Texas wines continue to make strides in both quality and understanding, as wine makers celebrate nontraditional varieties that thrive in our Texas soils. The white grape, Vermentino, is best known in Italy where it calls Sardinia home and in the South of France, where it is often referred to as Rolle. Duchman Family Wines in Driftwood, TX sources fruit from the Hill Country and the High Plains to produce their Italian, Rhone and Spanish varieties. I tasted their current 2013 Vermentino just last night and think this is the perfect wine for a summer day. Very dry, very crisp and very delicious, filled with juicy tangerine, lemon-lime and a hint of floral notes. $15 available at Spec’s.
We love a good Chardonnay in Texas, and there are so many good ones out there, but one stands out as both an affordable option and delivers on great quality. From Pali Wine Co, Charm Acres Chardonnay melds steely minerality with white flowers, melon, stone fruit and citrus. $ 15 available at Goody-Goody stores.
Nothing says summer like Rosé and there are so many beautiful options to chose from. Consistently I go back to Stoller Family Wines in Willamette Valley for their Rosé of Pinot Noir. Clean, balanced and refreshing, filled with watermelon, tangerine, wild berry and a touch of earthiness. A special wine, year in and year out. $20 via their website or wine.com.
If you are a Pinot Noir fan, especially the earthy, rich and aromatic styles, challenge yourself a bit with one of the favorite Old World varieties of Northern Greece, Xinomavro. I love this variety. It is big and chewy, with robust tannins, but there is elegance, balance and freshness to the wine melding ripe fruit with acidity to create an ideal food wine to pair with your favorite barbecue dishes. Open an hour before serving, and decant if you like to let it breath for a bit. Boutari and Kir-Yianni are two great producers, both available for between $15 and $30 at Spec’s, about the same cost that you would pay for a good Pinot Noir.