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Friday, August 20, 2010
Sommelier for OYA Restaurant/SEI Restaurant, Washington, DC and founder of Vino50 Selections
The lazy (hopefully) days of summer are upon us and nothing beats the heat better than a glass of crisp and zesty white wine.The best wines to refresh the soul and quench the palate are whites with high acidity from cooler grape growing regions. These wines are not only refreshing, but often have lower alcohol content, so DRINK up!
Txakoli from the Basque Region of Northern Spain
One of my absolute favorite white wines is Txakoli (pronounced Chacoli) from the Basque Region of Spain. These zippy little whites are produced from native Basque region grapes and are reminiscent of Pinot Grigio. Think loads of green apple, lemon citrus and a zesty finish. Pair these wines with all sorts of light seafood, especially raw fish and oysters on the half shell.
Wine: Ganeta Txakoli 2009, Basque Region, Spain
Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand
Always a popular summer wine, Sauvignon Blanc is another high acid white with lemon-citrus, grapefruit and green grass flavors. Some of my favorite examples of Sauvignon Blanc hail from the cool growing region of Marlborough, at the tip of the South Island of New Zealand. Always refreshing, these wines are perfect with salads and lighter seafood; again, think raw fish and oysters on the half shell.
Wine: Ten Sisters Sauvignon Blanc 2009, Marlborough, New Zealand
Verdejo from Rueda, Spain
Sometimes this grape is mistaken as the sister of Sauvignon Blanc because of their similarities in flavors: lemon-citrus, green grass and apricot.The Spanish Verdejo grape is usually a little less acidic than Sauvignon Blanc but still very flavorful and refreshing nonetheless. Pairs well with similar foods as Sauvignon Blanc.
Wine: Gran Cardiel Verdejo 2009, Rueda, Spain
Crisp Whites from Finger Lakes, New York
I find that the Finger Lakes of New York is one of the most exciting American wine regions for crisp, cool-climate white wines. It also happens to be a very stunning and picturesque region with its series of long narrow lakes and vineyards flanking the neighboring hillsides. You will find a variety of interesting and refreshing whites from this region, including whites made from the grapes Riesling, Cayuga and Vidal Blanc. Usually its best to inquire on these wines before purchasing because sometimes there are sweeter versions amidst the dry and crisp wines.
The wine I chose today is the perfect example of a dry and refreshing Vidal Blanc and Riesling blend that I help to produced with Alie Shaper of Brooklyn Oenology.
Wine: SHINDIG Vidal Blanc/Riesling 2009, Finger Lakes, New York