The hot, steamy summer days are approaching, begging for us to lighten up when it comes to the wines we choose. Just as we naturally seek ways to keep the kitchen cool by bypassing the stove, we have plenty of options for beating the heat when it comes to selecting summer wines.
Think light; light color and light alcohol content. Here's what the local wineries are offering for the hot days of summer:
For those who are tired of Chardonnay and want to broaden their horizons, why not try drinking something new, like Viognier.
(I will even help you pronounce it if you don't want to feel foolish: vee-oh-nyay. See, that was easy.)
This is a refreshing white wine that offers up some sweet pear on the nose and brings flower petals to mind. Don't serve it too cold, as the flavors of this wine start to rise when it's warmed up a bit in the glass.
Dalton, Viognier, Reserve, 2006: Although it's a rather soft wine, it has such enticing flavors that this Viognier offers real pleasure. Those flavors include caramelized peach, vanilla and honey; while that makes it sound sweet, it's actually rather dry. NIS 60
Binyamina, Viognier, Special Reserve, 2006: The grapes for this wine were hand-picked at the Alma vineyard in Upper Galilee. Dry, crisp and elegant, the wine has grapefruit and peach flavors while a hint of melon lingers on the finish. NIS 45 for a 500-ml. bottle.
Now we know what Viognier tastes like, and can even pronounce its name, let's move on to Gew rztraminer. If it sounds frightening, then go with Gew rz - it's slightly simpler to pronounce and people will think you're a pro! It is quite easy for even a beginner to recognize this wine by its floral and aromatic scents.
The French may have achieved the greatest success with the Gew rztraminer - and its name is German in origin - but the history of this dry white wine actually began in Italy's Tyrolean Alps.
Binyamina, Gew rztraminer, Special Reserve, 2006: A bright and festive wine with a powerful nose of tropical fruit, lychee and rose. Lively in the mouth, with some acidity playing against a good dose of sweetness. Everything you could want from a Gew rz. NIS 45
If you're still reading, Johannesburg Riesling should be easy for you. Riesling is an easy wine to enjoy and drink on its own. The fruitiness and balance of acids makes this German native very popular.
Carmel, Johannesburg Riesling, Regional Series, 2006: A lightly structured wine, but one that promises a firmer, steelier future. It is a crisp wine, with green apple acidity and citrus flavors. Very fresh at this stage, but showing signs of rounding out. NIS 52
AND ONE FOR DESSERT...
Carmel, Muscat, Private collection, 2006: Very perfumed and floral on the nose, with honey, lychee and pear flavors. There isn't a whole lot else to say about it: you have to have an aggressive craving for candy to get into this wine. NIS 35 to NIS 40.