I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th weekend. It was so lovely to have friends over, BBQ some ribs and spicy chicken wings, and have a day full of laughter and fun. Sitting on the deck together and sipping some great wines felt wonderfully normal.
If you’re like us, your summer calendar is filling up with gatherings, big and small, as we all make up for lost time. That means more opportunities to share wine with friends! Over the years, I know we've presented a conundrum for people who aren't sure what bottle to bring to dinner when wine is already in abundance at our house. But the truth is, I love when friends throw caution to the wind and bring their favorites to share. There are always new wine experiences to be had.
This week we thought we would recommend a couple failsafe wines that you can bring to bowl over your hosts and friends. Both these wines bat above their weight, pair well with a variety of foods (helpful when you're not sure what the host is serving) and are sure to knock everyone’s socks off.
Grown in the north-east corner of Austria, this is a rich and generous white with a wonderful backbone born of the granite soils in the vineyards. Its creation is a beautiful story of simple generosity.
Frau Mayer, a local vineyard owner and this wine's namesake, lived next to the Poller family since she was born. Frau Mayer had put her whole life (it was planted when she was 10 years old) into her vineyard and year after year, watched the Poller's take the same meticulous care in their vineyard, too. She always admired how the family hand carried their grapes at harvest in small baskets so as not to bruise them. One day, at age 86, Frau Mayer called the Pollers over and offered to leave them her vineyards, simply asking in return for some of the wine each year for the rest of her life. Somewhat taken aback, they agreed, and Vineyard Frau Mayer is now their reserve (top of the line) Gruner Veltliner. The delightful label is a print from Frau Mayer's wallpaper, which they felt reminded them of her.
This is an irresistible wine. It has bags of kiwi, ginger flower, lime, and a hint of sexy spices. Full-bodied enough to pair with many rich foods, like cheeses, salmon, chicken, and pork, it is great all-rounder good for any occasion.
I swear, I have not tasted a wine from our friends at Remoissenet that has not bowled me over in both quality and price. Last week we raved about their Bourgogne Blanc, and their basic Bourgogne Rouge (100% Pinot) is also a show stopper. Made from a selection of grapes from vineyards in Vosne-Romanée and Nuits-Saint-George, it is suave, impeccably balanced, and with a perfume so smart and sophisticated it could have a Cambridge degree. It has wonderful ripe cherries and exotic spices on the nose. The mouth is full of persimmons and cherries with a lovely brightness, followed by a sultry and beguiling sign-off that makes you do a double take, sort of like walking past a restaurant serving fresh truffles. This would pair with so many things. Salmon, duck, lamb, chicken or spicy sausages will all jump for joy next to this, and the guests will surely think they're drinking something with a much higher price tag.