All summer it had been beer at the BBQ´s, so this week I decided to head to legendary Highlands wine shop Mondo Vino for some recommendations by sommelier Scott Mattson. Try these for a warm afternoon on the patio or romantic night in. And remember, in vino veritas!
Chablis by Savary ($30-35)
Mattson calls this one, “the best food Burgundy at that age out there.” A chablis from the northern most Appalachia of Burgundy, France, the chalky soil and cooler temperatures gives it a higher acid concentration than most white Burgundies, making it refreshing to the palate with a bit of oak. “It’s bright, it’s fresh. You’re looking at fresh chopped apples and pears and just a little bit of floral.”
Great with: Rich, buttery foods. More specifically, recommends Mattson, crab cakes, which gel with the wine´s lemon curd tones.
Verdicchio by Stefano Antonucci ($20-25)
A lesser-known treasure from an importer that specializes in mom and pop outfits, this Italian verdiccio comes from a tiny producer near the Adriatic Sea, where it picked up a lot of oak and a generous amount of creamy citrus. ¨It reminds me of lemon meringue pie in a bottle,¨ says Mattson.
Great with: Fish or poultry, maybe grilled with a little bay and herbs. ¨Cornish game hen would be very pretty.¨
Gruner Vetliner by James Taylor ($20-25)
An Austrian classic with a tropical twist, this light, crisp, fruity New Zealand white is a bit of an oddball compared to other gruner vetliners from Europe. “What’s cool about it is, this being from New Zealand, It’s not quite as green as the Austrian gruners are,” says Mattson. Look for tropical note of citrus and stone fruit like orange blossom and papaya.
Great with: Shellfish. Take it to the patio on a hot day with grilled muscles and clams and a light salad.
White Rhone Blend by Tablas Creek Vineyard ($15-20)
Something of American wine´s foreign exchange student, this blend´s grapes descend from Rhone vines plucked from France and transplanted in Califonia by Château de Beaucastel. It´s a fat, oily white with a ton of stone fruit, especially pear and grilled peach. Ït´s half the price of their other whites and better, in my opinion.¨
Great with: Chicken. Grill it out back with herbs and olive oil. Mattson says it stands up to food better than other patio whites.