So often we choose wines according to what meat we’re serving, but this time of year, the real stars of the plate are your market-fresh vegetables at their peak-season best. As you bring home this year’s crop, consider these bottles to go along with the fresh, flavor-charged recipes you’ll be cooking up.
Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin 2009 (Sonoma; $20): The meaty and robust side of eggplant calls for a hearty red, but not an all-out heavy red. This medium-bodied pick brings lush fruit and vibrant spice—along with a bright shimmer, making it a graceful partner with your eggplant.
Santa Cristina Chianti Superiore 2009 (Tuscany; $16): A wee bit of char on your grilled veggies will help them stand up well to the tannins in a red, but don’t go overboard. Aerate this Chianti (that is, simply pour it into a carafe or decanter) before serving, and it will reveal sweet and easygoing tannins, along with ripe red fruits and a nimble, food-friendly acidity that will make your veggies really come alive.
Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (Columbia Valley; $13): The acidity in fresh tomatoes can make some white wines fall flat, and can turn many reds into a pucker-fest. Sauvignon Blanc is the ticket, and this bottle’s fresh, racy appeal will hold up well to that tart side of your tomatoes.
Martin Codax Albariño 2010 (Rias Baixas, Spain; $15): You know the drill: Harvest that basil and freeze batches of pesto for a taste of summer all year long. While you’re at it, lay in a supply of Spanish Albariño to pour alongside. This elegant, aromatic bottle offers a subtle herbal backdrop that will mesh beautifully with the freshness of pesto.
Casa Lapostolle Chardonnay 2010 (Casablanca Valley, Chile; $13): Rich, sweet butternut squash will never taste better than in the coming months. When you feature it on your table, reach for a creamy and round Chardonnay to pour alongside. With its lush pear flavors balanced by clean citrus notes, this bottle fits the bill.
—By Wini Moranville, Relish wine columnistblog comments powered by Disqus