Earlier this week we had, on successive days, two great wines that went very well with the charcoal-grilled chicken breasts we cooked on the front porch. I suspect this is the last week we'll be able to sit outside in shirtsleeves (although not the last week we'll be charcoal grilling on the front porch), and a glass of chilled, dry white wine hit the spot.
I picked up a bottle of Michigan-made Bowers Harbor Unwooded Chardonnay -- I think 2005 vintage -- at an area wine store having a major clearance sale. This brought the price down to my cheapskate, under-12-bucks limit, but was still something of a splurge. I was glad I found it though -- very light and crisp, with a taste something akin to walking past an orchard in late summer and smelling the aroma of ripening fruit from afar.
Our second find was Monkey Bay Chardonnay from New Zealand, on sale at a local drugstore. This was very special -- so light it was almost like a Riesling, with a distinct note of honey...but crisp, not sweet, and without that somewhat heavy aftertaste that chardonnay can sometimes have. It was very, very good.
(You'll note that we're just two gals in the northwoods with no pretensions to wine snobbery, which is why our wine reviews don't quite sound like the ones in glossy lifestyle magazines.)
And just a reiteration that grilling with lump charcoal has been one of our best foodie discoveries of the summer -- it imparts a wonderful flavor to foods, isn't loaded with chemicals, and contrary to our assumptions burns quickly. We'll never go back to briquets. And best of all, we have locally produced lump charcoal right here in Outer Podunk. This, our rediscovery of charcoal grilling and our consumption of real brewed iced tea poured right from Mom's china teapot over ice have provided a trifecta of front-porch pleasure this summer.