16 July 2010

What We're Sipping ~ 6 Wines for HOT Weather

We discovered a few new items to wet your whistle - even share with guests! - this weekend.

As always, we rely on and are indebted to the sage counsel and advice of the ever-present-online wine.com.  We are also thrilled with our adventures into the Whole Foods Top Ten wine picks...have found a few new treasures on our value-quest for wines we love, and can AFFORD.  Especially in the context of entertaining.

Give them both a try on your next wine quest and see if you are much wiser in the wine world ;-)

Meanwhile here are 6 wines that we have diligently sampled and served for your review and consideration...including the foods we're pairing with each.  The wines are listed below with winemaker notes (as available) and/or descriptions from our reliable resources.

R. Wines Darby and Joan Chardonnay 2008 (South Australia, Australia)
winemaker's notes: The wine has a light straw color. The aroma displays lifted melon characters with subtle hints of passionfruit and oak complexity. A rich wine on the palate, it balances both textural mouthfeel with clean acid finish.

The Savvy Host is pairing this oaky white with ~ summer dips and spreads like garlic hummus, tzatziki...grilled chicken, pork chops, bratwurst and smoked sausages.  Great creamy sipping white...

Shaya Verdejo 2009 (Spain)
winemaker's notes: Bright, lifted nose that could very easily be mistaken kiwi, gooseberry, grapefruit zest, "mineral". But this is riper, deeper. Great depth of fruit and opposing mineral cut. Another wine with a sugar/acid cage match.

The Savvy Host is pairing this zesty white with ~ Paella on the grill...clambake...veal saltimbocca or piccata...chicken milanese...pizza bianca di mare.

Austrian Cherry Zweigelt (Austria)
winemaker's notes: Deep ruby red, dark cherry already on the nose, full and juicy on the palate; round, dark cherry fruit, some spice tones and smooth tannins, compact, round body. Zweigelt has pronounced fruit aromas: cherry and sour cherry, a variety of berries plus a discreet spiciness. This grape variety was raised in 1922 in Austria and remains the most important grape for Austrian red wine.

The Savvy Host is pairing this subtly spicy red with ~ pasta with salsa cruda (fresh tomato & basil)...Southern-rub BBQ ribs...grilled Tuscan Ribeyes...don't be afraid of this! It's very much like a California Pinot Noir.

Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2008 (Willamette Valley, Oregon)
winemaker's notes: This wine is a great example of a crisp and bright style of pinot gris. Exhibiting aromas of asian pear, honeydew and citrus blossom, it is overtly fruity yet still complex for this wine variety. The flavors of tangy lime, pear and starfruit linger on the exceptionally long finish. A great "warm weather" wine, it goes with simple appetizers and a wide assortment of seafood any time of the year.

The Savvy Host is pairing this refreshing white with ~ steamed Maryland crabs...Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls...fried smelts...sauteed Lake Perch...zucchini blossom quesadillas

Block No. 45 Pinot Noir (California)
Described as a "distinctive California Red...full-bodied and balance,..oaky vanilla and dried cherry notes.

The Savvy Host is pairing this juicy red with ~ pancetta-wrapped pork tenderloin...chipotle-accented chicken fajitas...Old Bay steamed shrimp...Thai beef & basil stir fry.

The Savvy Host is pairing this dry rose with ~ Quiche Lorraine...grilled chicken Caesar Salad...tabbouleh & baba ghanouj with Naan...Shrimp provencal...

Valdemar Tempranillo (Spain)

Characterized as an "elegant, racy red...classic sipper with a modern twist...ripe, cherry flavor and nose full of blackberries and currants with cheese and cookout classics."

The Savvy Host is pairing this racy red with ~ double-strength, extra thick BLTs...gourmet burger combinations...shish-kebabs with sweet peppers & onion...marinated goat cheese.

Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rose 2008 (Cotes du Rhone, France)
~ $12
winemaker's notes: With floral and crushed red cherry aromas, the wine shows full-bodied, ripe, mineral-driven fruit on the palate, with tangy undertones and a note of white pepper. The wine has a fresh, lip-smacking fruit character and an easygoing, uncomplicated nature that makes it pair well with a variety of dishes. The wine has acidity and tannins that are ripe but firm; this is no wimpy rosé. This hearty rosé is a winner.

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