Twelve 22 Tasty Sips
Our Mixed Case series serves up an eclectic mix of recent ‘adult beverage’ discoveries.
Whether you’re perusing a bar menu while traveling or stirring up a cocktail at home, let our guide lead to new taste destinations.
By Hope S. Philbrick
It’s a food lovers’ most glorious time of year, when abundance reigns at farmers markets and in grocery stores’ produce sections. Fresh watermelon and tomatoes are piled high alongside just-picked squash and figs, cucumbers and corn, greens and potatoes, and so much more. Fresh and seasonal looks and tastes like summer and fall, like anything is possible.
What wine to pair with your meal? Whatever you want! This Mixed Case offers suggestions that work whether you plan to sip sitting under the sun on your back deck or cuddled up in front of a fireplace in your den…because during this transitional next few weeks, the weather very well may flip back and forth between those equally enjoyable opportunities. In keeping with the season’s bounty, we’ve reviewed 22 wines instead of our usual 12.
2016 Aimé Ruca Malen Sweet Moscato is part of a new collection from Ruca Malen, an award-winning wine producer based in Mendoza, Argentina. This wine is juicy with herbal and citrus notes. It’s sweet but not cloyingly so. Retails for approx. $9.
2016 Aimé Ruca Malen Malbec offers pleasant notes of red fruit, violets, blueberries and mocha. Retails for approx. $9.
2016 Aimé Ruca Malen Red Blend boasts bold notes of dark cherry, blackberry, currants and ginger snaps. Retails for approx. $9.
2016 Barrymore Rosé of Pinot Noir is an easy-drinking pink wine with soft floral characteristics lingering behind bolder notes of red berries, apricot, and grapefruit. Retails for approx. $18.
2013 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley Sonoma County is rich and sexy with notes of ripe dark berries and cherries, licorice, pepper and leather with fine tannins and balanced acidity. Buy a few bottles because you’ll want some to enjoy now and some to age. Retails for approx. $55.
2015 Jordan Chardonnay Russian River Valley Sonoma County is sophisticated and elegant in ways that got me to appreciate Chardonnay from whole new angles. Notes of lemon blossom, Granny Smith apple, white peach and mineral linger in creaminess that make this wine enjoyable on its own or a welcome addition to a meal. Retails for approx. $32.
2015 Marqués de Riscal Rosado is a Spanish rosé with crisp, pleasant notes of raspberry, strawberry, orange blossom and green melon. Retails for approx. $10.
2013 Mullan Road Cellars Red Wine Blend Columbia Valley is rich and bold with notes of plum, blackberry, blueberry, tarragon and bell pepper. Silky tannins give the mouthfeel heft. The blend is 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 1% Malbec. Retails for approx. $36.
2014 Parducci Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino County is dry and soft with notes of black cherry, blackberry, plum, baking spices, anise and vanilla. Solid tannins linger on a moderate finish. Retails for approx. $13.
2015 Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay Mendocino County pours sophisticated, balanced notes of green apple, honey, pear, and crème brulee. Retails for approx. $16.
2014 Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir Mendocino County is a well-balanced medium-bodied wine with notes of red berries, Portobello mushrooms, thyme and lightly-buttered toast. Retails for approx. $16.
2015 Patricius Tokaj Dry Furmint is a dry white wine made of the Furmint grape that hails from the Tokaj region of Hungary. This wine is bright and vibrant with notes of citrus, peach and minerals. It pairs well with chicken and sushi, and your friends will think you’re oh-so-cool for having discovered it. Retails for approx. $15.
2015 Paul Dolan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Mendocino County is like the person who corners you at a party and you honestly don’t mind thanks to the interesting stories revealed. Look for layered notes of black cherry, olive, anise and dark chocolate. Retails for approx. $25.
2016 Paul Dolan Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Potter Valley Mendocino County is bright and refreshing with crisp citrus and lemongrass flavors mingling with strawberry and some minerality. Retails for approx. $18.
2015 Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel Mendocino County is simultaneously strong yet tender. It offers an complex mix of blackberry jam, orange blossom, raspberry, milk chocolate and black pepper aromas and flavors with light yet rich tannins. Retails for approx. $25.
2015 Rock Angel Chateau d’Esclans Rosé, a frequent wine purchase for my dinner table, pours notes of ripe berries, green melon, tangerine and a hint of thyme. Retails for approx. $35.
2015 True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon offers juicy notes of cherry, currants, olives and vanilla. Round tannins ensure this food-friendly wine is also enjoyable on its own. Retails for approx. $20.
2015 True Grit Reserve Chardonnay is like a first date that goes better than anticipated. A few sips will have you wondering, why aren’t more Chardonnays this interesting? Herbal notes of tarragon and sage mingle with traditional butter and vanilla flavors plus a hint of pepper. Retails for approx. $16.
2013 True Grit Reserve Red Mendocino County is big and bold with earthy notes and a dry mouthfeel that makes it a great match with a juicy, fresh-off-the-grill steak. Notes of blackberry, plum, cranberry and tobacco balance sturdy tannins. Retails for approx. $20.
2014 Variedad Carineña 3C—Cariñena is the name of the town, appellation and grape showcased in this wine—is aged for five months in French oak. It has an intense personality that’s compelling and interesting, like someone who’s hard to resist. Ripe fruit notes mesh with herbal, floral, spicy and wood flavors. Pair with roast red meat. Retails for approx. $12.
2016 V. Sattui Winery Rosato di Sangiovese North Coast is like a friend you wish would visit more often. It’s lovely on its own and also very food friendly. Delicate pink, it opens with whiffs of strawberry, watermelon and faint red sorrel and tastes of berries, cherries and citrus. Crisp and well-balanced. Retails for approx. $26.
2016 Whispering Angel Rosé Côtes de Provence, Caves D’Esclans is a wine staple at my house because it’s as easy-going as a best friend, able to get along with just about anything and pleasant to be around. This pink wine is a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and a bit of Vermentino. Notes of strawberry, lilacs, peach, and mango are balanced with citrus and minerality. Retails for approx. $22.
Unless otherwise noted, all suggested retail prices are for a 750ml bottle.
Be a responsible grownup: Never drink and drive.
Product samples afford the research opportunity but do not sway opinion.