. thanks to @luchavino for the photo
In cycling circles, real cyclists, those who race specifically, they shave their legs, it's what they do. If you showed up at a race with hairy legs, no one would give you any respect. This sounds absolutely insane, and I grant you, it very well may be, but it's true. Ask someone.
Shaved legs just plain look better in lycra cycling kits. This is scientifically proven. I don't really see a need to pursue this line of argument any further.
Lastly, band aids. Tonight I crashed my bicycle in a criterium. A criterium is a race the object of which is to go around and around and around. Many times. The idea is that come the last lap, you have positioned yourself well to make a surge and win the race. These races occur here in Seattle every Thursday, and they have no bearing on your official rankings and are not officially sanctioned. For me, it's not so much about winning or even trying to win as it is about spending as much time as I can at the front of the race, working hard and building up fitness for the coming Cyclocross season. I was actually doing that quite well this evening until I crashed. It was my own fault. I came home with some impressive road rash and tomorrow when i have to change the bandages I will be very happy that my legs aren't hairy.
Del Rio Vineyards. The wine is a 2011 Rosé of Grenache from their Rogue Valley vineyards and on a hot day like this evening it was a lot of fun to drink. There's a bit of zing to the wine that almost makes you feel as though there's a touch of fizz in the glass, it's got brilliant acidity and loads of fruit forward character that make it fun to drink on it's own. The wine was barrel fermented and went through a partial maloactic fermentation. Not an example of bone-dry pink austerity rather a playful yet serious pink wine that is a lot of fun, and it even tastes as though there might be a hint of residual sugar on the wine as it finishes out with round sweet melon flavors. This Rosé can be had for somewhere in the neighborhood of $12.