Commentary by Elizabeth Morse
A new season is finally here! How about some new wine suggestions to go with spring? I’ve got a red, white and sparkler for you to kick off warm weather. Give these California dreamers a swirl:
(Bubbles) Gloria Ferrer Sonoma County Brut, NV $18ish (I believe you can find this baby at Trader Joe’s for around $15). A gracious sparkler with great taste and a surprisingly low price. Bright spiced apple with golden pie crust flavors and a smidge of strawberry. Made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, she’s a spirited little sparkler by herself or with food. Serve with sushi or roasted chicken.
(White) 2018 Gundlach Bundschu Estate Vineyard Gewürztraminer, $25. GB is one of my favorite wineries to visit in Sonoma. Its historic tasting room, like its wines, is steeped in tradition. Check it out if you find yourself visiting California wine country. This wine smells like fresh peaches and blooming jasmine, heady and fragrant. With 10 percent oak aging it is a subtly round and rich glass with flavors reminiscent of Charentais* melons. Crisp and dry.
(Red) 2017 Benziger Family Winery, Monterey Pinot Noir. OK, so this might be my other favorite Sonoma winery. I was lucky to stay there as a guest many years ago. As a gardener, I loved visiting its vineyard and learning about bio-dynamic farming. Super-kind folks with a collection of consistently good wines. This one has the lovely earthiness you’d hope for in Pinot Noir. It also tastes like strawberries. With a little warm spice in the mouth, this one’s a crowd-pleaser. Perfect with grilled meats, $20
*Pro tip: Charentais is a French musk melon. Kind of like cantaloupe but better.