Thursday, June 2, 2011

White Wine to Whet Your Appetite

I’ll be braving the Indiana humidity this weekend (oh how I love summer work trips), and since I’m going to be working, I’ll have to entrust you with the drinking. And seeing how my best friend thinks I write a blog about wine (clearly, she doesn't come round these parts much), I’ll attempt to direct your weekend drinking in a positive direction with two wine recommendations.

On the way back home from our brief honeymoon in San Luis Obispo, we decided to stop in Los Olivos to do some wine tasting. After visiting Bridlewood Winery, a behemoth of a winery with extensive grounds and a huge tasting room (the wines are so-so), we decided to head back up the road and visit a smaller winery which I had never heard of: Brander Winery. The winery is in the process of remodeling their small tasting room, but the space was bright and open, and the tasting fee was only $5.00 (tasting fees in the Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez/Los Olivos area can run anywhere from $5.00 to $15.00). Brander Winery focuses on white wines, predominately in the Sauvignon Blanc varietal. The following two were my favorites.

The first is a traditional Sauv Blanc; light, crisp, and with a nice floral aroma. The winery employee who was assisting us with our tasting told us that this wine is currently served in the White House. Apparently, Ronald Regan used to have a ranch in the area (back in the day), and would come visit Brander because their Sauv Blanc was his favorite. He was such a fan, that when he moved into the White House, he requested they stock and serve Brander’s Sauv Blanc. And so, it remains on the White House menu still today.

The wine was good, and the story equally interesting, so I bought a bottle. It’ll put you back about $15.00, but it’s a nice wine to share with friends or family on a summer afternoon.

The next one is Sauvignon Blanc blend called Cuvée Natalie, named after the winemaker’s daughter. The blend of Sauv Blanc, Pinot Gris and Riesling make this wine delicious, light, clean, and faintly sweet. I’m always a sucker for wine that has a little bit of a sweet, fruity element to it (I’ve slowly been weaning myself off of German Rieslings… I started drinking them like they were water), and this one fit the bill. It will also put you back about $15.00, but it’s a tad more special than the traditional Sauv Blanc described above.

So there you have it my friends. Eat, drink and be merry tonight, tomorrow or this weekend! You deserve it!

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