The Biscayne Times

Jul 03rd
Stock Up and Hunker Down (Again) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jacqueline Coleman, BT Contributor   
June 2020

Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $15 or less

WPix_Vino_6-20elcome to June and the next level of the survival game we’re all playing to get through 2020. Next up, hurricane season!

Here in South Florida, we know that June 1 marks the beginning of our months-long wait-and-see of weather watching. It’s also time to stock up on the usual and keep our eyes on the Atlantic.

For many of us, the hurricane talk that will dominate local news as soon as the first storm forms will be a welcome reprieve from what has been on our minds for the past few months. At least we Floridians know exactly what we need to do when the watches start popping up -- load up on bottles of wine.

Since the weather will be sticky, let’s talk about some refreshing white wines that will pair especially well with South Florida summer days, and which may not be your usual go-to bottles. Say goodbye for now to your trusty Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio. Here are seven economical bottles of interesting whites to get you through June and beyond.

For something oh-so-refreshing, you will want to grab the 2019 Las Lilas Vinho Verde from Portugal. Vinho Verde, made exclusively in its namesake region, is usually just the tiniest bit effervescent, which adds to the refreshment of the wine. Floral and fruity aromas with crisp citrus flavors make this dry wine a delight. No need to think about a food pairing, as the Las Lilas Vinho Verde is just a pleasure to drink on its own.

If you prefer a bit of sweetness to your white wine, try this bottle from the Loire Valley region of France. The 2018 Les Fosses d’Hareng Vouvray is sweet on the tongue with candied pear, melon, honeysuckle, and subtle lemon flavors, too. The wine contains high acidity, allowing for a nice balancing act with the medium amount of residual sugar. Vouvray wines are always made with the grape Chenin Blanc in the Touraine district of France, although they vary in style from dry to sweet and even sparkling. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to ask for help if you are looking for a specific style of Vouvray.

Speaking of the Loire Valley, another wine from the western edge of this region is the 2018 Famille Bougrier Muscadet. Muscadet wines are always made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, also referred to as Melon de B. This Muscadet is simply perfect to pair with oysters, shellfish, and other light seafood dishes like a shrimp cocktail. It’s an uncomplicated, lighter-style wine with citrus, apple, and pear flavors and crisp acidity.

Go Greek with the 2018 Hermes Assyrtiko. Assyrtiko is originally from the island of Santorini, where its vines grow well in the volcanic soil. But it has become well known as a wine from Greece. It makes for a refreshing citrusy wine with high acidity that goes well with many Mediterranean dishes. Hermes is a fuller-bodied white with some orange-citrus flavors, too. Remember, what grows together, goes together, so think Assyrtiko for your next Mediterranean-themed fish dinner.

For a bottle with more texture and flavor, head over to Argentina for the 2018 Susana Balbo “Crios” Torrontés. Susana Balbo is noted as the first female winemaker from Argentina, and her wines are very well respected in that country and beyond. This bottle is medium-bodied with medium acidity and lemon peach flavors. It’s a very fruity dry wine that is perfect on its own and will undoubtedly be a crowd-pleaser at any backyard summer BBQ.

Travel over to Italy, where we have two wines that aren’t your average Pinot Grigios. The 2016 Marotti Campi Luzano Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore is a super-refreshing white wine from the central La Marche region in Italy. Lime peel, ripe citrus, and herbal aromas dominate on the nose along with some wet stones for extra freshness. On the palate, it’s dry with strong citrus flavors, and clean and crisp minerality.

Those wine-os who appreciate acidity will love the 2019 Villa Sparina Gavi, which is pretty close to a perfect white wine. Made from the Cortese grape in the Piedmont region of Italy, Gavi is traditionally exceptionally refreshing with mouth-watering acidity. Bright, ripe lemon and balanced minerality make Villa Sparina a wonderful accompaniment to a meal like lightly grilled Halibut and cauliflower with Chermoula sauce, or any white fish bathed in lemon and herbal accompaniments.


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