by Don Cook
For my third column, I have selected 3 wines that are best for outdoor entertaining and cottage living. These wines will pair wonderfully with fresh vegetable salads, grilled or barbecued meats (steak, chicken or ribs) and fish seafood (salmon). The challenge with summertime heat is that whites & rose wines must be served well chilled and red’s at normal room temperature (18-20 degrees Celsius). I recommend even putting red wines in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving to ensure that they are not too warm. I have picked a Canadian white wine, a French Rosé and a California Zinfandel. Enjoy!
1) 2012 Southbrook Connect Organic White, Niagara (LCBO code 249078 – $13.45 on special – normally $14.95).
This wine is from a family owned producer located on the Niagara Peninsula that farms organic & biodynamic grapes. A blend of Vidal, Riesling & Gewürztraminer grapes, it is medium bodied with aromas and flavours of lime, grapefruit & apple that finish clean, fresh and off dry. Serve well chilled and pair with vegetarian fare, seafood, mildly spiced Asian dishes as well as marinated barbecued chicken.
2) 2012 Ogier Ventoux Rosé, Rhône Valley France (LCBO code 134916 – $10.95).
Rosé has an image of being a sweet wine only for the summer – not always true! However the rosé wines of Southern France are bone dry and can be consumed year round – but are best in the summer. This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Cinsault which are indigenous red grapes of the area. Rosé wines from this area are made by lightly pressing the red grapes to gain colour and then fermenting dry the juice. This wine has a beautiful pink colour, the wine is medium bodied with aromas and flavours of fresh strawberries and white flowers. Serve well chilled with Mediterranean dishes in particular grilled vegetables and marinated barbecued chicken, lamb and fish. Tremendous Value!
3) 2011 Big House Cardinal Zin (LCBO code 272401 – $12.95). Zinfandel is truly California’s own indigenous red grape!
Zinfandel from California can range from sickly sweet to high alcohol full bodied red wines. Big House Cardinal Zin is somewhat in between the two. Cardinal Zin was originally created by the eclectic visionary Randall Graham who created the “cult” winery Boony Doon. He later sold part of the winery and this label. With that being said this is very good value Zinfandel perfect for summer fare. This wine is medium bodied, with aromas and flavours of red and black berries and pepper spice. Serve with pizza, tomato based pasta or barbecued tomato marinated foods – grilled red meats and ribs.