With so many wines on the market, it’s hard to pick one these days unless you know your stuff. Yes, a Caymus or a Chateau Margaux is always a good bet but they can be pricey. Sorting through the myriad choices in wine shops can prove difficult, especially if you have to impress your dinner guests.
With new releases entering the market every month, you can feel overwhelmed. We’ve chosen five of the best releases, from five vastly different wineries, showcasing five different varietals that are sure to please. Don’t worry rosé and dessert wine lovers—we’ve got you covered, too!
Blanco Nieva Verdejo 2013
Vedejo is a little-known varietal Stateside, most closely related to Sauvignon Blanc. Primarily grown in Spain, it tends to be herbaceous and minerally. This Verdejo by Blanco Nieva, released in April, boasts an apple and melon bouquet. The palate offers hints of orange peel and grapefruit and crisp acidity. It’s great paired with fish and shellfish such as scallops.
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé 2014
Since the 1970s, Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé has been a fixture on the American wine scene and has dominated the Provencal rosé market—with good reason. Wine lovers in the know have relished its drinkability, whatever the season (I have long been a year-round rosé drinker). This vintage is crisp and balanced with hints of orange peel. It works perfectly with roasted lamb.
Inman Family 2013 “Whole Buncha Love” Pinot Noir
Inman Family Winery is a small operation in Santa Rosa, California, known for its small-lot Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. Owner and winemaker Kathleen Inman has been making wine here sine 2002 and the groovy “Whole Buncha of Love” is one of her most popular Pinots. This vintage, bottled in January 2015, is pale garnet in color and has dried cherry notes on the nose. The palate features pomegranate, dark berries and forest floor notes, making it ideal when paired with a hearty gumbo or cassoulet.
CrossBarn Paul Hobbs 2013 Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
CrossBarn is the newest operation by fabled winemaker, Paul Hobbs, boasting sustainable vineyard practices. Founded in 2000, the winery is known for hand harvesting its grapes and it definitely shows in its wines. The CrossBarn Paul Hobbs 2013 Cabernet Franc features a cassis and lavender bouquet. The palate boasts red raspberries with just a hint of earthy clay and graphite, and the tannins are as smooth as velvet. This wine goes well with traditional steak frites or roast chicken.
Hauner Malvasia delle Lipari Passito 2012
Dessert wine gets a bad rap but serious wine lovers know that it’s the perfect choice to end an amazing meal. Muscatos and Sauternes dominate the American market but this lesser-known Sicilian dessert wine is truly worth the effort it takes to find it. The color of the Hauner Malvasia delle Lipari Passito a lovely amber, almost like a good scotch. The tannins are smooth, and the wine offers sweet fig notes and has a nice acidic finish. Savor a glass as you bite into a piece of deep, dark chocolate.