It is that time of year when grilled foods, salads, fresh vegetables, and fresh fruit taste so good! It is also a time to consider which white wine to serve with these dishes. In search of good ideas, I went to the Robibero Family Vineyards Wine Tasting Room at 714 Albany Post Road and found a lot of good options.
In a recent tasting at Robibero’s, I found a number of refreshing white wines that make great companions for summer foods. The 2012 Chardonnay (described in the tasting notes as “toasted vanilla flavors with oak aging,” $19 a bottle) tasted crisp and dry (full disclosure: my preference is drier wine over sweet) and not oaky or too full bodied. It was refreshing and would be a great complement to a pasta salad with vegetables, salami and cheese or a grilled fish and rice dish.
The second bottle has a title the family invented; “87 North” named after the Thruway. The 2013 87 North (described as ”honeydew and grapefruit aromas,” $17) was refreshingly dry and seemed close to a sauvignon blanc. 87 North, made from 60% Vidal Blanc and 40% Cayuga White grapes, would be great with a shrimp salad with carrots, lettuce, celery, scallions and a mayonnaise-based curry sauce or a rice salad made with olives, roasted peppers, artichokes, and capers.
The 2012 Dry Riesling (described in the tasting notes as “a delightful citrusy nose of pear grapefruit that leads into green apple and lime flavors on the palate,” $19 a bottle) was very fruit forward, a very refreshing and easy drinking wine to sip all summer. It would be perfect without food, and would also compliment a salad with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and scallions topped with a piece of grilled chicken or fish, or make a good companion for roasted cashews, almonds, or mixed nuts.
The fourth wine I tasted, 2013 Traminette (described in the tasting notes as “clear and with a floral aroma and hints of lychee fruit and Asian pear,” $18 a bottle) was a very food friendly wine. Although it might not be everyone’s wine, since the complexity of flavors and the spicy notes do not appeal to all palates, it would be perfect with a Thai salad, or Indian food and since it is a close cousin to Gewürztraminer, would enhance the flavor of most spicy food.
Another new wine, the non vintage Serendipity (described as “floral and apple aromas with a smooth, crisp lush texture,” $15), was 65% Seyval Blanc and 35 % Chardonnay grapes, all grown in the Hudson Valley. It was sweeter than the other wines and would accent coleslaw made with ginger/tamari dressing, chicken satay salad, or a spicy Thai salad. I also tasted a new Rosé, called New Yorkie Rosé (described as “light and easy drinking with hints of strawberry flavors and crisp autumn aromas,” $17 a bottle) an easy drinking, slightly sweet summer wine with plenty of fruit flavor. It is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Franc grapes and would match dilled green beans, double cream Brie, and mixed hors d’oeuvres as a way to start a dinner party.
The tasting was pleasant and slow paced with plenty of time to savor and discuss the wines. You can taste any five wines —red or white—but I was out to find good whites to serve with summer foods. Now you have some wine suggestions to try with various foods using wines that can be found in our own neighborhood.