The season is hot for Villa Maria's Sauvignon Blancs

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First is the Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (about $18 retail). As if it wasn’t cool enough already in New Zealand — summer average temperature is 24°C (or about 76°F), they have harvested these Sauvignon Blanc grapes at night to ensure the grapes are in immaculate condition when they arrive at the winery. This wine is outrageously delicious. I first cracked one open while desperately looking for a white wine to add to a Crock Pot® recipe. Funny, I know but a busy life calls for anything that makes it un-busy. Some chicken, herbs and spices, vegetables and about 3/4 cup of Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc all made for a dish that was enticing to the nose and seductive to the palate. The acids of the wine helped bring all the flavors together while the crisp, citrusy flavors lent a piquancy that was remarkable for something coming out of a slow cooker.

Villa Maria Private Bin 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Villa Maria Private Bin 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
Once a bottle is open, ya gotta finish it. Or do you? You don’t always have to finish it, but this wine beckoned to be poured in a glass and enjoyed with dinner. The best wine pairings happen when you cook with and serve with the same wines; you get aromas and flavors that mingle and flow in harmony. While the meal had the hints of citrus, the wine carried the weighty flavor of passion fruit. The onions and green peppers in the recipe intensified the crispy finish of the wine.

Next we have the Villa Maria Private Bin 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (about $15 retail). Another exciting night of “what’s for dinner?” brought this wine to light. One can’t always be Susie Homemaker planning ahead with slow cooker recipes, sometimes one has to run to the grocery store and scoop up some sushi containers in order to meet the dinner deadline. But whether your dinner comes from a plastic container, a bucket or a bag, you can dress it up with a good wine pairing.

The grapes for the Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc come from the Wairau and Awatere Valleys. Probably doesn’t mean much to you but that’s like having to watch over farmland in Tampa and then having to check on farmland in Bradenton or from New York City to Norwalk, CT. That’s a big patch of land and the distance between the two actually produces grapes with different flavor profiles. The result is a wine that is chock full of racy fruits like lemon, lime and grapefruit and a burst of herbs at the end. Suffice it to say a yummy complement to sushi dunked in a favorite combination of soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

The best part about these two wines that may seem similar but really are very different is that they offer refreshing flavors that quench the parched throat of a Florida summer. Whether you decide to pair these wines with dinner or to enjoy them staring out the window as you long to be outside but can’t pull yourself from the air conditioner, you will be refreshed and might find yourself saying “ahh.”

Photos: Villa Maria Estate

Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

In case you haven’t heard it enough, it’s hot outside. It’s hot, it’s humid, the car is stifling when you get in it, and it’s time for the air conditioning balancing act — save money and set the air higher or work overtime and live in comfort? Summer has hit us like a ton of bricks; much like it does every year. But this summer you’re feeling adventuresome; willing to try something new and live and love on the edge.

This summer you dream of a cool climate, a mountainous landscape and soft, fuzzy Crayola green grass you can run barefoot through. This summer you dream of Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. This summer your dream has come true — TWICE!

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