Wines for Summertime Fun
We recently asked Clark Trim of Colonial Wine and Spirits in Little Rock to give us the inside track on some of his favorite wines for summer. Here is his take on warm weather vino, along with suggestions on what dishes to pair with them.
Marques De Grinon Dominio de Valdepusa 2002 Summa
From a vineyard in Spain located in the Pusa River valley between Toledo and Madrid, this is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot. Rising on the nose are elegant, yet contrasting aromas of zesty pepper, clove, cacao and smoke. These lead to a rich palate with layers of wild red fruit flavors and notes of mineral and spice. This hearty red is perfect paired with a hearty beef steak right off the grill. Around $40.
Panarroz Jumilla 2006
Spanish reds are just perfect for summertime grilling. This one is much more affordable than the Summa, and with its full body and flavors of chocolate, blackberry and cherry, it will hold its own with a steak, a hamburger off the grill or pizza. Around $12.
King Estate 2006 Oregon Pinot Noir
A wine of sophistication pretty well sums it up. King Estate is much lighter in body than the two from Spain, a characteristic that makes this red exceptionally food friendly. It has a deliciously smooth texture with flavors of cherry, raspberry and plum. It will nicely accompany a wide range of summer foods. Think grilled, with a range from grilled chicken breast, to grilled salmon, to pork chops and all the way to a nice filet mignon. Around $30.
Chateau St. Jean California 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon
This iconic winery won the Wine Spectator Number 1 wine in 1996 for its Cinq Cepages. They also make a full line of award-winning varietal wines. I like the Cabernet Sauvignon for a summer grill party because it’s priced right and delivers lots of punch for the price. Dark berry fruit flavors mingle on the palate in harmony with sweet tannins that make it perfect to accompany grilled meats, fresh fruit, and cheese. Around $14.
Hunold 2005 Pinot Gris Alsace
Alsace has long been one of my favorite regions. It produces white wines of great distinction and this one is a good example. It’s rich and soft, yet weighty with lots of white fruit flavor that pair nicely with vegetable dishes, pork or veal, and spicy foods such as curry and Mexican food. Around $22.
Selaks 2006 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is the wine that really put Marlborough, New Zealand on the world wine map. With its lush grapefruit-gooseberry flavors, it’s great to just enjoy around the pool, yet it’s also a very versatile food wine. It pairs nicely with most grilled or broiled fish or seafood, salads, and vegetable dishes. Around $17.
Pierre Boniface 2006 Apremont
Savoie is nestled right up in the shadows of the towering Alps in a place where you wouldn’t even think grapes would grow. Yields there are low, so not a lot of wine is produced, and the locals drink most of what is. But a little makes it to Arkansas, and it’s a wine worth searching out. It is light and crisp and perfect with summer salads or fresh fruit. Around $16.
RiverAerie 2006 Riesling, Columbia Valley Washington
Award winning winemaker Ron Bunnell hand-selects lots of grapes that go into this Riesling. It’s a wine that is made with food in mind. With fresh notes of granny smith apple followed by a touch of nice citrus, it’s perfect with fresh salmon or grilled sea scallops. It’s also nice to just sit and enjoy. Around $18.
Vina Robles Edna Ranch California Chardonnay
Grapes for this wine come from Edna Valley, where Pacific breezes provide the cool climate for good Chardonnay. The wine is rich in tropical flavors of pineapple, baked apple, and pear. It is a wine that will stand up nicely to seafood or pasta dishes accompanied by a rich sauce. Around $20.