Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Five delicious screw-cap wines: terrific for picnics

I love the convenience of screw-cap wines; for me, it is a selling point rather than any kind of detriment. (No cork snobbery here.)
These closures become more sensible than ever when you're dining -- and drinking -- al fresco.

Some of my favorites, all widely available and under $20:

Crios Torrontes (2009) -- a crisp, rich white with a lovely aroma and full flavor, it holds up to grilled seafood and fatty fish such as salmon. This is Argentina's standout white wine, and Crios is among the best I've tasted. (pictured at left)

Perrin & Fils Cotes-du-Rhone Reserve -- try to get the 2007, a great vintage in the southern Rhone, but even a later vintage of this reliable red blend will be delightful.

Plantegenet Riesling (2008) -- is actually from western Australia, a not well known region of that country. This is highly quaffable, very food friendly, and goes for about $10-$12.

Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc (2009) -- not the least expensive New Zealand sauvignon blanc out there, but definitely one of the most excellent. I love NZ sauvignon blanc as much as any white wine, if only because it goes so well with the light, healthy food we tend to eat. You'll appreciate this one with shellfish, or summer salads.

Chook Shiraz Viognier (2009) -- you might just fall madly in love with this fruity Australian shiraz, which rises well above the ordinary. And it's not going to cost more than $10-$12, plus it goes with grilled burgers, steaks and other meats as well as any red wine you're likely to encounter this summer. (pictured at right)

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