Best With Sunset
A friend and I were musing recently about what would be our choice of wine to drink while watching a mellow summer’s sunset. While we agreed that the best wine for such an event is the one in your fridge, we also agreed that warm weather calls for lighter wines with lower alcohol, good acidity and fresh fruit flavors (as opposed to jammy or cooked flavors).
A setting sun calls for a serene wine, one with a definable flavor that links the wine to a specific place, has great balance and clarity of flavor. The following wines are seamless; they grace the palate without a beginning or an end. They are also very reasonably priced for their quality. These wines are available in the Madison market; if your favorite wine monger doesn’t have the wine, ask for it to be ordered.
Selbach-Oster Riesling Spätlese
Saar, Germany, 2008, $16.50
Brilliant and articulate flavors of lime, green apple and powdery minerals. Very light and long with a dry finish.
Columbia Valley, Washington, 2008, $15.50
Gorgeous aromas of honeysuckle and Charentais melon. This is predominantly Chardonnay, but is much lighter and supple than the norm. Drink slowly and pair with a shrimp Bánh Mì (a delicious Vietnamese sandwich).
Zaca Mesa Rousanne
Santa Ynez Valley, California, 2006, $21
Rich and creamy with focused flavors of apricot, nuts and vanilla. Lovely with double cream, soft cheeses.
Joguet “Cuvée Terroir”
Chinon, France, $19
One hundred percent unadorned Cabernet Franc. Delightfully earthy with wild strawberry and blackberry flavors. Taut acidity and lavender give the finish a refreshing flourish. Try with herbed chevre.
Michael Kwas is wine director at L’Etoile restaurant. He writes this column monthly.