Friday, March 14, 2008

Three Spring Party Whites

It's spring. The clocks have been set forward, the days are longer, and we're looking at a new season of family meals, christenings, graduations, birthdays, and showers. Not the spring kind, either. The wedding kind. (photo by Gregor Rohrig)

You may be in the position of hosting such an event. What to serve in the wine department? Not a red, with the increasing temperatures and the fresh vegetables that crop up on most party tables this kind of year.

What you need is easy, quaffable whites. But you don't want factory-style whites--you want something a bit more distinctive. And you don't want to spend a king's ransom on the wines, either, especially not if you are hosting more than 50.

So here are three recommended whites, all of which go with a different kind of spring food, and all of which can be had for around $10. Some a bit more, some a bit less. All are delicious, and were just tested out on 75 guinea pigs--I mean guests.
If you are serving roast chicken, pasta with a creamy sauce, or varied cheeses: Get yourself some 2006 Razor's Edge Chardonnay. I got mine from domaine547 (my new party wine headquarters) for $9.99/bottle, but I cleaned them out of the stuff, so you may have to elsewhere for yours. This is an unoaked chardonnay that has a zesty yet creamy set of flavors and aromas that will be a nice pairing for the food you are serving. There are smooth apple aromas, a nice apple and honeydew melon set of flavors, and a freshness that keeps you coming back for more. Good chilled, but because it's not oaked it's not horrible when it warms up a bit (as it's bound to do during your party). Excellent QPR.

If you are serving asparagus frittata, goat cheese, or vegetarian dishes: Get yourself some 2006 Cameron Hughes Lot 26 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for $11. This was released last apring, and I've already given it a thumbs-up, but I had a bottle this week and its every bit as fresh and delicious as it was 9 months ago. Check out the full review here, and pick some up at your local Costco or directly from Cameron Hughes. The zingy herbal profile of the wine is made for salads, it sings with goat cheese, and it is just fine with one of the world's most-difficult-to-eat-with wine vegetables: asparagus. Excellent QPR.

If you are serving mixed appetizers and dishes: The wine for you is the 2006 Zonin Pinot Grigio Amore. I received this wine as a sample, but you should be able to find it in a store near you for around $8. This is a simple, straightforward, classic Pinot Grigio, which is seems has become the default wine option in bars and restaurants all over America. It has abundant bitter lemon aromas, and a citrusy flavor with a pithy edge that keeps the wine fresh and interesting. This is not a wine to have with a burger, but it will certainly shine with anything in the appetizer department, and the price is right to keep you (and your guests) happy. Very good QPR.

If none of these sound right, or you just want some help picking the perfect wine for your special occasion, ask your favorite wine merchant for some suggestions that fit within your budget. In the past, I've gone to BevMo and done my best, but a lot of stress was taken off my shoulders this year when I simply asked domaine547 for their recommendations. The wine they suggested was terrific--and we ran out. Is there a better endorsement?

Good luck with your spring parties and if you know there's one in your future get the wine you want NOW. It will be one less thing to worry about.


Anonymous said...

Thanks as always for the kind words. Happy to hear that it was such a success that you ran out (though maybe if I were a good retailer I would have known to suggest that you get more?).

Dr. Debs said...

Not your fault--I never needed more than 8 bottles and had 12 total. I'm the one who told you how much I wanted! Who knew they would guzzle it all down (and there was red left--folks just luh-ved the Chard).

winedeb said...

I am all for those spring whites! Zonin, now there is one I have not had for awhile. On your suggestion, I will pick up a bottle!

Dr. Debs said...

Let us know what you think, Deb!