The Envelope Please…
Author: Krissy Cantelupe
Judging commenced for the Hilton Head Wine Fest the first weekend of February. Here are the best-of-show winners:
Best of Show Bubbly: Gloria Ferrar Royal Cuvee Brut 2002, Carneros
A fresh sparkling wine full of berry and cherry aromas with a hint of yeast and a trace of minerals on the nose. The wine is full of citrus, ripe apple, toast and a wonderful acidity that completes the palate. With the long finish, this sparkler pairs well with marinated olives, seared scallops, and fried calamari. For entrée pairings, try barbeque pork, grilled chicken, or smoked fish.
Best of Show White: Zaca Mesa Roussane 2007, Santa Ynez Valley
Roussane is a rich, complex white grape varietal which is native to the Rhone Valley in France. The wine has aromas of apricots, honey, figs and spice while it is full of a rich minerality characteristic to the vineyard. The wine is best served with grilled chicken, especially with rosemary, seafood risottos, and grilled or blackened fish.
Best of Show Red: Alexander Vineyards School Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, Alexander Valley
This cabernet is a beautiful blend of hillside, single vineyard and old vine grapes, thus they come from the top of the crop. The wine is full of black cherry, plum, cassis and has a lush full-body. Suggested food pairings include heartier fare such as grilled lamb, beef, and veal chop. The wine also pairs with blackened swordfish and poultry.
Best Value White: Knapp Winery Seyval Blanc 2008, New York
Seyval Blanc is a hybrid varietal that grows extremely well in England and the Finger Lakes region of New York. The grapes have a high tolerance for cold temperatures, which is why they can grow in vineyards with cooler climate. This Seyval Blanc is full of fruit and citrus with a delicate toasted vanilla finish. The wine pairs nicely with pasta Alfredo, grilled salmon, homemade pot pies, and rich chocolate.
Best Value Red: Lost Vineyards Vinho d Mesa Tinto NV, Portugal
A simple red blend of native Portuguese grape varietals. The wine on the nose is bright and minty, and the color is a deep ruby red. The wine is light to medium bodied and full of sweet fruit flavors and complex acidity. The wine pairs well with appetizers such as mild cheese, antipasti, and mini quiches and entrées such as turkey breast, smoked pork, and grilled chicken.