Mary Margaret McCamic

Location: Carrboro, NC

Based in North Carolina, I'm a wine instructor at The Chef's Academy and owner of The Clever Vine, a wine consulting and education service. I hold the WSET Diploma and have a strong background in French wine, with a special interest in the Loire Valley.

Summer Drinking 2012

There's absolutely no theme to this list, other than to record the somewhat random selections I'm drinking this summer. I never need an occassion to drink, but this list will record standouts that I've enjoyed with friends, sipped by the pool (as if I really have time for that), had while grilling out with my husband, or any sort of stereotypical summer occasion of the like. As always, cheers!

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Elk Cove Pinot Blanc (2010)
Comments: Medium aromatics, with white peach, floral, and mineral notes. Medium-bodied palate, with medium acidity and body, supple fruit notes, and a soft mouthfeel. Very pleasant, easy-drinking, and lovely for a hot day in NC.
Previously available for $19.99
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2 Grgich Hills Fumé Blanc Napa Valley Dry Sauvignon Blanc (2009)
Comments: Wines from Grgich are just so easy for me to appreciate. Fresh, bright citrus and mineral is softened by subtle oak notes. Yes, it's Fumé Blanc. But it's not stereotypical Fumé Blanc. Balanced, well-crafted, and perfect with grilled fish tacos or some other tasty summer fare. I always wish I had more restraint with these wines - I'd love to see how it'll taste in a few years.
Previously available for $29.99
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3 Jelly Jar Barbera Lake County (2010)
Comments: A wine quite fruitier than I usually tend to go, but it was fun. This Barbera sees some new French oak, and it's not light-bodied or acidic, as some examples, say, from Italy, can be. This is California Barbera, ripe and round, with ripe cherry fruit and sweet spice. Shared it with some friends over rich, braised pheasant and dogs running around in the backyard.
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4 Sherwood Estate Pinot Noir Waipara-Marlborough (2009)
Comments: Medium-bodied, with very clean, bright cherry fruit and sweet spice. I love this wine, and it's perfect in the summer when you want something red but not too heavy. Drank it on the beach with some pork tacos - amazing.
Previously available for $27.05
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5 Gonzalez Byass Tío Pepe (2006)
Comments: Nothing finer than chilled Fino with almonds - crisp, dry, and briny with a refreshing tang, I can drink way too much of this lovely bottle from Jerez.
Average price: $17.99 from 123 stores
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6 Amestoi Rubentis Getariako Txakolina Rose
Comments: The 2011 vintage of this rose is delicious, just like every other vintage I've had. Tart cranberry, refreshing acidity, the perfect little spritz of bubbles - perfection.
Previously available for $22.00
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7 Karl H. Johner Pinot Noir Kaiserstuhl Baden (2008)
Comments: Medium-bodied with black cherry with undertones of sweet spice hopefully make those skeptical about Germany producing some very nice reds think twice. The bright fruit and depth of flavor make this a really nice wine to sip mid-summer.
Previously available for $20.14
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8 G.d. Vajra di Aldo-Langhe Bianco Italy-Piedmont-Langhe Riesling (2009)
Comments: I've got another bottle of this that I'm waiting on, but I couldn't resist opening this one. Delicious - bright, fresh citrus notes up front, and stone fruit, like apricot, on the mid-palate. A refreshing finish. This wine offers a lot now, but will certainly get better, and is a compelling example of Riesling coming out of the Piedmont. A unique, undeniably delicious wine, for sure, and one that got better every day it was open. By day 3, the bottle was (of course) gone.
Previously available for $35.00
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