I am not very adventuresome with wine. I do enjoy it, but like clothing, it's too expensive to experiment a lot. And like clothes, if I find one I like, I stick with it (I've been known to own the same blouse in three colors). My old favorite wine is no longer available locally, and since I didn't love it enough to mail order a case, I went looking for a new favorite wine. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. It didn't take long to find one, or two, or three.
My new favorite white wine is a Vouvray, which is a French wine, apparently from the Loire Valley near a little town called, whatdoyaknow, Vouvray. It is made from the chenin blanc grape and has a medium-dry, not too sweet, and clean taste. I generally drink wine before dinner and not with, and this wine makes a lovely before-dinner treat. The good thing about this new favorite is that the label I like, Barton & Guestier, is available at several local grocers. At least for now it is. I feel like the kiss of death sometimes -- as soon I decide to like anything, it disappears forever. This Vouvray is about $10 a bottle. It would be a wonderful wine to go with your Easter ham, as would the Gewürztraminer below.
My other new favorite wine, because a girl must be balanced, is a red. I generally drink white, but lately I'm trying to expand my interests, and they say red is good for the heart, along with a bar of chocolate, ya know. My husband's beloved Uncle Eddie and Aunt Karen brought us a bottle of this wine for pizza night a year ago and it grew on us. Actually, I loved it from the first taste, but now I seek it out and thoroughly enjoy it with my Saturday night pizza. This wine has the Francis Ford Coppola label on it and is a blend of Zinfandel, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, called Rosso. I call it "red light." It's not heavy like a true Cabernet and it goes really well with spicy food. And unlike the expensive Coppola wines, it's about $10 a bottle, or on sale for about $8.
My third new favorite I just discovered last night. We had some out-of-town friends over for dinner and I was serving a spicy pork tenderloin. Unsure what wine would pair well with it, I did a little hunting on the Internet. I found a lovely wine-lovers forum that suggested spicy pork be paired with a German wine -- something with enough oomph to challenge the meat. Several types were suggested, but I chose the Gewürztraminer, mostly because it was available. Quite a mouthful, but a lovely mouthful it is. It did pair nicely with the spicy pork, in my most unprofessional opinion. And it would be nice with cheese and fruit before dinner (or for lunch on a rough day), or a salad and bread supper. It was just a little bit spicy, which actually was great with the spicy flavors of the pork, and a little sweet. I bought the Columbia Crest, a Washington State vineyard, because our Giant Eagle had no real German labels. In fact, they had four different Washington State Gewürztraminers, so the climate in Washington must be similar to the cool German region where the Gewürztraminer grape is grown. Not surprising to me, Columbia Crest ferments this wine in stainless steel tanks, which is why it is so clean, and probably one reason I liked it so much. This wine was regularly $12 and was on sale for $9.