Gnarly Head Old Vines Zinfandel long has been one of our favorite everyday reds, coming out for solo sipping in cool weather or to quaff with burgers or pizza. Now we have another favorite from this California winery in its 2011 Authentic White (about $9 to $10 at big box stores), a blend made for sipping in the summer shade.
The grapes in this beautifully modulated blend are sauvignon blanc, riesling, colombard, muscat and viognier, sourced from vineyards in Lodi and Monterey, yielding a lush, juicy wine with a lightly citrusy sauv blanc edge. The grapes were cold fermented in stainless steel and the wine was not aged in oak, which accounts for its fresh, crisp character.
Ripe Golden Delicious apple marries sweetly with ripe pear on the nose and both are to the fore on the tongue, where they are joined harmoniously by honeysuckle, light spice and a kick of lemon zest. It finishes clean, long and refreshing.
Enjoy Authentic White with soft cheeses, white meats or with a summery salad of Roquefort, sliced tart apples, buttery pears and walnuts on a bed of micro greens.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.