October 6, 2012 |
This is a beauty of a Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, elegant and minerally, with some sass to it and a bright acidity that sends you back to the glass for another sip. It's brilliant as an apéritif but ready to escort grilled swordfish, steamed shellfish or even a chicken fricassee to the table. I might try it with fried chicken or sweetbreads too. And certainly with sushi. Region: Central Coast Price: About $25 Style: Elegant and focused What It goes with: Grilled fish, steamed shellfish, chicken fricassee, sushi Where to find it: Amazing Grapes Wine Store in Rancho Santa Margarita, (949)
August 18, 2012 |
2011 Ameztoi Rosé Getariako Txakolina "Rubentis" This rosé from the Spanish Basque country is something different. Grown on the hillside vineyards above the small fishing town of Getaria, the Ameztoi "Rubentis" is essentially a pink Txakolina made with a blend of white and red grapes. Ever so slightly pétillant , it has the minerality and a bright citrusy quality that makes it ideal with spicy foods. Open a bottle with fiery Thai or Indian dishes. I love it with ceviche, anything with anchovies or sardines.
July 7, 2012 |
The Bandol rosé with which I celebrate birthdays and most major warm weather occasions now, Domaine Tempier, costs about $40 a bottle. I've still got a couple of bottles tucked away, but I'm on the hunt for alternatives. Previously, I've loved Pradeaux and Domaine Sorin. Domaine Dupuy de Lôme (don't let the difficult-to-remember name put you off) is a real find. The vineyard is sustainably farmed, which is expensive, yet Gérald Damidot is producing a beautiful Bandol rosé for about $20. A blend of 70% Mourvedre with 20% Grenache and the balance Cinsault, the 2011 is dry and zesty with notes of apricot and rose petals and a complexity that makes it ideal for summer foods.
June 2, 2012 |
It's a fine time for rosé, and where better to find one than from the French Mediterranean. A perfect summer wine, Domaine Ferrer Ribière "F" Rosé from the Côtes Catalanes, is primarily Grenache with some Syrah in the blend. It's pale pink and tastes of rose petals and wild herbs. A fine rosé at a modest price. Region: Languedoc-Roussillon Price: About $11 Style: Dry and aromatic What it goes with: Omelets, vegetable or fish soups, shrimp with garlic, grilled fish Where to find it: K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323)
October 6, 2011 |
In Porto, I remember eating sardines grilled outside a little restaurant near the sea accompanied by gulps of chilled vinho verde . It's easier to find the wine here now, and this bottling is well worth seeking out. Look for the characteristic tall slope-shouldered shape and the distinctive Trajarinho label. Pour a glass: It tastes alive. It's similar to Spain's Txakoli, only the grapes get more sun in Portugal, so you have not only that bracing snap of acidity but also beautiful ripe fruit.
July 28, 2011 |
Say what? A Sauvignon Blanc from Burgundy? Under $15? I was skeptical. But when I tasted the 2009 Saint-Bris from Domaine Bersan, I understood why Saint-Bris is the only appellation in Burgundy where the required grape is Sauvignon Blanc. Crisp and bone dry, Bersan's Saint-Bris has an enticing minerality and a light touch of citrus. Perfect summer drinking at an incredible price for the quality. Bring on the oysters! Serve it as a cool refreshing aperitif or with smoked salmon or a whole grilled fish.