Quick Sips — 03 May 2014
White wines to pair with warm-weather foods

By Bob Hosmon and Mark Gauert

The 2013 Root: 1 Sauvignon Blanc ($12) is produced from grapes grown in the justifiably famous Casablanca Valley of Chile. I’ve never had a bad wine from Casablanca, and Root: 1 is no exception. Indeed, this favorite white shows a more than satisfying mix of undertone flavors, including grapefruit, pineapple and pear, with just a hint of herbs in every sip. Try this winning white with grilled shrimp or lemon chicken. You’ll like it. – B.H.

The 2012 Helfrich Pinot Blanc ($15). Pinot Blanc is the third main grape variety grown in the Alsace region of France, where some outstanding white wines are produced. A good Alsatian pinot blanc, like the Helfrich, is a full-bodied white with nuances of citrus, pear and apricot in every sip. It shows well with Asian cuisine (including sushi) and, unlike most other wines, can be paired with asparagus. – B.H.

The 2012 Tomero Torrentés ($17). Produced from a white wine grape unique to Argentina, the best torrentés wines come from vineyards in the northern region of Salta. The Tomero Torrentés offers a great introduction to a style of wine that shows citrus undertones on the palate and ends with a mildly tangy finish. It’s a winning cocktail wine choice that also pairs nicely with ceviche, smoked salmon and pasta primavera. – B.H.

The 2012 Laxas Albariño ($18) is another wine that’s virtually unique to a particular country, in this case Spain, and, more specifically, to the Rias Baixas region of Galicia. The Laxas is a crisp, easy-to-like, food friendly white with hints of peach and melon flavors. If you’d like to learn more about albariño, start your lesson here. It’s an ideal choice for sipping or for serving with grilled fish, crab cakes and tuna salad. – B.H.

We first heard of Chamisal Vineyard’s Estate Chardonnay in 2011 at the American Fine Wine Competition in South Florida, where judges declared the 2008 Estate Chardonnay the Best of Show white wine. Perhaps inspired by their showing that year, the Edna Valley, Calif., vintner’s 2011 Estate Chardonnay ($28) – just now reaching the market – is another standout. “This chardonnay,” according to the tasting notes, “swirls with rich aromas of orange zest, warm spices and flinty minerality.” All true, and all good reasons we keep hearing about Chamisal. – M.G.


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