Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A tribute to summer whites

From above, it would appear that I am sitting in the epicenter of a large, household earthquake, clothing strewn about me, boxes half-opened and half-filled radiating away from my person in no particular order. Once again, I’m packing and moving. I guess I’m not really moving but moving out (I don’t think that you can actually move when you don’t have a place to move to)… So goes my warm season (I’m not calling it summer anymore since my unemployment makes the summer some kind of unappreciated, hateful, and endless concept). I am moving up to Seattle, to live with family for a bit, while I continue to search for jobs in the city. As it currently stands, the only jobs I don’t want involve working with children or liquid waste. Anything else? I’ll take it.

Naturally, because I have to move things, it’s hot out. The weather waited until just now to get sweltering, so that I could wander around the garage like an ungainly savanna creature, battling massive spiders for possession of my boxed up kitchen gadgets. As I wait until it’s an appropriate time to make a refreshing afternoon beverage, I figured it was a good time to share some of the white wines I tried recently.

With so few days left of warm weather (Washington’s “beautiful summer” lasts from August 15th to August 30th), it’s a great time to drink cool and refreshing white wines. It also seems like they’re on sale right now as stores try to move their white wine summer stock out in favor of getting warm fall drinks on the shelves. The first white I tried was a 2008 Marotti Campi Luzano ($10.99), a white wine from Italy made from verdicchio grapes. I was expecting a dryer white, but upon opening the wine the bouquet was of citrus fruit, pear, and apple. It smelled very similar to a Riesling. This wine had notes of grapefruit and pear, and had a dry finish that cut the sweetness of the wine. The back end seemed rather sharp and acidic to me, but upon looking up the varietal, I found that verdicchio wines are known for their high acidity and citrusy flavors. I found this wine to be somewhat off-balance, a suggestion that verdicchio grapes are not a good wine for me. This wine’s seemingly odd mix of acidity and sweetness made it similarly difficult to think of anything it would pair well with. A friend that I was drinking it with suggested, simply, that the only thing it would go well with was “green beans.” And that, I think, might tell more about this wine than any tasting notes can.

The second white I tried was a much better success and a really great deal. If you’re looking for a cheap summer white wine, perfect for lounging about on the porch in the heat, I strongly suggest buying the 2009 Columbia Crest Two Vines Pinot Grigio. It was on sale at Fred Meyer for $6.99 and comes with the recommendation of earning many “Best Value” awards, but also with an impressive 87 points from Wine Spectator. This Pinot Grigio was much sweeter and less dry than many I’ve had in the past but was so perfectly well-rounded that the sweetness was neither grating nor tiring. It opened with citrus and floral notes and finished with a distinct flavor of honeysuckle. It was extremely smooth, especially for a seven-dollar bottle of wine. I had this wine with fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden, a warm baguette and brie… and as delicious as the food and wine were separately, I’d strongly recommend against the pairing. The food (probably the balsamic vinegar on the tomatoes) made the wine biting and acidic. I’d go for something lighter and less sharp as a pair, perhaps fish or chicken.

To finish, and I know I already posted about this, I entered a wine contest on Snooth.com and would love if you’d read my article here and like, tweet, recommend or plus it! I could win $250 if I beat the other entries.

Any question or comments or wines to try? Email gradsguidetowine@gmail.com.

No comments:

Post a Comment