Picnic season: Warming to value wines

After the 2010-2011 winter from hell, people are pining for picnic weather. When (if?) spring and summer come, it’s time to pay close attention to the new vintages of good value wines — crisp delicious whites and rosés coming out of hibernation.

Of course, attending baseball games that feel like an NHL Winter Classic don’t typically spur the sales of chilly whites and rosés. Soon enough, however, those oysters will actually have to be put on ice, the lettuce will wilt outside the fridge, and the potato salad… should be saved until the 4th of July.

Note: Continue reading the full article on Examiner.com: Value wines for picnic days.

The word picnic can be traced to a late 17th Century French book, which described a group of people who arrived with their own wine at a restaurant. Wine as the featured potluck item? What a concept! And those rascally French – they had a 600-mile-long picnic back in 2000 to celebrate the first Bastille Day of the new Millennium.

Chicago area stores have a nice stock of wines for enjoyment in more sultry conditions. Below are a couple of wines to sip while dreaming of a picnic day that has timing on its side – and without 600 miles of “Pass the mustard,” either:

El Hada Rueda 2009: A 50-50 blend of Verdejo and Viura, this Spanish white is bright and versatile. It combines traits of other grapes in fairly even measure: the acidity and minerality of Sauvignon Blanc; the roundness of Chardonnay; and the seafood-friendliness of Muscadet. The Rueda is a great candidate for light meals and hors d’oeuvres served outdoors, such as vinaigrette-dressed salads, roasted vegetables, poultry and shellfish. It opens with fragrant aromas of spring flowers and has a nice palate of peach and citrus. A conversation starter, it’s not just another one-dimensional white. $9.

Viña Sastre Ribera del Duero Rosado 2009: Made from 100% Tempranillo, this wine is bright pink with aromas of tangerine followed by an understated floral character. Flavors begin with tart strawberry-rhubarb and finish with hints of melon. Pair this nice Spanish rosé with barbecued chicken that’s chilled for a picnic lunch and a side of cole slaw. $12.


About Thomas Caestecker

I have had the privilege to witness the wine industry through both the corporate and media lenses for several years. My conclusion: The value sector has the potential for real growth in the industry. Luxury wines are battered by the economy; inexpensive bulk wine is simply cheap. This blog's mission is to reveal competitively priced, under-the-radar wines.
This entry was posted in Blended wines, Mediterranean wines, Obscure white wines, Spanish wines. Bookmark the permalink.

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