Summer Whites for Sipping & Dinner

I recently purchased a couple of white wines that were fairly inexpensive (both under $12) that I wanted for those summer afternoons that were on the hot side. The past couple of weekends in New England have been just that and seeing as I’m sort of like a lizard on a rock, this is my kind of weather.

The first wine we tried was a Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc. This Stellenbosch South African wine was pale yellow in color with pear, pineapple, banana and melon fruit aromas which was quite pleasing. It followed with pear, grapefruit and green apple flavors which was much different than the aromas but again quite pleasing. Serve it well-chilled and savor on the deck while enjoying a warm summer eve with a slight breeze. It’s good for the soul. This one gets 8 WG.

Matua 2014 Sauvignon Blanc

The second wine was a light green color with yellow hues (I think it was the way the sun reflected off the glass).  Aromas of sage, mint, and baled hay (think summer time on the Kansas plains) with a concoction of herbs on the nose. Flavors of pineapple, melon, and lemon were dominant with citrus notes on the back palate. This wine was fantastic and has become a quick favorite of mine and I’ll remember to pick up a case the next time I visit the wine merchant.

We paired this wine (again, serve well-chilled) with marinated boneless, chicken breast (recipe for marinade below), steamed long grain rice, and a medley of veggies (broccoli, snap peas, orange & red bell peppers, red scallions) slightly sauteed in California olive oil, then by adding a 1/2 cup water at the end to steam them in the wok. The recipe for the chicken marinade follows and measurements are approximate as I really didn’t measure, except by eye & taste. This wine is worth a 9 1/2 WG rating.

Recipe for two chicken breasts:

  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce (I used a Texas hot sauce)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tsp cracked black pepper
  • Frank’s hot sauce to taste (I would guess, maybe a tsp or two)

Marinate the chicken breasts for around 4 hours, then cook out on the grill basting the marinade during cooking – approx. 25-35 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. Enjoy!!

 

Cupcake 2011 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

You might not think Cupcake is a traditional winery name but they are producing some pretty good wines. A case in point is this New Zealand rendition of a Sauvignon Blanc. A zesty white wine that is refreshing and not one that I figured I’d be drinking in the dead of winter. All we need to do is get through March and this wine made me think of spring so it should be only a few short weeks before you could enjoy this out on the deck on a warm spring day.

The wine was a pale yellow-green color and upon placing this into my Riedel wine glass reserved for white wine, the aromas wafted immediately the moment I started pouring. I found lemon, lime, grapefruit and citrus notes with the lime & lemon being the most dominant. It reminded me of a Prosecco but without the bubblies.

On the palate the flavors consisted of key lime, fresh tart lemon, and more citrus notes. On the finish I thought I detected lemon chiffon cake, smooth, slightly tart and creamy and wishing for another piece – maybe I was just imagining this or thought this in a dream. At an average price of $14 this was a wonderful wine to pair with fish & chips or whole belly clams from your local seafood shop – we did!