June is Idaho Wine Month, and I’ve picked the Sawtooth’s Sparkling Brut for drinking on the patio, sipping by the pool, or pretty much any time you want some tasty bubbly that doesn’t come with a big price tag. This is well made, solid effort from Sawtooth winemaker Meredith Smith. The nose shows a touch of citrus and yeasty brioche. On the palate, the wine is crisp showing it’s bright acidity. The citrus and brioche notes carry over to the palate, but are also complemented by crisp green apple also. Sparkling wines are a great pairing for almost any food, but try this one with Thai food or with a cheese and fruit plate, or if you don’t have any food, just gulp it down!!
Viognier, THE grape of Condrieu in the Northern Rhone Valley, is often characterized by the delicate aromatics of peaches and white flowers. The wine is full bodied, oily in texture, with peach and melon flavors dominating the palate.
This example from Koenig is very true to type for Viognier. In addition to the pretty floral bouquet, flavors of pear and baked apple mingle with a generous portion of minerality.
This wine is a no brainer for seafood (scallops) but is also big enough to hold up to pork and chicken dishes.
We are celebrating Idaho wines all month and there are great wines being made up in Northern Idaho in the Lewiston area. Coco and Karl Umiker, winemakers and owners of Clearwater Canyon Winery, do a great job making quality wines that are balanced and tasty. They recently started making an Albariño, a Spanish grape varietal I’ve always enjoyed. The grape grows well in certain areas in Washington which is where they source their grapes from. This wine is very aromatic with floral and citrus on the nose and flavors of lemon meringue, melon and lychee followed by mouthwatering acidity and a touch of minerality making this a citrusy and refreshing warm weather wine. It would pair nicely with seafood, halibut or a summer salad or it would pair nicely with a porch and sunshine. Enjoy!
If you’ve never had a Pét-Nat before, now is the time. Our good friend, Jed Glavin, at Split Rail Winery has ventured into the unknown and returned with a delicious, lightly sparkling dry rosé that is super refreshing and loads of fun. Pétillant Naturel has recently become popular, though its roots go back to the 16th century in Limoux, in the South of France, where it was made by monks. The delicate bubbles that are the signature characteristic of Pét-Nats are created by bottling a wine prior to it completing its first fermentation, allowing carbon dioxide to be produced by natural sugars found in the grapes. The result of this ancient style of wine making is a sparkling wine with much less aggressive bubbles than its Méthod Champenoise counterpart. I am supremely grateful to Jed for taking a chance on this wine. It certainly paid off, and now we can enjoy the fruits of his labor. Cheers!