2010 Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand; $16
With warmer weather on the way, the search for lighter more fruit-driven wines that work with grilled foods is a nightly adventure at my house. This sauvignon blanc delivers, starting with a nose full of grapefruit and citrus, which continues to develop in the mouth. Once the wine hits the mouth, the flavors explode with layers of fresh ripe citrus, hints of fresh jalapeno peppers and a lemon grass note. The pepper flavor is not a hot, spicy note, but more of a fresh-from-the-garden flavor. The finish has fantastic notes of herbs and a terrific note of acidity that really keeps this wine fresh. This is a terrific wine for seafood or almost any grilled chicken or pork.
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Alize Bleu Passion, France; $19
This is a unique blend of passion fruit, cherries, ginger and French vodka. It has a striking blue color and an aroma that is divine. The scents of passion fruit and sweet cherries are the most pronounced. Once the flavors hit the mouth, it is out of this world. The sweetness of the fruit notes with a touch of the spice from the ginger blend together perfectly to make a truly outstanding cocktail. It is not overly sweet. It's balance makes it terrific for sipping on the rocks or adding to champagne for a new touch on mimosas. It would also work well in a variety of cosmopolitans or mixed with other light spirits. The combinations of drinks are endless when you have such a great base to work with.
Lain Bradford is a wine writer and reviewer who has achieved his first level master sommelier certificate and is working toward his Certified Wine Educator degree. He only writes about beverages that are available in South Carolina and Georgia. Follow him on Twitter under the name "winereview."