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The Thrill of the Grill!

It feels so good to be outside again! So the wines we picked for this month's shipment were specifically chosen to give you a reason to step into the spring and summer in style!

Let's Start with the Whites:

Carmel Ridge Chardonnay & Parables in White Viognier + Chenin Blanc

Carmel Ridge Chardonnay

People who don't know better might say they don’t like Chardonnay, but as anyone who has a taste for top white burgundy or other premium New World Chardonnays will know, Chardonnay is absolutely spectacular with food!

Saying you’re not into Chardonnay is like saying you’re not into chicken. There’s good and there’s poor quality chicken, and you don’t decide how you feel about chicken after you've had a bad one! The same is true for a staple white wine like Chardonnay. This particular Chard is always a crowd pleaser, so you really can't go wrong when you open up a bottle of this Carmel Ridge!

Serve Chardonnay with mild buttery or creamy dishes. Pair Chardonnays with meaty fish like halibut, cod, and shellfish, as well as succulent lobster, shrimp, crab, and scallops. And you are always safe when you pair it with some simply seasoned poultry and pork dishes.

Pasta with a creamy sauce is also a winner -- especially if you add chicken. And if salads are more in your wheelhouse, adding ham to a fresh tossed salad, or grilled chicken to your Caesar salad can be an excellent pairing for lunch. And don't forget to include peaches, mangos, and macadamia nuts to your list, as well as mild curry‘s with buttery sauces.

This wine goes well with French brie and other cheeses made of goats milk, clothbound cheddars, and artisan cheeses that feature the consistency to Parmesan. Blue cheese and other ripe cheeses as well as fatty Italian meats go perfectly with this Chard.

Chenin Blanc is effortless to drink. It has soft, round flavors reminiscent of pears, melons, apricots, red apples, peaches, and fruit cocktail syrup. This wine is a beautiful full-bodied white that has a very balanced acidity with no tannins -- which makes it as easy to enjoy as sitting sitting in a field of wildflowers.

When it comes to pairing this wine with food, think sweet and sour. Because of its awesome acidity and it’s inherently sweet flavor, you’ll find it pairs well with same kind of foods. It goes great with Asian foods as well as grilled pork chops. And it's terrific with any of your creamier cheeses, a baked brie, and it will blow your mind if you serve it with pancetta in a cream sauce!

For those of you who might be serving up a starter with an elevated sense of style, foie gras and this Parables in White are an absolutely stunning combo!

But the most perfect thing to pair with this wine with is a friend!

Jean Harlow Petite Sirrah & The Vidal Estate Zinfandel

We're going to do something a little different on the tasting notes for the red wines this month. We're going to talk about how they perfectly pair with the spring and summer! And even if you don't live in California, these notes will help you pair these wines they way we do in the Wine Country!

California may not have a full-fledge cuisine of it's own, but as any Californian knows, there's a style and sensibly to the local cooking that is unmistakable.

Grilled lamb with raspberry-mango relish doesn't exactly have Massachusetts written all over it, but it is delicious with the reds we've selected for this month's shipment! But when it comes to the really amazing part of California cuisine, you have to consider the unofficial religion of this part of the US: grilling.

From peaches to porterhouse steaks, no food is exempt from this beloved cooking technique! The sweet, charred flavor and slightly crusty texture of grilling imparts makes a red wine come alive in a whole new way!

There are three types of red wines that completely underscore the flavors of grilled foods: Zinfandel, Syrah, and Petite Sirrah -- two of which are in this month's collection!

The simple jammy fruitiness of the Vidal Estate Zinfandel is an easy-going match for grilled vegetables, grilled chicken, and even a simple grilled cheese sandwich -- if that's as much cooking as you want to do on a lazy spring/summer evening!

As for the Jean Harlow Petite Sirrah, don't be fooled by the word "petite." There's nothing small about this wine -- it packs a flavorful punch that holes up beautifully with the rustic flavors of grilled meats of every kind, and pairs perfectly with picnic foods like grilled burger (as well as veggie burgers, believe it or not!)

Just have fun with these wines -- they are playful, yet full of substance to handle any kind of entertaining you have in mind as you head back outside for the summer!

Tasting Notes Video:

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