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By Simone Diament
Red From California:
THREE THIEVES 2002 NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON
($9.99 a liter at Wolfes's and at Sunset Corner). This 100% Napa Valley California jug wine with a screw cap is great for everyday drinking or summer entertaining. If serving wine from a jug turns you off, you can always pour it into a decanter before bringing it to the table. Not only you get more for your buck (a liter is 33.8 ounces and a 750 ml is 25.4 ounces), but it's deep purple color and fresh taste is guaranteed to please. As Sunset Corner's Mike Bittel explained: "The "Three Thieves" are three California wine insiders who: 1. Know all the best winemakers. 2. Know them well enough to convince them to "liberate" a few very good barrels of wine for each new project. 3. In turn promise not to divulge their sources. 4. Bottle it in large One Liter jugs that you can screw open or close up in a hurry. 5. Don't make very much so you won't find it everywhere. 5. SELL IT CHEAP."
Whites From France
CHÂTEAU DE BEAUCASTEL 2001 RESERVE PERRIN CÔTE DU RHÔNE
($8.99 At Publix, Crown)This golden hued, dry white is made of the traditional Grenache Blanc (50%) blended with 20% Bourboulene, 10% Marsanne, 10% Rousanne, and 10% Viognier grapes. It is an intense wine with body, a good structure, herbal qualities and aromatic nose of lush peach and summer flowers. The balance between fruit and acidity is quite seductive and goes well with spicy cuisine.
CHÂTEAU VILLOTE 2002 RAUZAN BORDEAUX
($7.19 at Publix ) Light bodied, straw colored, this white Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle grapes. It is dry yet fruity with hints of citrus and honeysuckle. Refreshing on a sultry summer afternoon.
Whites from Italy
2002 FONTANA CANDIDA FRASCATI ($8.99)
From vineyards near Rome growing on volcanic soil, a crisp and fruity white with a delicate bouquet of wild flowers and fruit and a hint of almonds.
2002 ECCO DOMANI PINOT GRIGIO DELLE VENEZIE ($9.99)
This is one of my favorites: rich, fruity, aromatic yet crisp and well-balanced with a delicate citrus acidity and pronounced hints of green fruit. Delightful.
ZARDETTO PROSECCO, ITALIAN FINE SPARKLING WINE. NO VINTAGE
($ 9.99) Sparkling wine from Zardetto grapes with a light fruity bouquet it is well enjoyed as an aperitif or in a bellini. Goes well with cold chicken and poached fish. Serve it chilled.