Fri 8 Apr, 2005 07:58 pm
This is one of a regular series of Wine Tips articles that I write for a private message board. I thought I'd post it here also and see if there's any interest. I hope you enjoy it.
Well, I'm back with another edition of Wine Tips. This time around I'm going to feature a few wines that match nicely with Spring, outdoors, and sunshine.
Those three things make me thirsty for crisp acidity and explosive tropical fruit, stone fruits, and citrus. So, we'll definitely need to pick a Sauvignon Blanc or two and Riesling or Gewurztraminer deserve a couple of picks.
Chardonnay, too, can be pleasing on a patio, but we're going to look for one that has an abundance of fresh apple and peach with little to no manipulation or oaking. This natural style seems to me to be more in sync with the season.
On a warm Spring evening with a cool breeze, we might want something with round fruit, like melon or honeysuckle. So, we'll also look at a Pinot Gris and a couple of proprietal whites from the off-dry category.
Okay, so that's enough set up. Here are a few suggestions for quaffing al fresco.
Benziger Fume Blanc, North Coast $13 -- This one has the tropicals that I love. At a warm enough temperature, I get a scent not unlike tropical fruit punch. It's crisp for certain with decent acidity and a refreshing finish. [tidbit: The term Fume blanc was coined by Robert Mondavi to bolster a miserablly low demand for Sauvignon in California. It means fume means smokey, but that characteristic is not common to all wines called fume blanc.]
Brancott Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough $14-- Brimming with passion fruit and white grapefruit flavors and aromas. It finishes with a smack of bright acidity and lingers pleasantly. [tidbit: New Zealand is the world's hottest producer of Sauvignon. It is also found in Bordeaux whites and in California as Fume and Sauvignon blanc. Chile also produces some nice and very inexpensive versions.]
Selbach Oster Riesling Kabinett, Mosel $14-- Pleasant lime citrus with peach and a subtle mineral backbone. It's off-dry with about 30 grams of sugar per liter.
Trimbach Gewurztraminer, Alsace $18 -- Attractive and floral on the nose with apricot notes and a hint of spice. This, too, is an off-dry wine. It's crisp and delicious with food or as an apertif.
Liberty School Chardonnay, Central Coast $17 -- This is a fruit-driven Chardonnay, bursting with green apple. It has only a hint of oak, aged predominantly in neutral barrels. There's no malolactic fermentation so the acid backbone remains powerful and pleasing.
King Estate Pinot Gris, Oregon $17-- The fruit is slightly more round, with melon and citrus. There is some pleasant weight when held in the mouth, a nice texture to accompany the flavors. For me, this wine has umami. [tidbit: The words Pinot Gris translate Grey Monk, a metaphor for the berries of the vine that produces them.]
Sokol Blosser Evolution, California $14 -- A proprietal blend, vinified as an off-dry, effervescent white wine. It's vibrant in the mouth and sweetly pleasing to the palate. This is a great wine for beginners but finds acceptance among serious drinkers as well.
Conundrum, California $25 -- Like the Evolution, this is a proprietal blend based on Muscat. It's blended with Viognier, Semillon, and Chardonnay to produce a semi-sweet (off dry) white wine of great quality. The nose is the essence of honeysuckle, which follows on the palate. Elegant and delicious, this one is perfect for sharing with friends on a Spring evening.
Okay, as always, I now open it up for questions. Happy drinking!
Bank in the fall of 2001 - I made 5 gallons of my own wine using California Red Zinfandel grapes - turned out pretty well.
How come they make wine 750 ML in each bottle?