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Friday, June 10, 2011

Refreshing Whites for Summer Evenings

Last night we had a thunderstorm, much like any summer storm, the kind that knocks out the electricity for a few hours.  It’s a hot night, the air conditioner goes off - hopefully you’ve got your bottles stored in a place where they’ll keep cool until the house is cool again.  But what do you drink to keep yourself cool?  Probably something chilled and crisp - that would be my choice.
Last night was a Pinot Grigio.  I usually steer clear of the celebrity wines, but I was curious to try the Ramona Singer Pinot Grigio - and it didn’t disappoint.  Pale straw in color with characteristics of lemon, white flowers, fresh cut grass, and a hint of nut, bright acidity, and a long finish, this wine is a good yet inexpensive example of a food-friendly Italian Pinot Grigio.  I was pleasantly surprised and would go for it again.

2010 Ramona Singer Delle Venezie Pinot Grigio

Another summer wine at a very reasonable price is The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand.  I loved this wine the first time I tried it and keep a bottle in my wine rack at all times - it’s such a dependable Sauvignon Blanc and so indicative of its region.  Very pale in color with notes of tropical exotic fruits, bright citrus, soft herbal characteristics, and good minerality with upbeat acidity and a clean finish, this is another food-friendly wine perfect for very warm weather.

2009 The Crossings Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

When thinking of Riesling, often we think of a wine with a sweeter taste, however that sweetness is actually softening a very bright acidity typical of a good Riesling, and that underlying acidity is exactly what makes Riesling such an ideal summer wine.  One of my all-time favorite Rieslings is the Pierre Sparr Alsace Riesling.  The wine is straw colored but leaning towards golden, with characteristics of lime and a bit of sweeter citrus, white blossoms, and a hint of spice, with that clean Riesling acidity and a very beautiful finish.  Food-friendly though it is, my preference is to enjoy this wine on its own.

2005 Pierre Sparr Alsace Riesling


  1. All three of those sound delicious! You've got to go to Marlborough's really beautiful. It's kinda fun to go sipping through New Zealand. Don't forget to check out the Villa Maria winery and sample its reds!

  2. @ Marney, I’d love to see Marlborough someday, everything I’ve heard about NZ sounds awesome!

    @ Beau, I love the Alsace wines! My first wine love was Alsace Gewurz, love the aromatic qualities of the Alsace wines. I’m a huge fan of the Pierre Sparr wines and I always keep a few bottles in the wine rack, I have a bottle of the Alsace One but haven’t tried it yet.