Friday, September 11, 2015

Blended White Wine Perfect With Spicy Dish

Blended wines are fun. When you know what the grape is, there's no guesswork - unless you want to guess whether your Pinot was juiced with a bit of Syrah. In a blend, especially when the grapes used are not telegraphed on the front label, you have the enjoyment of ruminating while trying to figure out what they are. If you don't think that's fun, you probably are not reading a wine article in the first place.

Cornerstone Cellars managing partner Craig Camp thinks they are fun, too - to make, not just to drink. He can appreciate a varietal wine as well as anybody, but "when you start out to make a blend, he writes, "the only rules are your emotions. What is it about the wine world you want to touch?" In the case of Cornerstone's White Rocks!, they decided to reach out and touch a lot of sweet, ripe fruit.

The 2014 White Rocks! by Cornerstone features - spoiler alert - Orange Muscat and Viognier in the blend. With those grapes in play, we would normally expect a sweet ride, and that is what we get. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc also appear in a wine that keeps alcohol moderate, at 12.5% abv, and price low, at $15.

Yellow gold and aromatic, the 2014 White Rocks! by Cornerstone shows a nose full of little white flowers, nectarines, apples and citrus. The palate is just as lovely, just as fruity. Sweet peaches, nectarines, oranges and a shade of tropical fruit make for a festive feel, while a gentle acidity allows plenty of space for spicy food pairings.

Camp likes the explosive fruitiness of White Rocks! paired with Thai, Vietnamese, Korean and all variations of Chinese cuisine. "A good old American BBQ is not bad either," he adds. I loved it with smoked cheddar. It's a great sipping wine, too.


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