California's Paso Robles wine region has earned its reputation as the cradle of some of the state's most exciting wines and innovative winemakers. Among those producers is Robert Hall Winery, where Don Brady consistently turns out award-winning wines.
Case in point is his delicately nuanced 2006 Paso Robles Sauvignon Blanc (about $16 to $18 at wine shops and big box stores; 2007, the current release, should be priced about the same and has won the same kudos as its predecessor).
This sauv blanc is as crisp as a starched collar. It delights the eye with its lovely, pale straw color. The drinker is greeted with a grassy, lightly floral nose followed by plenty of bright fruit on the palate, including citrus and green apple, tempered by a welcome mineral edge, that faint flintiness that sets up the delightfully dry finish. As the season warms, keep this refreshing wine in mind for sipping poolside or on the patio at sunset.
When it comes to food, try it with a lively, chunky tarragon chicken salad or with scampi — don't spare the lemon — on a bed of linguine. Add crusty bread on the side and cool key lime pie for dessert. And be sure you've iced a second bottle, just in case.
Colette Bancroft is the Times' book editor; John Bancroft is a freelance writer on food, wine and travel.