While some women prefer to drink red wine, in the springtime I constantly crave a chilled glass of my favorite white wine, Sauvignon Blanc. Last weekend I enjoyed an incredibly refreshing offering from Chilean winery Montes. With its crisp, bright flavor, peachy aroma, and grassy undertones, I was thoroughly impressed with the limited selection Sauvignon Blanc ($12). Although it's wonderfully easy to drink and affordable, this wine doesn't lack complexity or character. It's slightly minerally with a lovely acidity and smooth, lasting finish — basically everything you want in a Sauvignon Blanc. It paired perfectly with homemade shrimp pesto pizza, but the flavor is so fresh, this wine would be delightful on its own. Has anyone else sipped Montes?
An American wine term, Fumé Blanc is synonymous with the wine varietal Sauvignon Blanc.
The name was first coined in 1968 by winemaker Robert Mondavi, who made Sauvignon Blanc inspired by a Pouilly-Fumé he'd tasted from France's Loire Valley. Looking to differentiate his wine from the sweet-style Sauvignon Blancs in the US, Mondavi changed the name on his label. Rather than copyrighting the name, Mondavi allowed anyone to use Fumé Blanc to market dry-style Sauvignon Blanc.
Fumé Blanc, which often has notes of tart fruit, pairs well with creamy cheeses and fish, and is best drunk young.
I'm certainly no expert at pairing wine with Indian food, but at least now I'm not totally clueless. This weekend, I went out for a delicious dinner of samosas, saag paneer, and chicken jalfrezi and figured it was only fitting to order an Indian wine.
We ordered a bottle of the very reasonably priced Sula Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, easily identified by the playful mustachioed sun on the label. Sula is based in India's Nashik wine-growing region and was founded by computer-engineer-turned-vintner Rajeev Samant.
This wine has the familiar flavor of California Sauvignon Blancs but with less sweetness. The earthy, grassy elements mellow your palate after a particularly spicy mouthful, but it also has a slightly tangy and spicy finish, making it a crisp counterpart to creamier foods like curry and paneer (cheese). In fact, it tasted so right with everything we ordered that I couldn't believe it was only $16; even if it were pricier, I'd definitely get it again. How about you: Have you ever tried an Indian wine? Would you?
During the week I normally drink a glass or two of wine with dinner. When I'm in the mood for white, I simply purchase whatever bottle is cold and on sale. That's how I ended up with this bottle of Robert Pepi's 2006 Sauvignon Blanc. The crisp, refreshing flavor of this wine is incredibly delightful. It has a lovely citrus aroma with a smooth texture and slightly sweet finish. It's a perfect Monday through Thursday white that would pair well with spicy pizza, fresh pasta, or fried seafood. At only $11 a bottle, it's too affordable not to try.
The other day, I attended a fabulous food festival called a Taste Of Petaluma. The day was a whirlwind of tastes and sips from over 40 restaurants, wineries, and cafes. There was a wide range of offerings, such as carne asada tacos, crab won tons, goat cheese ice cream, award winning chili, lots of merlot and even a rum punch. The best taste came at the end of the day when I sampled a flight of Trecini wines at the Vine & Barrel. I loved the Russian River Sauvignon Blanc so much that I bought a bottle to enjoy later that evening. It was a deliciously smooth and crisp white wine. Fruity aromas and a pale straw color enhanced the clean freshness of the finish. I paired it with pizza, but it would be exceptional with seafood or spicy Asian cuisine. At only $15 a bottle, this is an excellent everyday wine.