As summer winds down, and Labour Day weekend approaches, instead of lamenting the end of the season and its last long weekend, celebrate with some great wines, and a few friends. Dig out all the food you put in the freezer “just in case someone drops by”, ask those folks to come over, and toast your friendship.
Kick things off with the zippy Emiliana Adobe Reserva Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. In the past, Chilean Sauvignon Blanc could be very aggressive, with acidity akin to cleaning vinegar, but that has started to change. Emiliana gets the balance exactly right with this one. It smells like freshly cut grass, lemon zest, wet stone, and white grapefruit. It tastes like lemon and white grapefruit, with a hint of fresh coriander. Great for waking up the taste buds. It’s a good match for slightly oily foods such as fish and chips, as the acidity cleanses your palate.
You may not know a grape variety called Vermentino, but now is a good time to discover it. While it’s Spanish in origin, it is currently grown predominantly in Italy, and the Poggio al Tufo version produced by Tommasi is a stellar example of how to do this grape right. Fresh and crisp, with flavours of melon, pear and apple, this is a great patio sipper that will also match up well with seafood, such as grilled scallops and shrimp. It would also go well with salads that have a fruity element to them, i.e. Waldorf salad, or a plate of prosciutto and cantaloupe.
Finally, a bit of red. Les Jamelles Merlot from the Languedoc region of France features smells and flavours of blackberry, raspberry, leather, earth, and cocoa powder. It is fruit forward, with soft tannins, and should please most, if not all, the red wine drinkers at your party. Chill it for about 15 minutes, and then drink it all by itself; with sausages, roast beef, fajitas, or chili; or with a plate of cheese and crackers.