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White Wine Time

Ah, spring is finally arriving in the Northeastern part of the country, New Jersey to be exact. Actually, not only has spring arrived but we had a taste of summer already as well. We had some extreme heat a week or so ago that prompted us to take a look at our white collection in our cellar. Being the huge red wine fans we are, we really don’t touch our white wines until the weather heats up. Since white wines do not typically store as long as red wines, I was careful in selecting which whites we took out as the first bottles of the 2009 white wine season. I knew we had a lot of whites, but to my surprise we had some Napa Valley treasures from our trip two years ago in July. It is always exciting to me to try wines I have not sampled in a while and there is something so outstanding about the crisp cool flavors of white wine on hot day that makes me wonder sometimes why I am not more of white drinker. Then when the temp drops at night and I crack a bottle of red following the crisp white, it all comes back to me. Not to take anything away from the whites, trust me they are wonderful, but for me it is all about the temperature. It must be hot for me to drink cool wines. As they say to each his own. Anyway, back to the Napa Valley treasures…I pulled out a few bottles of Saddleback Cellars. I had forgotten just how brilliant these wines were, however, I should know as we visited Venge Vineyards last year and loved all of their wines and Saddleback is in the family. Nils Venge produces Saddleback wines, while his son Kirk Venge produces the Venge Vineyards wines. I guess in my mind I knew the connection, but I really had forgotten how good the Saddleback wines were as we had devoured the reds almost immediately upon returning that summer, but luckily for us, we still had some whites hidden down there. As I tasted the Viognier that hot afternoon, it all came rushing back. We happened upon Saddleback Cellars by accident on a hot July afternoon while riding around in our rental car. As is our typical MO we looked for winery names we did not know so we could discover new wines. We sat at a picnic table at the edge of the vineyard with our host and one after another enjoyed each wine we were poured. We enjoyed each one to the point that we had a difficult time deciding what to order to be shipped home. Yes, I remember it well as while there are so many good wines out there, a trip to both Saddleback and Venge will definitely be on our list for this year’s trip.

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