By contributing writer Steve Gross
In northern climes, fall will soon begin to reveal itself. Now that we’re past Labor Day, there’s a good chance for cool mornings, fresh breezes, and the beginnings of fall color.
If you live where I live, forget it. If fall occurs, it’s for a week in November. Until then, it’s 90+ degree days and high humidity. A kiln-like blast furnace awaits you when you get into the car to head home from work.
In short, it’s still white wine season.
I’ve hosted a few social gatherings this summer, and I noticed that the lighter wines tended to go first. The heaviest wine to disappear quickly this summer was a Cote du Rhone. The Zins, Cabs, and other heavy wines got opened, but plenty was left when the owner took the bottle back home that night.
For my own consumption, I’ve gravitated toward white wines with character.
The Qupe Bien Nacido Cuvee white blend that I poured at one of the parties was a hit. The combination of Chardonnay and Viognier delivered a spark of acidity, great flavor, and weight that didn’t overwhelm. If you find this wine in your local shop, pick up a bottle or two. If you already have fall weather (I heard that it was 33 degrees the other morning in West Yellowstone, MT), stash the bottle until next year and enjoy it over the 4th of July.
Last week, I bought a bottle of Grgich Hills Chardonnay and really enjoyed it. While oak is present, and the wine has a bit of butter, it really offered mouthwateringly fresh flavors, a nice nose, and it finished well. Be careful to avoid pouring this wine when it’s too cold, however. You’ll miss out on a lot of complexity and flavor.
Until it’s sweater weather wherever you are, open refreshing, bright white wines. I know that I’ll be relying on them until November or so.
Drink up! Share the joy of great wine!
Steve Gross likes wine that smells good, moves him to states of reverie, and demands a second, third, or fourth taste. Seeking these wines keeps him busy, but he somehow finds time to work as a Special Education Teacher and to guide birdwatchers throughout Texas and the Western US. Look for Steve wherever great food and wine, mountains, birds, and fresh air are found.