Well, summer seems to have kicked in with a vengeance this week. For those readers not in southeastern Michigan, we’ve been having one of the rainiest – and not particularly warm – springs on record. It has been wet, wet, wet. Non-stop rain. A bit depressing, no?
Luckily the end of May brought not only the long Memorial Day weekend (I like my job, but hey, who can’t use an extra day off?) but with it warmer temperatures and – more importantly – sunshine. And with that, lower Michigan (or at least me and Noe) finally came out of our non-spring funks and went in to June swinging.
The Produce Station planned the perfect wine tasting to kick off June and the subsequent hot weather – Sauvignon Blanc. I have been known to say that if I could only drink ONE varietal for the rest of my life, I would pick Sauvignon Blanc…however, over the years, I’ve developed a few conditions.
New Zealand used to really sing to me, with its sharp acidity and over-the-top citrus. Yet lately many New Zealand SBs have been TOO sharp and citrusy for my liking. I’ve never really learned to love California SBs – although Jon Edward’s peachy number and last year’s Simi started to sell me on the fact that maybe CA wasn’t a lost cause. South Africa has been more and more on my radar, with light fruit and herbacious, grassy flavors to counteract the natural acidity (and thanks to Amanda Lester and her wine tasting party, South Africa is on my list of wine regions I dream of visiting). More and more, though, I gravitate toward France, particularly Sancerre – they’re the ones that seem to really have that chalky, stony, mineral thing going on that I just LOVE.
Jorge at the Produce Station put together a really great variety showcasing different regions – two French (Bordeaux and Sancerre); California, South Africa, and New Zealand. I loved getting to taste my favorite grape not only in so many distinct styles, but side-by-side with the other styles for true comparison. SB is generally a wine that people don’t manipulate too much – you don’t see it oaked (generally), you drink it young and the real work is done in the vineyard, making it an excellent example of “terrior” – the snobby wine way of saying “you can taste where it came from.” I think people who are nervous about tasting because they think they can’t taste these things would have been really pleasantly surprised by this event.
Jorge did a great write-up of the wines we tasted on his blog. The Hippolyte was my favorite, with the Groot Constantina coming in second. I should also mention that the Produce Station has picked up a fabulous chef who made an AMAZING ceviche to pair with the Groot. I could have eaten a giant bowl of it.
Summer is finally here – thank you Jorge and Andy for finding me some great wines to ring in the season!