A bit of adventure can go a long way. And for one couple, they were willing to step out of their comfort zone and fondness for red wines and try something new; white, rose', and sparkling/Champagne style wine. I procured five white wines for them from the Bay Area and beyond that are ready to pour, sip, and satisfy.
For their Personal Wine Library, I choose wines that are flexible and able to be served with a variety of California style cuisine, and please a variety of palates. And I wanted the wines to be lovely on their own.
Years ago, a tasting room manager told me her favorite time to enjoy a glass of wine was while she was cooking. She reasoned that was the time of day her kids stayed far away from the kitchen, lest they get roped into helping. So for a brief time, the kitchen was her retreat. That's stuck with me, and it's fairly true at my house. Dinner prep tends to be when my youth are doing homework, at sports practice, or work.
That's when a chilled glass of white, rose', or sparkling/Champagne style wine comes to life. The fresh, crisp, mineral flavors of a Sauvignon Blanc awaken the palate and perk me up. A soft, creamy Chardonnay sets the stage for dinner. And the yeasty, brioche scents and flavors of a Champagne style wine are satisfying and decadent all at once.
So here's a look at some of the noteworthy local wines that became part of the basket...
Pierce Ranch Winery, 2012 Albarino Sur Lei., Monterey County (link)
Pierce Ranch Vineyards focuses on Portuguese and Spanish varietals. While the tasting room is in Monterey, the vineyards are located southwest of King City, in the San Antonio Valley AVA.
Cedarville Vineyard, 2016 Estate Viognier, El Dorado County (link)
El Dorado County has such a variety of soils and micro-climates that they can grow a large selection of wines. This Viognier is from husband and wife winemaking team, Jonathan and Susan Marks. Together they craft wines from their 15 acres of organic vineyards in Fair Play, in the Sierra Foothills AVA.
Storrs, 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Monterey (link)
This local winery is known for it classic Santa Cruz style Chardonnay. But I admire their savvy ability to make a wide variety of wines that are quite pleasing. So for a new twist on Storrs, this Sauvignon Blanc is locally grown (Monterey) but classic-New-Zealand in style.
Morgan, 2015 Double L Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands (link)
This organically farmed Chardonnay is grown in Monterey County, and is one of Morgan's flagship wines. The Double L Estate Vineyard—for Double luck—is named after the Morgans' twin daughters.
Storrs, 2016 Chardonnay, Christie Vineyard, Pleasant Valley (link)
Storrs make quintessential coastal-style Chardonnays from the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA. The Christie Vineyard Chard is characteristic of many local Chards...a bit creamy yet fresh. It's not the big-butterscotch-bomb style that people usually picture when they think of Chard.
If you're eager to try white wines, Bay Area and California wineries
are the perfect place to start. A tasting room is just the setting to try small samples of wine
and see if you prefer tart, sweet, or creamy wines. You can't go wrong.
California white wines pair beautifully with our coastal, fresh foods.
Best to you on your jaunt for white wines!
*The Red Wines for the Personal Library can be explored here...
Join me at California Wine