Affordable and Appropriate by John Komes

May 2, 2017

By John Komes
This time let’s talk about a couple of the great utilitarian wines that will complement a whole host of foods that we eat quite often. Let’s discuss one white wine and one red wine.

Sauvignon Blanc is the white wine I have chosen to focus on. The Sauvignon Blanc grape can be grown in a multitude of climates with varied results. It can take hot or cold climates. The hot climate tends to yield grapes with high sugars which leads to a fuller wine with sweet heavy flavors. The grapes grown in cooler climates usually will contain sharp fruity flavors with a very crisp finish. Of course, the moderate climate gives the best results with great fruit flavors of melon, honey and citrus. All three styles of wine can suit a large range of food pairings. The wine is especially good with green vegetables such as celery, asparagus and brussel sprouts, but it is also good with entrées like white fish, shell fish, chicken and pork. Sauvignon Blanc is a terrific cocktail on a hot Arizona summer evening. The crisp flavors of the wine replenish the palate.

Now we will move on to Merlot. Merlot is a very likable mild flavored red wine that can be consumed young. I often compare a Merlot grape to the blueberry of the berry family. Just as a blueberry has a pleasing flavor it lacks the long full aftertaste that other berries like strawberry or blackberry have. For me, the pedigree of any wine is in the finish. So, the good producers of Merlot generally blend some other varietals such as Malbec or Petit Verdot to add length and fullness to the wine. Cabernet Sauvignon, was the primary blending wine for years but it changes the flavor pattern of the wine to a mellow Cabernet rather than a full-flavored Merlot. Because of these new blending techniques now used for Merlot enhancing the natural flavors rather than changing the flavor pattern, Merlot is one of the fastest growing varietals in the marketplace. Merlot does have a place on your table, it is the perfect complement with lamb or duck.

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