Sauvignon blanc is an easy wine to make, drink, and enjoy. It doesn’t need to age so it’s an instant gratification wine. I had a bottle of Samuel Charles Sauvignon Blanc from grapes grown in the High Valley AVA in Lake County, California.
Priced at $24.99/bottle, it’s a bit higher than usual because the winemaker took the extra step and partially aged the wine sur lies for added richness on the palate and a complexity in its aromas. Aside from the typical floral and herbaceous notes, what caught my attention from the start was the scent of honeysuckle – one of my most favorite aromas. It was easy for me to enjoy this palatable silky, crisp wine, and the fruit characteristics lingered to my liking.
More information on this wine can be found by clicking HERE.
Initially, I wasn’t a fan of Mionetto when I sipped it on its own, but when I made it in a cocktail, I became a fan. Since 1982, this Prosecco has been made in the Charmat method — with the secondary fermentation in autoclaves instead of individual bottles. That means bigger bubbles. I prefer small bubbles and the Champagne method. But when you pour half tequila and half Prosecco to make a cocktail named “Italian Honey Suckle” – of course, I would love it! I recommend you pour this cocktail in a martini glass.
Italian Honey Suckle (courtesy of Mionetto Master Mixologist, Justin Noel)
– 1 jalapeño slice
– .5 oz fresh lime juice
– .5 oz honey syrup
– 1 oz blanco tequila
– 1 oz Mionetto Prestige Organic Prosecco DOC Extra Dry
– jalapeño slice for Garnish
- In a mixing glass, add jalapeño slice and lime juice.
- Muddle lightly.
- Add honey syrup and tequila and shake.
- Strain into a martini glass.
- Top with Mionetto Prosecco.
- Garnish with jalapeño slice.
Another summer sip that excels when blended is a Bosio Tropical Mango Moscato from the Piedmont region of Italy. This is an 85% fermented Moscato with 15% natural Brazilian mango pulp – without any flavor enhancers or additives. As was the Mionetto Prosecco, this is a not-so-popular sip on its own, but a wonderful mixer on a hot summer evening as an aperitif when mixed with sparkling water. I enjoyed a glass with some cheese before a ladies’ dinner on the patio.
Halfway through summer and tired of rosé, I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some summer whites. To kick things up a notch, I’ll throw in a sparkling shiraz. Here’s my list of recommendations in order of my personal preference:
- Let’s make white wine really interesting with a bottle of 2016 Grüner Veltliner Count Karolyi ($11) from the region of Pannon in the country of Hungary. It’s dry with a lemon bouquet and its light spritz is as refreshing as the cool of morning when those grapes were picked. Enjoy as an aperitif, poolside, with an eggplant mozzarella sandwich and with shellfish dishes.
- Cortese grapes grow in Gavi and Tassarolo village in the southeastern part of the Piedmont, close to the city of Genoa and the sea. This Italian terroir is bottled as a 2016 Luca Bosio Gavi (DOCG) ($18.99) by Luca Bosio Vineyards. This wine’s aromatic complexity (floral overtones and a bouquet of pineapple, apricot and peach) is a result of the grapes’ 24 hours spent in contact with its skin before they’re pressed and the must fermented in steel tanks. Three months in contact with its own yeasts post-fermentation and another three in the bottle and you can count on a good pairing with chicken and pork dishes.
- A bottle of Spanish Verdejo sets the stage for seafood and fish or pasta and rice dishes. From the region of Vino de La Tierra de Castilla, a bottle of Real Compania Verdejo ($11.99) is refreshing and intense with exotic fruits and fresh herbs.
- If Wine Spectator awarded a bottle of 2015 Georges Dubœuf Pouilly-Fuissé ($34.99) 90 points, who am I to disagree? A white Burgundy never disappoints. Prestigious, balanced and best served with smoked salmon, sole meuniére or chicken in cream sauce, this chardonnay is a true summer sip.
- I happen to adore Ironstone whites of Lodi, California, the first being a 2017 sauvignon blanc ($13.99). If you can get your hands on an authentic New England lobster roll, enjoy with a glass of this zesty blend of 88% sauvignon blanc and 12% viognier.
- If you prefer to pair the perfect wine with grilled scallops or trout dishes, try the 2016 Ironstone Chardonnay ($14)
- If you’re invited to a cookout with shrimp on the Barbie, bring along a bottle of 2016 Ironstone Vineyards Chenin Blanc ($12) and you’ll wow everyone.
- Heading back out of the U.S., I’m sipping on a Spanish albariño with my sushi. To be exact, a 2016 Pazo Cilleiro Albariño produced by Bodegas Muriel in the region of Rías Baixas (D.O.) ($19.99) of northwestern Spain. You can also serve this with fish paella.
- The chenin blanc grape has its roots in South Africa, so a bottle of 2017 Simonsig Chenin Blanc from Simonsig Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa, works for me ($13.99). Keep it light and serve as an aperitif.
- Finally, if you like the taste of Welch’s grape juice with fizz, you’ll love a bottle of 2016 Paringa Sparkling Shiraz from The ARH Australian Wine Company in South Australia. I’m advised to drink with bacon and eggs for breakfast, but seriously… save your $17.99 for one of the wines at the top of my list. I love a good cab-shiraz from South Australia, and I love a good sparkling, but not this one.