When it hits wine o’clock in our household it’s usually still light out, and that means we’re pouring a crisp, vibrant white. The one we’ve been finding in our glass lately is Muscadet. It’s a somewhat mysterious wine for several reasons, which is probably why I’m partial to it.
I’ve come to realize that Trader Joe’s is surprisingly polarizing. You’re either a Trader Joe’s fan, or you’re not. Those of you that fall into the latter category may already be rolling your eyes, desperately clicking off this page out of disinterest, or maybe even annoyance. No problem, it’s not for everyone. For all others, I wanted to share my latest TJ’s wine experience, which has turned up a fantastic white, a surprising Brunello, and a couple bargain-priced Amarones that I would buy again.
We can find any reason to celebrate with a bottle of wine. Today, we acknowledge Ferragosto, a national holiday in Italy that marks the start of its vacation period, spawns an array of local festivals, and sends Italians flocking to the beaches and mountains to celebrate. So, for this, we honor our Italian brethren and open something from Italy.
Tired of drinking the same ‘ole Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio during the dog days of summer? Break out of the rut and try a fresh, crisp Verdicchio. A dry Italian white, Verdicchio features bright citrus. Think lemon curd.
We recently took a group ski trip to Mount Bachelor, which is outside of Bend, Oregon. Sadly, we just didn’t have time to add on a side trip to the Willamette Valley, but we did manage a pit stop at Safeway to grab a couple bottles. Although it seems embarrassing to admit we settled for the grocery store in such a wine-rich region, we appreciate Safeway for its localized selections. Since Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir are two noteworthy varietals in this region, we opted for these. We grabbed a bottle of the King Estate Pinot Gris, one of my personal favorites, and Willamette Valley Whole Cluster Pinot, both 2014.
Yes, today is National Drink Wine Day. But as the cartoon so eloquently indicates, isn’t every day? So rather than talk about the “holiday,” let’s pour a glass and toast. I think tonight is going to be a Rhone sort of night. I love Rhone-style varietals. Give me a luscious GSM (Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah), and I am in my happy place. They often feature a combination of berry fruit and spice, which I think makes them great for drinking alone or with food. Each of these varietals individually has loads to offer, too.
Yeah, we know. White wines just taste better in the summer. It’s not even spring yet, so what gives? We have a basic rule around here. Whites before sunset, reds after dark. That means we’re always looking for a good white, especially an unoaked one. So, this brings us to Spain, specifically the Rίas Baixas region.
Continue reading “White is the New Red”