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Daily Archives: 04/16/2009

I will be on vacation from April 16-26. Much of that time will be spent in Paris, Champagne, and the Loire Valley. Wines I discover on my trip will be relayed here after. See you in a week or so!

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Vinho Verde: what wine is better for casual sipping at the beach in summer? That rhetorical question out of the way, let us focus on this showing from the Minho region of Portugal. Made from the Loureiro grape, the 2008 Gazela is a light-bodied, crisp and fruity wine showing citrus notes on the nose, primarily lemon zest and apricot aromas. In the mouth, firm acidity balances the citrus and slight hints of melon fruit, making this another decent pairing for shellfish like shrimp or lighter fish offerings, such as sauteed sole or flounder. Light carbonation makes this wine slightly effervescent. Incredible value. $5.


Sauvignon Blanc is my choice summer beverage: bright acidity, fresh and crisp, with delicious citrus and herbaceous notes, it is a picnic wine with the backbone to stand up to various types of shellfish, while also able to stand on its own. The Geyser Peak winery, founded in 1880 in the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, is one of California’s oldest wineries. Here the emphasis is on ecologically responsible wine production: they use a significant portion of recycled glass for their bottles, compost by-products of their harvests, and are certified by the Fish Friendly Farming organization in recognition of their practices for waste water redistribution.

Wine and vinicultural practice go hand in hand: Geyser Peak’s techniques are green, and the wine matches this in its essence. The 2007 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc is a beautiful straw color in the glass, showing a nose of pungent grass, lime and lemon zest, and notes of guava. Glorious, lip-smacking acidity balances the forward juiciness of the fruit on the palate, including green apple, tangerine, and a slight tinge of other tropical fruits. It also has a nice long finish for a wine at this price point. $9.