I prefer the unoaked Chardonnays, or a nice Sauvignon Blanc. I like a crisp, dry taste, and without the oaky flavor. I also detest sweetness, unless it's just the faintest sweetness in a nice Pinot Noir.
My absolute favorite is Condrieu (viognier from the northern Rhone). The La Doriane from E. Guigal is the best, but the regular label is also excellent. Pichon and Gaillard are two others that are worth trying.
For summery choices, I like the Willamette Valley Rieslings and Marisa Cuomo Fiorduva.
Last edited by joiedevie99; Jul. 4, 2012 at 12:25 AM.
I love a good Cranberry wine. Every time I go back to NJ, I try to get my fill. It is not easy to find, I have to order it online if I want some here. I don't like very sweet wines, this is is light, crisp, slightly tart as you would expect from cranberries but oh so good....and not very expensive!
I live in wine country (central coast of CA, Santa Ynez, Paso Robles, Edna/Arroyo Grande valleys all in easy driving distance for me), so it would take me forever and an age to list - and unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your POV!) most of the best wines are of pretty limited release and not widely available all over (in my experience).
Even more irritatingly, alcohol shipping laws to your state are a PITA! Not that you can't get good stuff through a good wine shop, because you can. But I think it's pretty hard to get stuff directly shipped from wineries to VA.
I like a lot of Rhone blends (both red and white, GSMs, etc) and Pinot Noirs, all of which do very well around here.
Like NeedsAdvil, I don't care for the big toasty oak monsters that CA chards tend towards. I like both red and white, depending on what I'm eating, but summer afternoons often lead me to more obscure crisp whites like albarino, malvasia bianca, Marsanne/Rousanne, Gruner Veltliners, and Viogniers.
Chardonnay, I really like the ones that are fermented in Oak casks and have the oaky taste and buttery finish. These are my faves. I *like* some of the chards that are fermented in steel casks to keep the fruity, citrusy, grapefruity, melony tastes, but my favorite are the oaky buttery chardonnays. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
I love the crisp, sometimes citrusy, sometimes melon-y honey lighter savignon blancs, pino grigios.
My faves are the reds. I like a jammy tasting, fruit forward but complex red. I like to taste plum and cassis and berry taste in merlos, that plus spice in zinfindels, that plus vanilla, oak, smoke sometimes tobacco in cabernets, that plus clay soil (mineral) in pinot noirs and bordeaux. These are my alltime favorite wines but I also know that you generally get what you pay for in this category.
My newest obsession is reds from the Paso Robles region. They are making some EXCELLENT Pinot Noirs (Loring Wine Company, Oso Libre are my current favs)
Also, I love 100% Cabernet Franc.
Paso is a great up and coming wine region. As a semi-local, I can recommend a few others from the region if you'd like. Although I would say the GSMs and Rhone blends, as well as Zinfandels eclipse the Pinot Noirs from that AVA easily. Santa Ynez's pinots are better (IMHO of course!).
The most recent Wine Spectator wine of the year was out of Paso from Saxum. Napa and Sonoma, we're comin' for ya
REALLY dislike Chardonnays of any type. REALLY like dry whites like Chablis or Pinot Grigio (which is my "go to" favorite for everything from cooking to drinking).
For reds I like them fairly dry as well - Burgundy, Merlot, Chianti - oh, a host of others. But I usually pair them with food rather than sip them on their own.
Also like a good Ruby Port - particularly with nice ripe pears & good Gorgonzola cheese.
As for sparklers, I always go for Brut, really enjoy Cavas, & hubby has recently taken a strong liking to experimenting with Proseccos, so I must have about 1/2 a dozen of them in the cellar now awaiting trial - lol!