It's the last weekend of the summer grilling season, so for goodness' sake, get out there and grill something! Ideally, food. And with it, whatever “it” may be, why not serve some wine? Here are a few affordable recent highlights from the F&W Tasting Room.
White & Rosé
2014 Santa Maria la Palma Aragosta Vermentino ($13) One of my favorite value finds this summer, this light Italian white, full of citrusy zing, would be a great match for any kind of seafood. That includes lobster, whether the Maine version or the Mediterranean one shown on the wine's label.
2014 D'Amico Orvieto ($15) Orvieto tends to be an overlooked white wine category these days, but when done well—as with this polished version from D'Amico—it combines floral aromas, crisp fruit and a distinctive almondy note on the finish.
2014 Domaine de Vaccelli Juste Ciel Rosé ($15) Provence may be the homeland of French rosé, but this pale pink Corsican blend of Cinsault and Grenache makes a good case for that island's granitic soils as a great rosé source. The phrase “juste ciel!” translates as “good heavens!” by the way.
2011 Castelo do Sulco Beato Nuno Reserva ($10) A lot of ripe, dark fruit and a can't-beat-it price make this Portuguese red from the up-and-coming Lisboa region hard to argue with for a party. It's a combination of the Portuguese varieties Touriga Nacional, Aragonez and Castelão.
2013 Esprit du Rhone Côtes du Rhône ($13) Soft cherry flavors and appealing spice notes drive this Grenache-based, southern French red. It isn't wildly complex, but it's a pleasure to drink and would be great with burgers off the grill.
2013 Pedroncelli Signature Selection Pinot Noir ($20) Salmon on the grill? Pinot's a great choice but bargain versions that actually taste like Pinot are tough to find. This rich (but not too rich) raspberry/cherry-inflected red from Sonoma offers some real Pinot character at a reasonable price.