White wines in glasses outdoors
There are plenty of wines to choose from when it comes to summer drinking—from your typical easy-drinking pinot grigio to the monster California chardonnay with all its butter and oak, from “cocktail wines” such as Portugal’s vinho verde or Austria’s gruner veltliner, to the few listed below. This month’s selections are available at Hennepin Lake Liquor, 1200 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-825-4411.
St. Hallett Poacher’s Blend 2009 (Barossa, Australia)
Price: $10.99 Grapes: 61 percent sémillon, 25 percent sauvignon blanc, 14 percent riesling • Lightly crisp and affordable, it has bright lime acidity and a touch of sweetness. It’s great on its own or with chilled shrimp or a seafood salad. I love the twist-off. Lounging on your deck, your friends will want more, and you can afford to open a second bottle.
Cade 2009 (Napa Valley, CA)
Price: $23.99 Grapes: 93 percent sauvignon blanc, 6 percent sémillon, 1 percent viognier • Complex and balanced with kiwi, lemon, and minty fruit, it is elegant and has a nice long finish. It’s a bit more pricey than most sauvignon blancs, but it shows why in the glass. Seared tuna and a nice salad will make for a perfect night.
Can Feixes Blend 2009 (Penedes, Spain)
Price: $12.99 Grapes: A fun blend of parellada, macabeo, chardonnay, and malvasia • Don’t worry if the grape names are unfamiliar; after one sip you won’t have a care in the world. It’s crisp with fresh apple and pear fruit and chalky minerals. Pair it with herb roasted chicken or light cheeses.
Trimbach “Reserve” 2008 (Alsace, France)
Price: $21.95 Grapes: 100 percent riesling • I’ve never been a huge fan of picking wines that have big ratings, but this is a beautiful wine that deserves high praise. Medium bodied and balanced, it’s dry with tart apple and minerals in the finish. It could age for 10 years, but I would drink it on a hot day with pork tenderloin off the grill.
Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at VintageU@msn.com.