Tuesday Wine: Summer Whites


If you’re like me, you get excited after a long, cold winter when the temperature begins to climb and the days start to lengthen in anticipation of summer.   Along with blooming flowers and bountiful vegetable gardens, summertime provides the perfect backdrop for backyard barbeques and impromptu dinners with friends over a bottle (or two) or good wine.

Although I’d never turn my nose up at a steak or hamburger hot off the grill, my wife and I recently had a few friends over on a whim and wanted to serve something a little lighter.  We settled on grilled tiger prawns, marinated for an hour in white wine, olive oil, ginger, garlic, orange zest and soy sauce.   Served with grilled asparagus and Portobello mushrooms, the prawns were a perfect way to end the workweek on a warm Friday night.

Now, I’m not one to say you can only drink red wine with red meat and whites with seafood or chicken.  I say drink what you like.  However, something as delicate as grilled seafood often goes better with a wine that won’t overpower the subtle flavors of the fish.  So, while at Costco picking up a few things (bulk packages of 10,000 paper towel rolls), I grabbed two different whites to serve with dinner – a Sauvignon Blanc from Nobilo and a Pinot Grigio by KRIS.  Both bottles were less than $10 and given my inexperience with white wine, I figured there was a 50/50 chance of choosing a decent one for dinner.


The 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Nobilo comes from Marlborough on the south island of New Zealand.  It’s 12.5% ABV and has a beautiful pale yellow color.  The color is honestly why I chose this wine.  When it comes to whites, I’ve found that I enjoy those with deeper color versus wines with very light yellow or greenish tints.  The deeper yellow wines seem to have more complexity, perhaps because of time spent aging in barrels versus stainless steel vats.  Whatever the reason, this wine didn’t disappoint.  In terms of complexity, it initially hits your taste buds with a citrus note, then deepens into a smooth oaky aftertaste.  It was a perfect compliment to the mild, buttery prawns and definitely goes on the “summer wines to keep on hand” list.

The 2008 Pinot Grigio from KRIS is from the Delle Venezie region of Italy that surrounds Venice, extending East to the Slovenian border and north into the foothills of the Alps.   This wine is 12.5% ABV and has a very slight yellow tint.  We probably should have served this one before dinner with appetizers given it’s lighter, more acidic flavor.  It would provide a good counterbalance to the salty cured taste of prosciutto or shards of Parmesan cheese.  Although I enjoyed it, the flavor never seemed to develop past the first tang of bright, flowery citrus. It did however go well with our dessert of ripe strawberries robed in dark chocolate ganache.

Enjoy your summer,
Mark D.


Filed under Cooking, Food, Food Review, Southern Culture, Southern Recipes, Tuesday Wine, Uncategorized, Wine

19 responses to “Tuesday Wine: Summer Whites

  1. Matt Roberts

    This is a fun blog to read, I just wish I lived closer to some of the places chosen for review.

  2. The Nobilo is a good choice for NZ Sauvignon Blanc, but for under $10 you should also check out Cupcake Vineyards and Brancott.

    I’m not a Pinot Grigio person at all, as I generally stick to Rieslings or Chenin blancs for my whites.

    • We will definitely check out the Cupcake Vineyards, not sure that I’ve seen that around in Atlanta, but will keep my eyes open. Thanks for your advice, hope you’ll keep giving us good tips to check out!

  3. I’m with you Mark about wine. Choose the one you like, be it red or white. Although, like you said, know the food pairing.

  4. Michelle

    Love the post. I’m interested in pics of that meal too! My stomach is growling. Kevin, I agree on the Cupcake Vineyards comment. I know nothing about wine and usually choose based on the label, but I got lucky with that choice. YUM!

  5. To be honest, I’m not much of white wine person so I don’t have any specific wine and food pairings. I’m would say that white wine and seafood go together. However, if you get it blackened or eat a stronger fish, possibly a chardonnay or even a light pinot noir might go well with it.

  6. melford smith

    all of it sound delightful

  7. Colin

    I was a participant in the wonderful meal described above, and do not recall either of these wines. Maybe Mark D. was hording them for himself? Or maybe it was the three beers and two glasses of cab that I drank before walking over there.

  8. ALME

    The Cupcake wines are definitely in/around Atlanta. I bought a bottle for a friend who loves cupcakes, but never actually tasted it. We should grab a few…. even the Cupcake champagne looks delicious!

  9. Thought I’d add a follow up comment to my Summer Whites posting – I recently tried Barefoot’s Pinot Grigio and found it to be a great summer white option…especially considering it’s between $6 and $8 in most grocery stores. Next on the list: Cupcake Vinyards and Brancott. Thanks for the suggestions Kevin!
    Mark D.

  10. debi

    Love the wine reviews! Keep them coming I am a wine lover and appreciate new ones to try with different dishes. I am a vegetarian so it is difficult to find the ONE to eat with your veggies.

  11. Miss Peggy

    I tried the Barefoot Pinot Grigio and it’s wonderful and affordable too. Thanks for the suggestion Mark! I’ll be checkin’ back for your future wine selections. So glad I found this blog!!

  12. If only more people would hear about this.

  13. Another you ought to try is Kiwi Cuvee. It’s a nice “citrusey” sauvignon blanc that i really love. PLUS it’s $7.99 in Manhattan NYC… so it really must be reasonably priced. It’s a French wine made by a New Zealand winemaker (there’s actually some controversy around the use of the word “kiwi” in the label name). Try it out.

    -Kyle (aka Grandma Millie)

  14. I like that Nobilo too! Actually I’ve found I like all the sauvignon blancs from that region of New Zealand…Brancott is another goodie for about the same price and so is that Cupcake another commenter mentioned. Also…from AMERICA is Pomelo. It’s almost Nobilo’s twin in taste!
    I consider myself an expert on cheap wine…..as I go thru a bottle a day…especially in the summertime! 😉

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