So What Do I Drink …Off the Job?

I have a pretty eclectic palate, which leads me to search out all kinds of wines to match the food I’m eating, the weather outside, or the mood I’m in on any given day.  I truly love to eat and I enjoy almost all kinds of foods and types of cuisines, so there isn’t going to be one wine or type of wine I always gravitate to.  I rarely drink the same wine two days in a row, though I confess that I could drink Champagne every day.  However, at home we eat a Mediterranean diet more often than not, so the wines of California, Italy, Southern France, and Spain make regular appearances at my table.

For starters, I am very fond of many of the white wines of Northern and Central Italy.  Most are light, fresh, and increasingly well made with little or no oak.  They drink well on their own, so they make excellent aperitifs, and they can double as unobtrusive accompaniments to seafood and light pastas at any time of year.  Moreover, they are what I like to refer to as “no headache wines.”  Without massive amounts of alcohol or layers of new oak, they are easy on my head as well as my palate.  No wonder these wines are increasingly popular in Europe as well as America.  Gavi from the Piedmont, Orvieto from Umbria, Verdicchio from a hand full of premium Verdicchio producers in the Marches, and Vernaccia from Tuscany are just a few of the Italian white wines I have especially enjoyed recently.

Spain’s enological renaissance in the last decade has delivered some excellent light to medium-bodied white wines, too.  The Spanish white wines I admire most usually have a high percentage of Verdejo or Albarino in the blend.  I enjoy Spanish Cava, as well.  Nobody makes better dry sparkling wine for the money than Spain’s Cava producers.  But what about the red wines, you ask?  I’m hardly finished with the white wines I drink at home, so we’ll save red wines, Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs, and other white wines for another day.


A Votre Santé!

Don Lahey