Wine of the Week
It may not be officially summer yet, but the temperatures keep on rising, and white before Labor Day is all the rage - white wine that is. Another fun California blend with a foxy label just made it on to the Gainesville scene: The Foxtail White Blend. Even though the back label reads a little like a drunken Aesop’s fable, the wine is light and refreshing at a great price.
Foxtail Non-Vintage White Table Wine gives no clues to the varietal blend on the label, though the aromas speak of Chardonnay and Viognier. When I looked at its website and found that Muscat is the Viognier substitute, it all made sense. There is floral quality to the nose that is common between these two varietals, though Muscat is often thought to make only sweet wines like Italy’s Moscato d’Asti or California’s dessert Orange Muscats. Muscat can be vinified dry, much like its fragrant cousin, Viognier. Viognier is more often part of the southern Rhone white blend, and gives complexity to the nose of classic dry varietals like Grenache Blanc, Roussane and Marsanne.
The Foxtail is not a dessert wine. The nose is deceptively sweeter than the palate reveals, which makes sense, since the rest of the varietals in the blend are Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, known for their tart acidity. I got honeysuckle and honeydew melon at the first whiff, and a palate of tart citrus with a little grapefruit pith on the finish.
The wine has a light viscosity, no doubt from the chardonnay, but it is not oak-driven and most likely is unoaked, to enhance the fresh and fruity qualities. The acids come across on the mid-palate and back-palate, which make it ideal for pairing with light appetizers, creamy seafood dishes or a souped-up mac-and-cheese. The complexity of the nose and the very reasonable price, about $9 per bottle, can make it a great choice on a hot afternoon by the pool.
- Daniel Eddy, Manager at Gator Spirits, Westgate. Gainesville’s Wine Pairing Examiner