Everyday, Gourmet: Wines for all Occasions by Mark DeWolf
Patio season is upon us and I’m ready to go bare - that is I am ready to drink some white wines that haven’t been dressed up with a lot of oak. Nova Scotia L’Acadie Blanc is a great summer sipper for al fresco occasions but when venturing further afield there a countless fresh white wine styles that are currently exciting my senses. Albarino from Spain’s coastal Galicia province, good Ontario Riesling and Falaghina from Campania in Italy are just a few that are more often than not finding a place in my glass. This summer dare to be different with these fresh white wines.
Crush Pinot Grigio Niagara Peninsula VQA (NSLC, $13.99) Despite Pinot Grigio’s immense popularity, I’ll admit that I find most to be rather plain. More often than not the Pinot Grigio found on the shelves of the NSLC are made by winemaker’s who purposefully pick the grape under ripe in order to minimize the flavours found in its skins. Consequently, I had rather low expectations for the newest Pinot Grigio on the NSLC shelves, until I saw its colour. Crush Pinot Grigio is a departure from the norm with its lovely pink colour (a result of some skin contact between the grapes’ juice and ripe Pinot Grigio grapes which can be light in pink to blueish gray in colour). The light skin contact employed the winemaker of Crush has provided this wine some delicate floral aromas along with pear and apple flavours. The palate is remarkably fresh and dry. This is my type of patio wine.
Pairing:Cucumber slices topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon
Gourmet: Grooner Grüner Veltiner (NSLC, $16.29)
Most savvy sommeliers have long known that Austria is producing some pretty groovy Grüner Veltliner but finally one is widely available at the NSLC. Grooner Grüner Veltliner will appeal to Sauvignon Blanc lovers with its well defined gooseberry flavours and crunchy acidity. While this one lacks some of the peppery notes of top flight Grüners it’s a massively appealing, thirst quenching style that is perfect for the summer.
Pairing: Salmon Sashimi
Mark DeWolf is the Food & Drinks Editor of Occasions Magazine, a sommelier instructor and owner of By the Glass.