Innocent Bystander Moscato or Sofia Rose’ With Summer’s Vegetables?

What gives, Summer?  You seem to be giving up some vitality, slowing down a bit.
Summer vegetables have not agreed to your slowing down, by the way.  Tomatoes continue ripening at a crazy pace, keeping our bowls full while providing plenty for the neighborhood chipmunks and deer.

The markets are overflowing with sweet corn, peppers, fragrant herbs and melons dripping with juicy sweetness.

Pairing wines with this plethora of Summer’s veggies is not so easy.  And so it was I found myself roaming the aisles of my wine department, unable to pick a wine for dinner.

Me, the Wine Specialist, threw my hands up and came home with two wines; a dry rose’ and a sweet moscato.

Part of my indecision…. yes, that’s what we will call it, came from my dinner menu.  One dish, a salad of watermelon, tiny tomatoes and cucumber promised to be a bit sweet.  The other dish, a pizza with caramelized leeks, fresh basil and thyme, roasted sweet corn and fresh mozzarella was more savory. Well really, what’s a Wine Specialist to do?

For my drier selection, I picked the Sofia Coppola Rose’.  This wine combines 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Syrah in this particular vintage (2013).  Grapes are cold-soaked 48 hours, giving this wine its vibrant color concentration.

For my sweeter selection I chose the Innocent Bystander Moscato.  It utilizes old vine Muscat Gordo and Black Muscat grapes from Australia’s northern Victoria area.  The juice is cold fermented under pressure to specific sugar, alcohol and CO2 measurements which, according to their site, “requires some pretty specific fermenting vessels, a wing and a prayer. But we have practice.”

What a charmer this Sofia Coppola wine is with it’s elegant bottle and rich, intense color!  The concentrated color holds dark fruit aromas of plum, black raspberry and ripe tangerine.  The palate is full of plum and red fruits with a floral hint and a little bite of citrus rind.  This is a dry rose’ and it’s darker fruits and lack of sweetness allowed it to pair well with the savory notes of the roasted corn kernels and the fresh herbs.

The Innocent Bystander Moscato is equally as charming with its pretty pink color and creamy bubbles!  Summer-ripe aromas of peaches, tangerine, cherry and fresh lime are caught up in the bubbles.  The palate is also rich and creamy, filled with cherries and vanilla, juicy melon and a drizzle of honey.  This sweet wine finishes almost dry, very clean, with the bubbles providing a nice lively pizazz.  The melon in our salad was so juicy and the tomatoes so ripe and sweet, this Moscato was delicious alongside.

Thank you, Summer, for your gift of too many vegetables! Even as you are slowing down, the vegetables just keep on ripening. I believe Summer was pleased with my decision, or was it indecision?  When it comes to Summer’s vegetables for dinner, two wines are always better than one!

Moments of indecision;
Pairing with summer vegetables;
Wine drinkers who prefer a dry rose’, or who prefer a sweet wine with lovely bubbles.

About the author: Sue Navratil

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