By Hairee Lee
In our latest dinner, seafood was the featured protein. When Rodrigo Lenzi, the wine consultant at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, was shown the menu, he made these suggestions and gave Melissa and I quick education on these summer wines.
This was the first time I've ever talked to a wine consultant. I highly recommend visiting the Cambridge Wine & Spirits and talking to Rod (or another wine consultant if he's not around although he was very informative and patient) when trying to choose the best wine for your meals. Based on your taste and budget, you'll get some excellent suggestions.
It's quicker than hemming and hawing over the enormous selection of wines in the store and floundering over the labels for some clue as to what would be good when a clue is what you haven't got.
Plus you walk out with great wines and a little more know-how.
Paco & Lola, Albariño from Spain (2009):
For the Tomato and Bacon Salad in Bibb Lettuce Cups, he suggested Albariño from Spain, specifically, the Paco & Lola. Rod, as he called himself, informed us that Albariños are young wines meant to be drunk the year they are bottled. So the fresher the better. There's no oak and no contact with the cork that gives it more earthy tones. Something that won't compete against the freshness of the salad.
Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand (2010):
"This is the most popular wine in the store. We sell about 3 cases of these a day." These wines are great for the price. With grapefruit and passion fruit notes, they pair well with seafood like the Panko Crusted Crabcakes with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli. One of the reviews on the Oyster Bay website for this wine describes it as "It's zesty and aromatic with lots of lively fruit characters. A concentration of assertive passionfruit and tropical fruit flavours with an abundant bouquet, it is a wine that is always crisp, elegant and refreshing."
Commanderie de la Bargemone Rosé, Coteaux d'Aix en Provence, France (2010) & Chateau Montaud Rosé, Cotes de Provence, France (2009):
May and June, Rod informed us, are the months for Rosé. He recommended that we pair these wines with the lobster. They have a light salmon color with crisp and refreshing tones on both the nose and palate. I was introduced to wines through roses so they have a dear place in my wining heart. Made of grenache and syrah grapes that are full bodied fruits, these wines from France give the crisp, sweet wine a complexity that keeps the rose interesting and a joy to drink.
Thanks, Rod, for the great wine selections! They were lovely.