When I was a youngster (about a hundred and fifty years ago or so), I remember my parents buying a soda brand called Cott’s Half N Half. It was half grapefruit and half lemon-flavored and they used it to make cocktails when the weather was almost warm- like it is these days. In terms of wine, this is also ”Half N Half” weather-warm in the late afternoon, time for white win, but still chilly at dinner time, so maybe still time for a good red. With that in mind, I thought we’d split this week’s recommendations into some white, some red-Half N Half.
2017 Cambria Chardonnay, Katherine’s Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, California, ($22.99), is the embodiment of Springtime California Chardonnay. Ripe fruit, floral and spice aromas dominate the nose. Pink grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, white peach, citrus blossom, and apple flavors are balanced by a bit of wet stone, oak spice and bright acid. This is the one you want to bring outside and sip with the warm afternoon springtime sun on your face; don’t forget to have some oysters or fresh Cheddar with you, either.
2017 Leo Steen Chenin Blanc, Dry Creek Valley, California, ($19.99), is a West Coast version of the classic Loire Valley white wine. It has an alluring weight and richness, a silky texture and subtle aromas of Chamomile, orchard fruits and lemon confit. The palate offers a medley of Lanolin, white pepper and tea notes, as well as hints of straw that carry through to a lingering, almost salty finish. This one is terrific with a Cobb salad or Chicken Piccata out on the patio.
If you’re grilling some great steak for dinner and there’s still that late March chill in the air, you might want to go Italian Rosso- Tesoro Della Regina Chianti Classico, Italy, ($15.99), to be exact. This is 100% Sangiovese grapes, a lavishly sculpted wine that offers up lovely fruit notes of cherries and plums. Great for this time of the year because of its medium- bodied structure, it’ll still be a nice ”warmer” outside by the grill.
We should leave the cold weather the way we came into it late last year, with a good, solid Cab. If you’re still looking for collusion, try a bottle of 2016 Rutherford Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California, ($28.99), with anything on a grille. Rutherford Vintners exhibits the legendary quality for which the Napa Valley is so well known—rich wines with depth and character and an ability to satisfy the most discriminating palates. Rutherford’s reds, especially the Cabs, have very distinct notes of dark berries, vanilla and a “toasted” aspect on the finish. If you’re going to say “goodbye” to the cold, this is the one to do it with!
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