Summer has finally arrived, so I’ve decided to feature a couple of widely available wines that should pair perfectly with the warmer weather. First, we look towards grilling wines, and for the 4th of July or that hot summer day after the holiday, there is nothing more American than Zinfandel, which is arguably the only varietal unique to this country (there are genetic equivalents abroad that go by other names, but I digress). California has seen three straight strong vintages of this grape, and the 2009s may be the best of all. And for some cold day time sipping wine, we look towards a huge value Riesling out of Washington state. Cheers!

Seghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County 2009, 90 Points, $24, 69,000 cases produced- Juicy aromas of wild berry, vanilla bean and cinnamon spice. Suave and focused with its boysenberry, dark raspberry and blueberry fruit notes that lead into steady undertones of vanilla, mocha bean and exotic spices. Long, spicy finish with delicious fruit notes lingering.


Columbia Crest Riesling Two Vines Columbia Crest 2009, 87 Points, $8, 65,000 cases produced- Lively aromas of grapefruit that boast a tropical hint. Polished and creamy on the palate with its luscious melon, pear and grapefruit citrus that leads into undertones of wet stone mineral and finishing with a honey note. A sweet wine but balanced well with a sturdy burst of tart acidity.


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