Thursday, May 22, 2003

Thursday is Winesday…

I haven’t done a ton of tastings lately: life has had more important demands. But I did manage to find two nice summer wines a few days ago. Simple, refreshing and cheap are the essential qualities for summer quaffing, and Domaine des Nouelles 2002 Rose d’Anjou ($7-$8) possesses all of them. Unlike many pink wines, the Rose d’Anjou has no residual sugar, and so lacks the cloying sweetness of so much California “blush” wine. Made from the Cabernet Franc and Grolle grapes, the wine has a pleasant berry or strawberry scent, and a crisp, acidic, dry fruitiness that would match it well with many lighter summer foods, including mild grilled fish. This wine hails from the Loire Valley in France, which you may have noticed from the frequent reviews of Loire wines, is one of the best sources of value in wine today. The Loire generally produces straightforward, uncomplicated wines, but they are generally well-made and almost always very, very affordable. (An aside: my friend got mad at me for still drinking French wine. She even hinted at hypocrisy because I won’t buy Chinese-made products. Entirely different kettle of fish, I say. My disdain for France right now is entirely political, though it might someday grow into something worse. My disdain for Chinese made goods is entirely moral: until I can distinguish between those made by enslaved children and Christians, and those made by regular folks just trying to earn a buck—as well as not made in factories owned by the PLA—I will continue to avoid the “made in China” label to the maximum extent possible. Don’t want French wine? Great—there’s plenty of other good wine regions in the world.)

Speaking of wine made by good allies, check out the Northern Italian Gavi di Gavi ($9). Made from the Cortesi grape, this white wine is just a pleasure to drink, with a light body, pleasant crispness, and a lovely, green apple and floral nose that is delightful. There is nothing complex about this wine, but again, that’s essential in a summer white.


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