There You Go Making Me Blush Again

I mean the summer weather, of course.  With the high humidity and high temperatures in my area – we’re talking nineties on both counts – I  have definitely been in the hunt for refreshing beverages to cool off with.  As far as wine goes, I’ve been buying plenty of light whites, but I’ve also been branching out into new territory.  Pink territory.  Not that I haven’t done pink before.  I used to have a pink tie, and I even had a pink polo shirt for awhile.    And, yes, I’ve had some blush wines previously.  But – until recently – I’d never had a Pink Moscato.  And until this bottle of inexpensive blush, I’d never had a White Merlot.

Winemaker:  Sutter Home
Wine:  White Merlot
Varietal:  Merlot
Vintage:  2012
Appellation:  California
Price:  $8.49

Notes:   I’d call the color of this wine a light rose.  In the bouquet I detected scents of berries and biscuits.  It was a light-to-medium-bodied wine with some viscosity and decent acidity.  The tannins were quite light, and alcohol was at 11.5%.  Flavors I caught were sweet cherries, grass, some pepper, and biscuits.  The last lingering into the finish.  It was different that what I had been expecting.  Somehow I thought it would be another dessert wine.  It is sweet, but not heavily so.  Honestly, I don’t know what this might be best with/as/for.  Again, this was my first flirtation with a White Merlot.  If White Merlot is one of your preferred selections, maybe you can help me think that through.  How do you serve it?

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Sutter Home Moscato

Since a) Moscato seems to be on an uptick and b) I recently tasted an inexpensive new Argentine import from Rex-Goliath, I have decided to sample several of the budget Moscatos available at my area stores.  Not a side-by-side comparison, but a comparison of sorts nonetheless.  And why not?  It’s summer, and I’ve seen Moscato described as “capturing the essence of summer.”  So … ’tis the season!

Winemaker:  Sutter Home
Varietal:  Moscato
Vintage:  NV
Appellation:  Chile
Price:  $6.99

Notes:  In the glass this Chilean Moscato is a very pale yellow.  On the nose I caught scents of citrus and peach with floral notes.  It was a light-bodied selection with quite a pleasant viscosity.  Flavors for me were peach, lemon, candied melon rind, and light hints of spices.  My only real issue would be that, except for a lone faint citrus note, it seemed fairly weak on the finish.  Alcohol is at 10%.  Overall, it was pretty easy to drink.  This wasn’t a nuanced wine by any means, but it didn’t come off as a bull in a china shop either.  You want a relaxed, definitely sweet, cheap Moscato?  This could be your wine!  It might serve fine as an apéritif for a casual summer gathering, especially if you’re serving some spicy chicken wings as appetizers.

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.

Sutter Home Chenin Blanc

I’m sputtering to a close on the transfer of posts from Blogarhythms.  Hadn’t yet brought over anything on this particular varietal.
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Sutter Home is well known in the affordable wine market as a ubiquitous product and a pretty consistent performer.  What is nice, though, is that they haven’t given up on wines that so many of the boutique and “upper end” vineyards dismiss.  Chenin Blanc is one of those that I’m glad to see they produce.   Do you have friends (or acquaintances/guests) who put ice cubes in their Chardonnay because it’s too strong/flavorful?  Maybe this varietal is more their speed.  And, seriously, people should drink what they like – not just what’s popular or in fashion.

Vineyard:     Sutter Home
Varietal:       Chenin Blanc
Vintage:       2008
Appellation: California
Price:          $6.99

Notes:     At 12% alcohol, this Chenin Blanc is a bit dryer than some others on the market.  Even so, it still has the characteristic sweetness which provides for honey on the tongue along with lemon and peaches and a nice apricot zing at the finish.  I could see this particular wine as an alternative to a Riesling.  Although the flavors are lighter and not as intense as are typical in a Riesling, the flavor profile is not unlike some Rieslings I’ve had.  It isn’t really dry, true.  So if you absolutely insist on a dry wine, this won’t be your choice.  But with summer not too distant, I think this could be a nice little sipper for an outdoor barbeque.   For those who like wine with dessert, you could consider this selection esp. if you are serving a dessert with more delicate flavors.  The price makes it easy to be generous with your guests when you’re entertaining.

Important:  I am not a professional sommelier or wine connoisseur.  See “About” for the full disclaimer.