With temperatures solidly in the 80s here on this holiday weekend, refreshing is a high complement for a wine. Whether you're waiting for the grill to heat up or having a picnic on a warm day, a light white wine can be just the thing for a summery day. The 2008 Willamette Valley Vineyards Riesling ($15) definitely qualifies.
This Riesling sports a citrusy bouquet. It tastes of subtle green apple and a touch of honey. There is also a slight effervescence and a nice clean finish, adding to the refreshing quality of the wine. I would note that I'm not a fan of sweet wines, but this has just a touch of sweetness which I find enjoyable. It's low alcohol content (10%) also make it good for drinking on a hot day--you could enjoy it on a picnic and not be out for the count!
The Riesling is the 3rd bottle we've tried from a sampler pack from Willamette Valley Vineyards. The Pinot Gris also qualifies as a refreshing summer wine, though I'd say I like the Riesling a bit better. This Oregon winery has long had a strong commitment to sustainable practices, another reason to enjoy their wines.
I served this wine with a simple pasta dish, Farfalle with Goat Cheese & Greens. I caramelized a vidalia onion, added half a red bell pepper diced and 2 cloves minced garlic along with 2 tbsp of the wine, then wilted about 5 ounces of mixed baby salad greens. I tossed the veggies with the cooked farfalle, goat cheese and a tbsp of lemon.
This Riesling is a versatile food wine--it worked well with this light pasta dish, and I can see it working well also with white fish, spicy Asian food, or as an aperitif.
Full disclosure: This bottle was included in a complementary sampler pack from Willamette Valley Vineyards.