First is the 2009 Martín Códax Albariño, a refreshing white wine from the Rias Baixas (pronounced ree-ahs buy-shuss, click to listen) region of Spain. Located in the northwest portion of the country, this region lies in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Not so coincidentally, this wine pairs with just about anything that comes out of it! This crisp, light white has flavors of citrus and peach as well as a lovely minerality; it was fermented entirely in stainless steel to preserve its fresh, fruit character. This wine's bright acidity and flavor profile make it a natural match for briny oysters, succulent shrimp or lighter dishes like goat cheese and arugula salad. It's essentially like adding a squeeze of lemon to whatever you pair it with.
Second is the 2010 J Vineyards "California" Pinot Gris. This lovely white is a blend of 100% Pinot Gris grapes from three different California appellations including Clarksburg (38%), Monterey (35%) and the Russian River Valley (27%). It has enticing notes of tangerine, vanilla and pear with a subtle dash of honey. This wine was also fermented 100% in stainless steel to preserve its fresh fruit character. Comparatively, this wine has a richer mouthfeel than the Albariño and would pair nicely with dishes that have slightly more body and even a little bit of spice. Try this Pinot Gris with Indian or Asian food, brie with honey drizzled over the top (yum!) and richer seafood like scallops.
Both of these wines retail for under $20 and can probably be found at your local wine shop. If not, they can be ordered online by clicking the links above. I really hope you enjoy these Summer sipping selections and would love to hear what you think of them. What's you favorite Summer sipper...so far?