Voice of the Vine
Late Summer Sensations
By Abby Cifarelli
On a sweltering hot day in August, the biggest internal debate I have is: Do I pour a glass of white or rosé? Both can be easily enjoyed on their own, paired with lunch on Purchase Street Plaza, or in your backyard with friends.
On a recent summer night, I hosted family and friends in my backyard to taste through some of my summertime selections. After guests finished their Aperol Spritz aperitif, we began the evening in California, with a white wine made with French grape varietals, the 2019 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier White Blend.
Chenin Blanc is one of the most versatile grapes in the world and can be grown in all types of climates. The grape can be transformed to make dry summer whites or oak-aged styles that mirror Chardonnay. The Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc is hard not to love. The Viognier that is used as a blending grape gives the wine balance and structure but does not overpower the Chenin Blanc. Pine Ridge takes advantage of the versatility of the two grape varieties to showcase the delicate flavors to produce a California white wine that stands out from a typical California Chardonnay.
In the glass, this wine is pale yellow with touches of green around the edges. As you swirl your glass, you’ll notice a medium body. Aromas of honeysuckle, white peach, and citrus awaken your senses. With your first sip, your taste buds will dance as the aromas found on the nose are transformed to flavors on your palate. The same white peach and citrus are present with slight notes of ruby grapefruit. Pine Ridge C+V is a delicious summer wine and can be drank on its own or paired deliciously with Vermont goat cheese. At the tasting, I served bread crisps topped with radish bruschetta or fresh ricotta. If you choose to drink this wine with a main course, try it with lemon chicken.
It’s hard to have an Italy-themed wine tasting and not showcase the outstanding wines of Tuscany. The iconic region is best-known for the powerful red wines made from the Sangiovese grape. Hidden, nestled on top of a hill lies La Spinetta, which produces many different types of wines, made with passion and ensuring that the high quality begins on the vine. By softly pressing Sangiovese and Prugnolo Gentile, La Spinetta produces a delicate provincial-inspired rose.
The La Spinetta 2019 Il Rose di Casanova pours beautiful light orange-pink colors into the glass. As you swirl, aromas of tangerine, white peach, and mineral-earth saunter softly out of the glass. The palate is smooth and silky with flavors of strawberry, citrus, and raspberries. The softness of this style of rosé is enticing and makes you want to go back for more. It pairs well with juicy strawberries, raspberries, and a slice of Havarti cheese for starters, as well as chilled octopus salad for the main attraction.
Whichever your preference is white or rosé, both wines are available at Varmax Liquor Pantry in Port Chester, and Wine at Five, G. Griffin Wines, and Harrison Wine Vault all offer similar selections.
If you are interested in hosting a night with sommnights, visit sommnightswithabby.com for more details. Cheers!