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Festival Foods

Patio Favorites


Ahhh… Summer.  One of the most anticipated seasons of Wisconsin.  I could list all the outdoor activities but that would take up my entire blog!  Instead, I am going to focus on just one of my favorite activities, hanging out with friends and family.  To me, nothing is better than getting together with some of my closest friends on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and just sitting around outside enjoying the sunshine and each other’s company.  Of course, no get together would be complete without a great bottle of wine.  That’s right -I said wine.  When I bring this notion up to guests I often get the reaction “but isn’t wine just for dinner or pairing with cheese?”  Of course nothing compliments a meal like wine but it also compliments sunshine, warmth, laughter, and that feeling you get when you know you are having the perfect day.   This blog is meant to provide you with some of our summer time favorites.  Enjoy!

First we have Apothic White.  This is the sister wine to Apothic Red which is our best-selling wine.  Apothic White is a blend of Moscato, Riesling, and Chardonnay.   In this bottle you can expect to find intense flavors of peach, pineapple, honey and vanilla spice.  The Moscato and Riesling grapes give this wine a sweeter taste and the Chardonnay adds the body and really pushes the flavors out.  Enjoy this bottle with blackened chicken breast right off the grill.  The sweet tropical fruit flavor will complement the spicy flavor of the chicken.  Not in a chicken mood?  Then enjoy Apothic White with a summer salad with a citrus vinaigrette dressing.

Let’s try Mirassou Pinot Noir.  I know what you’re thinking.  Drink a red wine in the summer when it’s 90 degrees outside?  But I assure you that it is ok!  Place this bottle in the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving to give it a little chill.   I don’t recommend this with a lot of red wines but with this particular one you’ll be safe, I promise!  Mirassou Pinot Noir has three main flavors including cherry, strawberry, and red currant.  These flavors are supported by light hints of vanilla and oak.  Enjoy this bottle with grilled salmon or tuna steaks or stuffed mushroom caps.

Next on our list is Martin Codax Albarino.  The first time I tried this wine it took me by surprise.  The nose on it is completely different from how it tastes.  It smells like a pinot grigio with nice fruit scents.  But when you take that first sip it’s like “whoa,w here did that flavor come from?” The best way to describe it is like a pinot grigio on steroids.  Albarino is called the wine of the sea and being so makes it the perfect match for seafood.  The key aromatic and flavor notes are pear, passion fruit, and apple.  This wine also has high acidity.  While you can drink this wine on its own as an aperitif it is meant to be paired with food.  This not only has to do with the firm acidity but also with the full mouth feel that you get.  Martin Codax Albarino goes great with poultry, seafood, light salads, or lightly sauced pasta dishes.  If you are going to have just appetizers then this would be a great match for goat cheese bruschetta, berries, and prawn skewers with bell peppers.

The final wine for the patio favorites list is Starborough Sauvignon Blanc.  This is my personal favorite.  Starborough comes to us from the Marlboro district of New Zealand.  Marlboro is the world standard crisp and clean Sauv Blancs.  This region is on the east coast of the island country and is bordered by mountains to the west.  These mountains limit the rainfall and make it one of the sunniest areas of the country.  The landscape is pierced by deep, fjord like bays, called “sounds”, which enhance the maritime influence and extend the growing season for the grapes.  The long, cool growing season helps the wines of this region to develop rich layers of flavor with a distinctive, refreshing character.  The grapes were destemmed, but not crushed, and lightly pressed in order to avoid extracting bitter tannins from the skins.  Starborough has laters of citrus and tropical fruit with hints of fresh green characters.  Flavors of passion fruit, guava, and kiwi layered over a citrus framework culminate is a crisp and approachable palate.  This is truly a unique wine drinking experience.  While I personally prefer to drink this wine on its own, it can also be paired with seafood, tomato and cilantro marinated chicken skewers.

The next time you invite friends and family, be sure to have plenty of beer on hand because this IS Wisconsin, but also pick up some bottles of wine.  Your guests will be impressed!

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