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!!

 

3000 BC 2009 Luscious Scarlett

Summer has finally arrived here in the Northeast. Mother nature certainly took her time – but I’m grateful. Although many believe a clean, crisp white wine fits the bill for a sipping wine while relaxing on the deck with the ideal temperatures and humidity, I still like my reds. The Luscious Scarlett is a South African Stellenbosch blend of 56% Shiraz and 44% Cabernet Sauvignon.

After aerating the wine I went through the ritual of swirling it several times while taking in the aromas each time. On the nose I found ripe plum, black cherry, blackberry, fig and anise. This took several moments as I was really enjoying swirling and sniffing. If anyone passing by would certainly think twice before knocking on the screen door. You know how we wine wannabes can be.

Now it was on to the flavors. Jammy plum, elderberry, boysenberry and fig on the palate with a nice peppery finish. Once the pepper dissipated a velvety chocolate truffle appeared on the back palate which was a nice surprise. It was a lot more than I envisioned – but isn’t that the best part of drinking wine?

Although I tend to drink a bit more white wine in the summer months I did relax on the deck with a glass of this wine reading Wine & War by Don & Petie Kladstrup and their description of the battle for France’s greatest treasure during WWII – wine!

The wine sells for around $14 and the ABV is 14%. Anytime you get a decent wine for under $15 it’s usually worth it.

Here’s to good wine, good food & good friends…

The Goats Do Roam Wine Co. 2009 Bored Doe

I couldn’t resist picking up this bottle, I just love the “wit” 😉 The Goats Do Roam wines hail from South Africa and I’ve tasted some pretty decent wines from this area of the world. This didn’t disappoint.

Sporting 14% alcohol by volume and a blend of 49% Petit Verdot, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Franc opens with black licorice, black berries, and tobacco on the nose. On the palate I experienced black cherry, and other black berry fruits with hints of black olive and fig.

Reasonably priced at $10.99, we paired this with a wheat pizza (yah, I’m trying to eat healthier) that was topped with Mexican cheese mix, sauteed mushrooms, onions, and red peppers. We also topped this out with 93% lean hamburg.

I have to say that this deep crimson colored wine was better the second night. I’m not sure if it was because I used the Vinturi aerator or not but suspect this was the reason it tasted better. I liked this wine and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first opened it and I wouldn’t mind keeping this as a staple in my cellar – if nothing more, it is a conversation piece.

Ken Forrester 2009 Petit Pinotage

This deep ruby colored Pinotage grown in the Stellenbosch Region of Cape Town, South Africa opens with smoke, bacon, and jammy blackberry on the nose. Cherries, along with a medley of red and black fruit, caress the palate. A nice bold ripe cherry finish makes this juicy red wine a staple for the wine cellar. A great $7.99 price tag makes this real affordable. This wine is a cross between a Pinot Noir and Cinsault and developed back in the mid-1900s. I tried this stand alone and would think twice about cellaring it too long as I think this is a nice young wine to be enjoyed now. A nice alternative to some higher priced European and Californian wines. So, enjoy them now before the price climbs as it grows in popularity.