From our friends out West


We just love all things California and the team over at “The Agency” always have great advice.

Here at The Agency’s HQ in Beverly Hills, things are really heating up. And, not just the housing market, I’m talking about the actual temperature. That’s right, we’re in the throws of spring and with summer nearly upon us, who’s in the mood for an inky, bold, bone-dry, teeth-stained-purple glass of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon? Me neither. So, since we’re in agreement, I thought I’d grace my readership with some light, bright, and refreshing wine ideas that not only will help you beat the heat, but also won’t break the bank. Well, maybe one will break the bank. Let’s see how I feel. First, one of my all time faves…

10001122Alberiño  — In blind tastings, it’s most often confused with Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. That should give you a good reference point. It’s a medium to light bodied white, with a crisp, while not overbearing, amount of acid. Effectively, it cleanses the palate, but certainly doesn’t taste like a Sweet Tart. This wine shines at cocktail hour, pairing tremendously with chilled seafood bars or as a standalone before-dinner aperitif. The kicker here is even the very best Alberiños in the world, hailing from Spain, cost no more than $60 per bottle in a restaurant. One of my current go-to Alberiños is called “Paco & Lola”, from the Rías Biaxes region in Spain. You can pick up a bottle at BevMo for around $20. Next up…

Beaujolais — In this case, that’s the name of the region. Beaujolais is made from hand picked Gamay grapes, which produce a very light and bright red wine. As far as taste goes, it’s very similar to the lightest Pinot Noirs of France which come from the Marsannay region of Burgundy. But, instead of a fruit profile laced with tart berries and sour cherries, it’s more dessert-like in taste and texture. Beaujolais is more like a dish of creamy Strawberry Shortcake, pleasantly finishing dry. And, like Alberiño, because the alcohol content is pretty low, you can drink a lot of it and not fall down. Most Beaujolais wines can be snagged for under $20 at your local wine store. Now, on to the quintessential classic…

There’s just something about drinking rosé that makes you feel a bit more sophisticated – am I right? Well, presuming you’re not drinking it out of a box. Rosé wines are made all over the world. Some are more fruit driven, and others more dry. Because it’s not designed to age during the wine making process, you can’t expect too much in the complexity department. But – there’s no substitute for enjoying a chilled class of rosé whether you’re sailing on a boat off Manhattan Beach, or the South of France. And, while we’re on the South of France, that’s really where I feel you can’t go wrong with a rosé. If you’re at the store and looking for the right bottle, look for the word Provence. You can bet that the juice inside is going to be refreshing, and usually very wallet friendly. My all time favorite rosé is Chateau Peyrassol. It has a delicate floral bouquet, joined by a mineral and fruity frame with greedy notes of red currant, strawberry, and peach. To find this one, it may take going to your local wine shop. The good news is it’s only around $20 retail. And lastly, for the wine nerds like myself who want to try something completely off the grid…

naked-on-roller-skatesNaked on Roller Skates — is a wine project by Some Young Punks located in Southern Australia. It’s sparkling Shiraz. And no, I’m not kidding. It’s the wine equivalent to grape soda. If you’re the type to slave over rib recipes, BBQ all summer long, and want to wow your guests to the moon, serve this. Of course Shiraz pairs tremendously with lamb, ribs, and even cheeseburgers, but it’s generally as dark as the color of night. Further, it tastes like cured meats, blackberries, blueberries, black pepper, and leather. Get some bubbles, chill it down, and all I can say is – WHOA. Another great summer wine costing about $18. 

That’s it for now from this wine lover. Wishing you all a wonderful spring/summer season filled with food, fun, and spirits. Don’t forget to get out of your comfort zone with all that you drink. There’s a whole world of wine out there for you to enjoy.

For now, cheers from the Sommelier Selection.


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