The month of August always brought dread to me as a kid. It meant one thing and one thing only, summer was coming to an end and soon I would be back in school. Schools in my area are already back in session or will be next week. While walking Rooster, I can hear the distant thump, thump, rat-ta-dat-dat of the drum line practicing at the high school. The back to school commercials have been in full swing for weeks and the stores now carry back to school supplies lists. Soon the sound of the school bus will be breaking the silence in the early morning hours.
This summer I’ve been drinking a lot of white wines and have many more in my cellar. Below I’ve picked four that are great for beating the summer heat and can be enjoyed at BBQ’s, sitting in rocking chairs, as we do, or just relaxing in your living room.
Mirassou® Monterey County Riesling
Aromas of honey, peach and a hint of earthy minerality. Fruit forward flavors of ripe peach nectar with a honey finish. Underlying notes of acidic citrus give the wine crisp and firm structure. We paired with grilled pork chops, mushroom risotto and fresh corn on the cob grilled in the husk. The wine provided a beautiful balance between the earthy corn, umami flavors in the risotto and succulent pork.
Mirassou can be found nationally for around $10.
Charles & Charles Rosé
Aromas of strawberry, cherry and citrus fruit. Crisp acidic white citrus and a touch of minerality provides for a refreshing summer sipper. This year I have been fortunate to find many wonderful Rosés, this being one of them and one I have purchased again.
Varietal – 81% Syrah, 16% Mourvedre, 2% Cinsault, 1% Grenache
Alcohol – 12.9%
pH – 3.43
TA – 6.9 g/L
RS – 4 g/L
SRP – 11.99 at Whole Foods
Northwest Wine Company Pinot Gris Kudos 2011 Willamette Valley
I have to wipe my humidity fogged glass a few times to view the pale yellow color. Peach and nectarine aromas carry over to the palate. With a hint of sweetness and bright acidity the wine is a well balanced semi-sweet wine. Oregon is well known for it’s Pinot Noir but did you know they also produce delectable Pinot Gris? They’re typically a lot less expensive than Pinot Noir so look for Oregon Pinot Gris the next time you’re perusing the wine aisle.
Varietal: Pinot Gris blend 52% Elvenglade, 31% Stoneridge, 17% Bailey vineyards
TA: 8.6 g/L
RS: 5.4 g/L:
SRP – $11.99 – Total Wine
Ponzi Arneis 2012 Willamette Valley
Bouquet of Lemongrass, under ripened peach and honey. Flavors burst full of peach, pear and honeysuckle. Full bodied with a slight chalkiness a tart lime finish. We paired with Salmon crepes and an assortment of Spanish cheeses. This has limited national distribution but is available on the Ponzi website for $30. Sure this one may be a splurge but if you can get your hands on it, don’t let it slip by.
It’s been a rainy start back to school this week. Yesterday I kept thinking of how much time I spent getting my hair and outfits just right for the first few days of school. I wonder how many girls were walking around looking like drowned rats all day. I don’t know about kids today but when I was young we were way too cool for rain coats or even umbrellas. Who knows maybe kids today are smarter than we were.
I took the pictures in this post at a local winery in Dahlonega, GA which unfortunately has since closed and Grandfather Vineyards and Winery, Banner Elk, NC.