Dusty and The White Daily Slosh

16 Apr

Born on this day in music history. 1939 –  Dusty Springfield. Outspoken, courageous, and a damn fine singer.

What to drink on the first patio of the Spring?

If it’s red wine you crave, see my recommendations for reds in the April 18th release here.

If it’s whites, I’m going to suggest two options: fresh, crisp and light – think oysters, tapas, potato chips; and full-bodied and creamy – think chicken, buttered popcorn. But all these you can drink on their own, as well.

hugelWhen I drink whites in warmer seasons, I try to pick something that has a bit of edge to it. So, from the mainstream, that means Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling to me. From the lesser available whites, that means Gavi, Assyrtiko, Albarinho and others. The edge just seems to make lyrical sense in warm weather – plays off the food that we tend to nibble on – it refreshes. This week, there’s a favourite Alsatian pair from Hugel & Fils (members of the Primum Familia Vini). 2012 Hugel Riesling #042101 $24.95 is a cool, lean customer. Just an aside: when Harry Potter was the rage, they had these JellyBelly candies that tasted like awful stuff. I can’t remember the names of them. Did you ever eat those? And, when you thought that the jelly bean actually tasted like grass, ear wax, etc., you had to wonder how you knew what that tasted like in the first place. I mean, you haven’t ever eaten an earth worm, have you? My theory? It tastes like it smells and we’ve all smelled ear wax (old Uncle Stan), grass, dirt, earthworm. Smell drives our taste. I say this why? Because this wine has a distinct stony taste, particularly on the finish. How would I know what stones taste like aside from the fact that as a small boy I put stones in my mouth? Stones, granite, slate have a very distinct smell and that explodes and changes when they are wet after a warm rain. I love that smell. Well, this wine is mostly citrus on the nose but in the mouth and on the lip smacking finish, it says stones and maybe peaches. But, it’s the stoniness that I like the most. This is a pretty classic take on Alsatian Riesling in my limited experience. Like über dry Riesling? This is for you.

gentilHugel also brings another crispy white to the party this week. The 2013 Hugel Gentil #367284 $15.95 is a blend of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurtztraminer, Sylvaner, and Pinot Blanc. Hell, you’re partway to the Wine Century Club just drinking this one wine! Now, confession: I haven’t had this vintage of the wine. I’m going on past performance (’10, ’11, ’12) and the reviews for the 2013. But, if you’re wanting an extra dry white with a floral lift, a little more fruit in the front, and a crisp finish, this is a great white for you. I like it mostly as a sipper – reception type of wine. Pre-big boy wine. Interesting phenomenon – I’m told that a lot of folks like to start the evening with one glass of a light white like SB, Riesling, or unoaked Chardonnay before they dig into big reds. They don’t really like whites but nonetheless, it’s a process that’s de rigeur. Anyway, the Gentil has always been one of the ‘go to’ whites for sipping in the warmth of the sun. If you’ve never had an Alsatian blend like this, pick this one up and let me know what you think. A wine geek observation – I love the Hugel labels – classic.

chardsmNow for the full-bodied, creamy stuff. Nothing screams creamy like an oaked Chardonnay. The under $20 Chardonnay that I love (OK, The Director loves) is 2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay #232439 $19.95. This is just such a consistent label. Year after year it brings about the perfect weight of oak and butter for me. What I call a Goldilocks Wine – just right. Being a little less oaked, it avoids tropical and inserts citrus and the typical apple flavours instead. Medium, slightly creamy finish. Great food wine – BBQ chicken if it isn’t too spicy. Or, just pop a cork (or two) of this as you sit on the deck with friends (imaginary ones are great listeners, I find).

Cheers.

Bill

Remember: If you want to check availability at the mother ship, click on the wine’s link (stock number and price) and check your town/city in the drop down menu. Easy.

One Response to “Dusty and The White Daily Slosh”

  1. Stefano April 16, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

    I agree, Bill: Hugel is a solid producer. I like their Riesling, while I have never tried their Gentil.

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