What's wrong with a little honey on the tongue? Not a thing. Sure, we beat the drum for dry, dry, dry white wines, especially on the uphill side of a steamy Florida summer, but we know a good off-dry wine when we taste it. A case in point is the Murphy-Goode 2007 Sauvignon Blanc "The Fumé" (about $14 at wine-savvy supermarkets and big box stores).
This lush white from California's Sonoma County opens with a burst of tropical fruit flavors, including the requisite grapefruit and a bit of Persian lime, mellowed and slightly sweetened by big, soft undertones of ripe peach and apricot. There's a little green tea in there, too, especially noticeable on the surprisingly clean finish. The result is a light-bodied wine with a pleasing texture and enough going on to make it a good choice as an aperitif.
When pairing the Fumé with food, go for classic summer fare like cold mustard-glazed roast chicken and a salad of whatever fruits happen to be in season. We tried blueberries, cantaloupe and mint with a squeeze of lime and found the combo suited this unpretentious white perfectly. The winemaker suggests it as a companion for raw oysters, which ought to work just fine, too.
Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.