Summer Sipping 2014

Chloe Wines

Chloe Wines

Summer is the season for wine festivals throughout much of the United States, especially in Colorado. June is particularly big in our Rocky Mountain state since the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen is taking place this weekend and the Telluride Wine Festival—under new direction—is happening next weekend. They’re both long-established events, terrific for sampling and savoring food and libations among the pros. Typically one walks away from these festivals with a go-to list of wines, spirits and restaurants to experience in the upcoming months. They also offer wonderful opportunities for socializing among fellow foodies and wine lovers in beautiful mountain settings.

For me, however, summer sipping feels best outdoors while gazing at a gorgeous mountain vista or inside relishing a delicious dinner of grilled meats and vegetables after having done a big hike. I’ve also been known to pack a good bottle and snacks and share a near-sacred moment with someone special out in a remote place. These treasured times create memories that last the longest for me.

View of Mt. Wilson in Telluride:  A Nice Place for Sipping Wine

View of Mt. Wilson in Telluride: A Nice Place for Sipping Wine

My latest wine discoveries for such meals and adventuresome forays include the Chloe Wine Collection from California and Familia Zuccardi Wines from Argentina. Both offer good value on their delicious wines, most of which are priced between $15. and $20. Best of all, with every sip, you can tell there’s a long tradition of winemaking behind both brands.

Georgetta Dane:  Winemaker of Chloe Wines

Georgetta Dane: Winemaker of Chloe Wines

I learned about Chloe Wines from Georgetta Dane, the winemaker at Big House, whom I featured in my story Love, Ladies and Wine. Georgetta got me from the get-go with the name and label of this lovely wine, evocative of the elegance and refinement that this sophisticated woman of European origin exudes. I was thrilled to discover that her Chloe Wines bloom with beautiful aromas and luxurious flavors. As the winemaker for Chloe Wines, Georgetta marries her Old World roots with contemporary American life to craft well-balanced wines made from grapes sourced from prized California vineyards. Each Chloe Wine—from the Chardonnay to the Pinot Grigio to the Red No. 249—is well suited for a special occasion whether that might be out on a mountaintop or within a sleek urban interior. I predict they will become all the rage for the ladies, and women will want to offer them to their girlfriends as gifts; let’s hope the guys will pick up a bottle or two for their gals, too. Yes, you had me at the label, Georgetta. Thankfully your Chloe Wines are as delightful and timeless as a little black dress.

Zuccardi Tempranillo: All You Need for that Special Summer Moment

Zuccardi Tempranillo: All You Need for that Special Summer Moment

Some wonderful wines are coming out of Argentina these days and the Zuccardi family is surely producing some of the best. For over forty years, Familia Zuccardi has produced wines of exceptional quality and value from the soils of Maipu and Santa Rosa and more recently, Uco Valley. One of the largest family-owned wineries as well as a leading exporter of Argentine wine, every Zuccardi wine is handcrafted from estate-grown, handpicked grapes and is estate-produced in a state-of-the-art facility. I’ve tried three of them so far:  the Serie A Torrontés 2012, the Q Malbec 2012 and the Tempranillo 2010—yum! The Torrontés is a lovely white, distinguished by notes of mature white fruits and citrus zest, the perfect accompaniment to a fresh summer salad composed of goat cheese and greens. I enjoyed the Malbec, a full-bodied wine that’s long in the finish, with a juicy steak. The Zucccardi Tempranillo is so rich and complex that it could serve as a stand-alone wine, something to truly savor as you gaze out upon a summer sunset.

Chloe and Zuccardi Wines can be found at select wine sellers across the U.S. And I’m sure they’ll be showing up at some wine festivals, too. Enjoy!

For past summer sipping recommendations, read Summer Sipping and Drink flipflop Wines for Fun and a Good Cause.

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