Phase One Wines

    The Wine Guy

    Since the Governor came out earlier this week with the proposed re-opening of Massachusetts, I thought that this week’s column should also be about wines that are good to have at the beginning, although I certainly don’t want to put all the conditions that he did on enjoying them. Think of the following as “Phase One, with Enjoyment”.

    Pichot Vouvray, Touraine, Loire Valley, France, ($18.99), is a beautiful Chenin Blanc that offers ripe peach, melon and honeyed tones. Soft and round, this lightly sweet wine appeals to the novice as well as seasoned wine veterans because while it’s naturally dry, there’s also a pleasant hint of fruit flavors on the finish. Have this one the way the French do-with a hearty plate of cheese and fresh fruits at the start of any meal.

    California’s Amador County is much more known for its stunning Zinfandel wines; however, the Terra D’Oro Vineyards also feature an aperitif wine that’s becoming more and more popular. It’s their 2019 Terra D’Oro Moscato, Amador County, California, ($13.99).

    This Muscato has intoxicating aromas of perfumed peach blossom and fresh honeysuckle. A sweet, creamy lemon cheesecake flavor is accompanied by bright fresh apricot and white peach fruit on the palate. Crisp acidity keeps the mouthfeel rich and balanced with lingering notes of rose petal on the finish and is perfectly paired to fresh fruit desserts or with spicy Thai or Indian dishes.

    If something sparkling is more your preference, get some Canti Prosecco, NV, Veneto Italy, ($12.79).   This one is light straw yellow with fine and persistent perlage. Made from the Glera grape, this is a dry and pleasantly fruity prosecco,  ideal as an aperitif and during the whole meal. Prosecco is not only the name of a village in Italy’s Veneto, it’s also the designation of a whole growing region and in that region, natives prefer it for all three meals, especially late Sunday lunches. Try a glass or two with a touch of Black Raspberry liquor and a lemon peel. Tasty!

    While you may not think of it as a starter wine, Icewine, the thick, rich sweet white wine grown originally in Germany and Austria, is a globally-consumed and globally-grown varietal. From the Niagara region of Canada, Jackson-Triggs Vidal Icewine, Niagara Basin, Canada, ($21.99/187ml.) is a fantastic starter for any meal. It’s rich and concentrated, with fresh tropical aromas of papaya, mango and apricot. Bold fruit flavours balanced with fine acidity caress the palate and conclude with an exquisite, silky finish.  Try it with some strong cheeses or broiled scallops, it’s really fantastic!

    Finally, since we apparently have something to celebrate, why not do it with our home-grown Sparkling Wine, Westport Rivers Sparkling Wine, NV, Southeast Massachusetts, ($19.99)?

    If you’ve never had it, prepare to be surprised! It’s just outstanding juice for the money and I’m sure they’ll appreciate the business- if they’re open during Phase One, that is.

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