Come summer, it’s ideal to have a chilled white wine ready to bring to an outdoor concert or picnic. To make your stash lighter, consider a bottle with a screw-cap enclosure. (Who wants to lug a heavy wine-bottle opener?) From New Zealand to Monterey, here are some solid suggestions. All are budget-friendly, leaving you room to splurge more on the edible fixings to pair with these wines.
2012 Terrazas de Los Andes Reserva Chardonnay (Mendoza, Argentina, $20) features juicy banana, lime and peach notes along with a nose of jasmine, toasty mouth feel and silky finish, for an offbeat Chardonnay. (terrazasdelosandes.com)
2012 Matua Valley Wines Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand, $13) is tart and acidic with prominent gooseberry notes and a clean finish ripe with minerals. (matua.co.nz)
2010 Four Vines Winery Naked Chardonnay (Santa Barbara County, California, $14) is aged in stainless-steel, imparting a clean and crisp finish with creamy, bright lemon notes and excellent balance. (fourwines.com)
2012 Geyser Peak Winery Pinot Grigio (Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California, $14) is an easy sipping with hardly any oak on the palate; instead, this fresh and youthful wine is filled with lychee, pear and pineapple flavors. (geyserpeakwinery.com)
2011 McManis Family Vineyards River Junction Vineyard Chardonnay (River Junction, California, $11) has honeysuckle, tropical-fruit and orange-blossom notes that carry through to its clean finish (paired with a kiss of lemon on the finish). (mcmanisfamilyvineyards.com)
2011 Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery Fume Blanc (Sonoma County, California, $15) is effervescent with guava and pear notes, and quick to the finish. (ferrari-carano.com)
Non-vintage Villa Pozzi Pinot Grigio (Sicily, Italy, $10) begins with rose-petal aromas before easing into creamy lemon notes and lots of minerals before a firm finish.
WINE EVENT OF THE WEEK
It may be a bit early but with summer schedules filling up, I want to make sure you don’t miss this perk at Bastille Days, North America’s largest French-themed festival and – lucky for us – right in Downtown Milwaukee. Held in Cathedral Square July 11-14, there are four wine tastings in addition to live music, beignets, café au lait, and funky clothing and jewelry finds. Those tastings – of eight wines, with the coaching of a wine specialist to guide you – take place at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on July 12 and 13. Only 75 are admitted to each tasting and you must buy tickets ($25 in advance or $35 at Bastille Days). If you want to peek at the offerings, which differ for each tasting, check out this link (which is also where you order tickets).
WINE DEAL OF THE WEEK
Looking for a jumpstart to Friday nights? G. Groppi’s Food Market in Bay View hosts a free wine tasting, paired with live music, every Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Once you enter, head to the back and prepare to swoon over the vino and the tunes (starting at 6 p.m.).
WINE OF THE WEEK
You know Malbecs from Mendoza, sure, but sipping one from the U.S. West Coast is a real treat. I say “West Coast” because there are a scant few Malbecs coming out of Washington State, in addition to California. I recently tried 2011 Francis Ford Coppola Winery “Diamond Collection” Malbec (Sonoma County, California, $18) and immediately pegged it as a BBQ-pairing wine due to its hearty currants, black cherry and plum notes. Yet the body is also packed with spice while still being very approachable (only slightly tannic and not over-the-top with oak, perfect for all the different palates on your BBQ guest list). (franciscoppolawinery.com)