Now that the temperature is rising and spring is upon us, we need to look at the lighter and brighter wines to enjoy outside with or without our meals. One of my favorite sipping wines for this time of the year and into summer is the German riesling.
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Castello di Gabbiano Chianti is excellent for drinking right away and with food.
The wine is crisp with crushed gooseberry, white currants, fresh citrus zest, soft white fruit that perfectly balances the fresh acidity, making this a highly drinkable and approachable sauvignon blanc from the finest area for the grape varietal in the New World.
This is such an interesting and lovely aromatic wine that it will certainly thrill any drinker of it, as well as provide lots of discussion material.
Amidst the sun-kissed vines of the Languedoc region where the grapes ripen more evenly like in California, superb little everyday drinking wines like this one from the great co-op La Bergerie are produced.
Wine: Paso a Paso Tempranillo
Pinot needs to be delicate and elegant and quite light in style, just the way it is made by Mud House.
Chloe Pinot Noir needs to open a good hour-plus before consumption to let off some of the detectable volatile acidity, but then it softens up and becomes quite classic. It is superbly priced and a great value.
Sicily has been producing wine for thousands of years and some of the oldest native grape varieties are found here. For a wine at less than $6, Epicuro Nero D’Avola has staggering fruit.
Eroica is easily the greatest riesling made in this country, with this, the newest vintage, being a particularly great example. It is a delicious wine that is a miracle with Thai food or spicy Mexican food.
Les Abeilles is a classic Rhone Valley blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre varieties. Give it time to breathe.
Veramonte always deliver good bang for the buck and this 2013 vintage is no exception. A slow, cool growing season resulted in late-ripening fruit that produced elegant wines.
This Australian cab from the Penfolds family offers great bang for the buck. It is a great little overachiever of a wine and at just under $5 per bottle.
Foggy Veil comes from vineyards in Santa Barbara County, arguably the best area for these Rhone varietals to grow in the United States. It’s also available in Las Vegas at a bargain price.
This stellar beginning to the new year yielded an incredible revelation that is almost too good to be true. The tremendous Les Trois Couronnes Cotes-du-Rhone wine is less than $10 per magnum.
Sparkling wines are perfect for the holidays. Here are two good choices: a true Champagne in “noveau” style and bubby from northern Italy.
Alamos Malbec is a truly interesting wine that, based on its concentration and forceful flavor profile, is an excellent alternative to more traditional cabernets and merlots normally found in the area.
This impressive and overachieving pinot from several Central Coast appellations is elegant and perfect for the big Thanksgiving dinner.
The 2012 vintage of Campo Viejo Tempranillo is a great value and excels right out of the bottle.
Penfolds Bin 8 Cabernet-Shiraz is an overachieving wine that transcends its pricing category.
This oddly named (it’s named after an Australian plow) Cabernet Sauvignon is rich, opulent and full-bodied. It’s perfect with a grilled steak.
This wine from the tiny Saint-Chinian appellation is a distinctly southern French blend that comes out ripe and delicious.
Finca El Encinal wine is a deep garnet-red color with an opaque core going out into a fine light garnet-red to glass-clear meniscus, also commonly called rim definition, with medium-high viscosity.
You can celebrate the 20th anniversary of the rediscovery of Bordeaux’s lost varietal Carmenere in Chile with this impressive wine. The lovely MontGras Reserva Carmenere is a good value.
Attractively packaged, Menage a Trois Midnight Dark Red Blend appears to be the daily drinking wine from this winery, yet it certainly can hold its own against some much pricier competition.
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