A pair of wines showed up at Casa de Benito that aren't related to each other, but the world of public relations and distribution tends to group certain things together. I received a California Chardonnay and a German Riesling, and frankly both were welcome in the burning heat of the summer.
Have I ranted enough about the heat this summer? It seems as if the past few summers have been particularly brutal, and that impacts the beverage and dining selections. You find yourself yearning for winter so you can enjoy a baked potato without heating up the kitchen for an hour. Sure, a nice five hour chuck roast braise would be delicious, but do I want to finally serve dinner while covered in sweat and trembling from dehydration?
Ach, let's stop kvetching about the heat and get to the wines...
2009 Mark West Chardonnay
$10, 13.8% abv.
Light and fruity, round and low acidity, no oak. Slightly bitter aftertaste. A fairly standard California Chardonnay that performs well at its price bracket. I served this with smoked chicken legs and a light salad. Again, the pervasive BBQ culture of the South has a lot to do with long cooking outside so you don't make the house even more unbearable.
The second wine was a German Riesling called Bex, If I remember correctly, Bex is Latin for "two women named Rebecca". I kid, I kid... I actually don't know the origin behind the name, but would love to know. It also sounds like a comic book nemesis for Ben. Ben is the good one, Bex is the evil twin from a parallel universe who in this case does not have a beard.
Once again I will praise a German wine for having a simple and easy to remember name and label. Screwcap enclosure, and it's not overly tall so it fits in the fridge or wine rack easily. If I need to recommend a German wine, it's easier to say "Bex with the green label" rather than launch into what sounds like a performance of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen.
This one was a big hit with my Mom and sister-in-law, who enjoyed the light, refreshing and just slightly sweet quality of the wine.
2009 Bex Riesling
$8, 9.5% abv.
Bright green apple and peach flavors with low sweetness and a quick, crisp finish. Great acidity and I love the low alcohol. Excellent pairing for salads, sandwiches, picnics, that kind of thing.
Note: These wines were received as samples.