More worldly whites and a few “interesting” reds


We have entered the “dog days”- the heat is still turned on, the kids are back into the school groove, and we all await the cooler temperatures of Fall. We face another 4 to 6 weeks of heat and humidity, so as we hunker down in our AC, we continue to explore refreshing worldly whites, and a lighter red or two.

Avaleda Vino Verde-this exciting “green wine”, the literal translation of Vino Verde, comes from the Minho region in northern Portugal. The wine is always released young, and can be red, white or pink in color. Often a blend of grapes, the Avaleda is slightly effervescent and refreshing with hints of green apple and lime; a white wine made with mostly Alvarinho grapes. Traditionally harvested on large ladders, as the grapes trellis high up vertically (think telephone poles). A great bottle for by the pool or an aperitif, I give it two bones!

Clos Palet Vouvray is a beautiful expression of the Chenin Blanc varietal from the Touraine region of the Loire in France. Touraine is also the name of a small town located on the bank of the Loire River where Chenin Blanc and a few other varietals of grapes are grown. Several styles of wine call Vouvray their home, from dry to sparkling to light and effervescent. The Clos Palet Vouvray is slightly pale green with a nose of sliced almonds and a slight minerality. Clean and crisp with bright citrus fruit. I give it two bones!

Another interesting white to try from Southern France is Picpoul (peek pool) or Piquepoul. It is also grown in Catalonia, Spain. The Picpoul de Pinet La Chappelle is a favorite of ours for summer sipping. The wine is clear, with just a slight effervescence. This wine from the Languedoc features flavors of lemon and green apple. Picpoul is also one of the varietals permitted in the production of Chateauneuf du Pape, in the Rhone. It is sometimes referred to as Folle Blanche and Gros Plant and is used in the production of Cognac and Armagnac regions of France. You should give it a try; I give it two bones!!

Moving into some interesting lighter style reds as our Summer draws to a close but the heat and humidity persist- why not give your palette some exercise and try a Cunoise (koon wah) from California. Cunoise is a Rhone varietal that is growing well in California, light in color and tannin, it shows dusty characteristics with some floral notes. Groundwork is a wine company out of the Arroyo Grande Valley in Central CA. The wine goes through a Carbonic Maceration- a technique that results in a fresh, effervescent light red wine. Groundwork Cunoise shows flavors of cherry Chapstick and rhubarb with notes of pomegranate and violets. I give it two bones!

A mellow red from the Asti region of Italy that eases out of Summer and leads our noses and palette toward fall in a subtle way is Barbera. The Asti region of Italy is a province of the Piedmont in the north west. Castello Poggio Barbera d’Asti is full of dark fruit and rose petals on the nose with touches of mocha and a lingering mineral finish. I give it three bones!

Be sure to check out our great international selections of fine wines, or come by on a Friday night to sample at our in-store tastings from 5 to 7:45, where you can try before you buy! See you soon.




 By Brunello Giancola as told to CRBrown