Wines for the hot summer: I
realize these wine suggestions have been a long time coming (*I'm a
busy man*), but I trust my readers will find the wait has been
Although some may disagree, I would argue the hot summer months are
not entirely conducive to enjoying 'big' red wines, as the outdoor (and
indoor) humidity would simply make such wines taste almost soup-like.
That is why my recommendations for this week are on the cooler, lighter side of things. In hot, humid weather, hearty Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon will simply not do! And, please believe me, full-throttle Chardonnay is not much better.
So, what will work, then? Keep scrolling down.
-Canterbury, New Zealand
-L.C.B.O. PRICE: $20.95
(the '06 is also available
through Hobbs & Co. [agency])
-L.C.B.O. # 699330 -8.25/10
COMMENT: I eagerly opened up a bottle of this delicious Pinot Noir
about a week ago: it was consumed mightily quick. Not an overly
complicated wine, its perfume and tasty fruit components (such as
raspberries and strawberries) are what make it so lovely. To be enjoyed at around 15 degrees Celsius, Torlesse is most
certainly a terrific buy. Luckily, there are still quite a few bottles
left within the L.C.B.O. system. Also, if you wish to buy the more recent '06 vintage, the staff at Hobbs & Co. are agreeable to deal with.
While this might not come as a surprise to more experienced wine
enthusiasts, many Italian red wines remain remarkably approachable in
hot weather, provided they are (at least) somewhat appropriately
temperatured. The 'Altesino' is, in my view, an appreciable example of
such an Italian wine. What I like best about it is its fruit: the '06
'Altesino' actually tastes like it came from grapes! From notes of
cherries to traces of candied apples, it ranks as a wine worthy of
suggestion to others.
PAIRING SUGGESTION: A little prosciutto, dried crackers, with Pecorino Romano (nothing fancy) --- enjoy!
(1) Weingut Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan
-Riesling Kabinett (QmP)
(Drink Now or Hold)
-L.C.B.O. PRICE: $21.95
(there still some bottles
lying around in the system)
-L.C.B.O. # 988147 -8.5/10
COMMENT:I know! I know! German wine is complicated! For our purposes here, let us just state that German Riesling in the 'Kabinett' style tends to be dry (with a slight hint of sweetness). The Bassermann-Jordan is, in my opinion, the winery of the questionable 2006 vintage. Their '06 Kabinett (the grapes of which hail from the famous Deidesheimer
Paradiesgarten vineyard) is a gorgeous specimen, with fresh lemon,
kerosene, and melon all presented in a delicate manner. With full,
bracing acidity, this is a wine that performs well above its price.
PAIRING SUGGESTION: Smoked sausage --- enjoy!
(2) Anakena -Viogner
-Rapel Valley, Chile -Vintage 2007
-L.C.B.O. PRICE: $13.95
(still available in most
-L.C.B.O. # 45138
COMMENT: The new darling grape of wine enthusiasts worldwide, Viognier
is best known for its ripe, apricot-like scents and flavours on the
nose and palate. The '07 Anakena from Chile is what one could call a
'textbook' example of Viognier: lots
of delicate apricots, as well as fresh fruit. Well-crafted, the people
at Anakena have a great deal to be proud of, not just with their Viognier, but with other wines from them I have recently tried.
PAIRING SUGGESTION:Roasted whole chicken with herbs and onions --- enjoy!