Chill the Moment

Try out some summer whites.

Last week, after Band-Aiding it for five years, my pathetic 20-year old A.C. unit finally died. This is a huge tragedy, since summer in Florida starts in early April and lasts 'til Thanksgiving. All work ended; I was so freakin' hot I couldn't see straight, much less write anything intelligent or vaguely amusing. I wanted to dive into a pool of frozen Jello shots just to cool my heated frustration. After $3,000 was ripped from my sweaty hands — yes, that's American dollars, folks — I'm finally cool, but the hot shock has reset my body to permanently drinking quenching whites. Yes, it's time to leave red wine behind and feel a cold, wet bottle in my hands. My choices follow.

Torres 2005 Vina Esmeralda Catalunya (Spain) A blend of moscatel and gewurztraminer grapes, the fragrance of this wine will lure you into its flavor folds. Peaches, bubblegum and banana detonate on your tongue, and you like it. Finishes clean and fruity but not sweet. Really, really fun. Sw = 3. $14. 4 stars

Angove's 2005 Riesling Clare Valley (Australia) Two words: lime margarita. This riesling is so dry, I had no idea it was a riesling. Brisk lime zestiness like a Smartie candy but with a subtle butter finish. Worth the extra cash. Sw = 1. $19. 4 stars

Chumeia 2005 Silver Nectar Mendoza (Argentina) A wine for a sweet tooth, tasting like pink grapefruit sprinkled with brown sugar. Delicate, rich and loaded with perfumey pear, you could drink this whole bottle without noticing that you're drinking a whole bottle. Sw = 6. $10. 4 stars

Veramonte 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Casablanca Valley (Chile) Nothing better than sauvignon blanc in the summer. Crisp, cool, clean and fruity, this grape satisfies a thirsty hankering. This one reflects the classic profile of the grape: green grass, grapefruit and smooth yet snappy acidity. Sw = 2. $9. 3.5 stars

Kumala 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Western Cape (South Africa) Bracing lemon and grapefruit explosion, with tart acidity, and a refreshingly steely aftertaste. Sw = 2. $9. 3.5 stars

Hardy's 2005 Riesling Southeast Australia Like biting into a sugarcoated Spree candy, with enticing, ripe peaches, honeydew melon and earthy lychee fruit. Easy, crowd-pleasing wine. Sw = 4. $10. 3.5 stars

Coppola 2005 Pinot Grigio California Another fantastic summer grape, pinot grigio (aka pinot gris) is dry, light and citrusy. Drink it with a dinner salad with grilled shrimp or just savor it alone. Sw = 2. $10. 3 stars

Nobilo 2005 Icon Pinot Gris (New Zealand) Think white Thompson Seedless grapes, with an alcoholic kick. But it eases into graceful, sweet red apple and soft pear flavors. Live in the aroma. Sw = 3. $22. 3 stars

Rex Goliath 2005 Chardonnay California Lighter than many California chardonnays, with tart green apple and pear, a touch of buttered toast and well-rounded acidity. Sw = 3. $10. 3 stars

Dr Burklin-Wolf 2003 Riesling Pfalz No summer wine column would be complete without a dry German riesling. This one has a slight flowery sweetness with nectarines and a dash of that stereotypical diesel fuel thing. Sw = 3. $13. 3 stars

Sweetness (Sw) rating is out of 10, 10 being pure sugar. Star rating is out of 5, 5 being wine nirvana.

If you try any of these, drop me a line at my Myspace page:

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