South of Southie

    The Wine Guy

    As I’m writing this, it’s sunny and hot on the Cape, but not busy the way it could and should be. In the “silver lining” department, however, there are hardly any lines to speak of and it gave me and my friend a chance to talk with managers and bartenders about what they’ve purchased for wines this season.

    One name that has come up a lot is Lazy Breeze Sauvignon Blanc, Clements Hills, California, ($16.99). This white wine is the perfect pairing for a warm summer day, your favorite book and a good beach. This youthful and vibrant white is the ideal accompaniment to any outdoor afternoon. You’ll  especially love the fruit flavors and aromas that jump out of the glass, showing off the Lodi grapes that make up most of this wine. Try pairing this wine with fresh dishes: freshly picked vegetables, roasted chicken, and even homemade pasta. Judges seem to agree; the prior vintage took home a Double Gold medal at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and a Silver medal at the 2018 Harvest Challenge. If you try this one once, I think you make it a summer staple.

    Extra dry seems to be the preference down here this year; another one that really jumped out at us last night was a bottle of Chateau de Chantegrive Blanc 2016, ($21.99), a flinty dry white from the Graves region in Bordeaux. Pale yellow in color, it presents with a refreshing bouquet of acacia flowers, honeysuckle, and white peaches. In French, “graves” is a term used to indicate gravelly soils, which is what gives this little beauty its intense, yet refreshing dryness. Try this wine as an aperitif with jamón ibérico, oysters with a spicy mignonette or during dinner alongside hearty Alsatian-style sausages on the grille.

    If it’s summer(and it definitely is!) you’ll want to have a couple of Rose options and I’ve got one that’s been a little overlooked and is, as a result, underpriced.  Chateau D’Aqueria Tavel Rose, 2018, ($19.99), is from the Tavel region of the southern Rhone Valley; Rose wines from that vintage and region were one of the largest export efforts ever to the U.S. As a result, a number of quality wines didn’t get the kind of marketing support that they would’ve in a lighter rollout. It’s with looking for; vibrant salmon/coral in color, this wine is bone dry, full-bodied and full of fruit on the palate, with the crispness and depth that has made the wines of Tavel famous. The Wine Enthusiast says,” This medium-bodied, dry rosé offers intensely fresh, concentrated strawberry, raspberry and watermelon flavors. It’s juicy yet invigorating and mineral. A blend of Grenache, Clairette, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, it’s a structured, penetrating wine that will gain depth and complexity through 2022 and serve well in the colder months with game or poultry.” They are right on the money with this one.

    You know, this time of year it always seems that we want bubbles for some part of an event, whether it’s weddings, baptisms anniversaries or waking up with someone you hadn’t wakened up with the day before-whether it’s one or all of the above, the perfect remedy is Prosecco. By itself, with OJ and/or a dash of Chambord, one of the best you can try is Caposaldo Prosecco, NV, ($16.99). This one has real body, structure and a distinctive profile of fresh flowers, chocolate mint and a bit of vanilla. Be sure and have some on hand for all of the aforementioned, as well as friends and winning lottery tickets that may turn up!

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