Wine | Mondavi Fume Blanc: A hot summer dining essential
Say what you want about relief from swimming pools and water misters, but our Phoenix summers are still brutal as ever. This is especially true if you’re hammering out plans for a summer-discount staycation over the next several months.
One part of the plan is to chart out what wines you choose to drink with a meal when the weather is bigger than life inside a hairdryer! First off, consider what non-alcoholic drinks you have always found refreshing (quenching).
Some people feel refreshed dining along with a big swig of lemonade, while others love a tall glass of tropical fruit juice. There are even a few of us who relish vegetable juice on ice.
For those who favor lemonade, you will probably find that a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc is the best wine choice to cool off with. One of the most “summery” of these is Robert Mondavi’s “Napa Valley Fume Blanc”. And with their 2016 (another fab year for this varietal), on the shelves now ($16 at Total Wine), it’s easy to take advantage.
The bouquet of their 2016 vintage seems like a very similar reminder of past vintages with well-tamed citrus plus a floral essence, but an additional check adds a hint of oranges (mandarin in that salad anyone?). Sipping reveals an utterly snappy mid-palate that brings out lemonade refreshment if there ever was one! Mondavi remains classy as ever with this reliable rendition that’s a go-to for a perfect salad or shrimp cocktail pair.
As for those who like tropical fruit juice, search out a good Viognier. But the V-8 juice people have the somewhat arduous task of checking into top Pinot Noirs, like Hartford’s Hailey’s Block, or moving into the world of Sake. Yes, there are quite a few Sake brands that are just plain veggie and are satisfying, served cold or hot.
Also, try that Fume Blanc with a simple selection of light cheeses as an appetizer and the nicely balanced acidity will push that sweltering heat right to the back of your mind. And if you can still stand it out on the patio later in the evening for all the desert’s natural sauna has to offer, do it!