Wine Time

Dennis Sodomka is a guest columnist | Contact Dennis

Wine Time: The Beach House White 2012, South Africa

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COST: $9-11

WHAT: Summer sipping season is upon us, and I’m always looking for a light, refreshing white wine to add to my hot-weather list. The Beach House now is high on that list.

It’s difficult to find an inexpensive wine that can stand up to the heat, be served as an aperitif and pair well with a light summer meal. The Beach House White scores on all fronts.

The colorful label makes you think you’re at the beach, and inside is a beautiful straw-colored wine that opens with mellow citrus aromas. The taste is bold, but not overpowering. There are plenty of citrus flavors, especially lime and grapefruit.

The mouthfeel is lively and refreshing, with lots of bracing acidity.

The wine is 80 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 20 percent Semillon from the Cape Coastal region of South Africa. The Semillon smooths out the sharp citrus of the Sauvignon Blanc.

I was especially delighted when I found the wine at the Piggly Wiggly at Edisto Beach, S.C., priced at $9.49, with a coupon attached for another dollar off. Every time I have this wine I will think about the great time we had at the beach with our children, grandchildren and Teri’s sister and brother-in-law.

Serve the wine well chilled and don’t keep it in the cellar for more than a year. It’s made to be drunk young, while it is still fresh. The wine should be widely available throughout the Southeast.

WINERY: The Beach House is one of the brands owned by DGB, a large South African wine company that traces its roots to French Huguenots who arrived in South Africa in the 17th century.

Douglas Green started the company in 1938 when he bought a liquor business in the city of Paarl. The company changed hands several times and merged with other wine companies.

The company became DGB in 1997 and continued to grow. Top management bought 80 percent of the company in 1999. It now owns 13 major wine labels.

Introduced to the United States market about two years ago, The Beach House White has become the biggest selling South African wine in the country. Beach House also produces a Pinot Grigio, a Rose (from Pinotage grapes) and a red blend made up of Shiraz, Mourvedre and Viognier.

GOES WITH: My wife, Teri, and I put this wine to the test. We drank it in a beach house at Edisto Beach with a dinner of fried shrimp, hush puppies, fried potato wedges and salad. It was perfect.

This wine was made for seafood, and pairing with fried shrimp. The citrusy, tropical fruit flavors brought out the best in the shrimp and didn’t clash with the accompanying zesty cocktail sauce.

Teri’s daughter, sister and brother-in-law, my son Michael and his friend all loved the wine. It is a perfect summer refresher, whether sitting on the deck on a hot afternoon, or looking out on the waves crashing on the beach.

It would go well with all kinds of seafood (especially crab and scallops), grilled chicken, smoked turkey, creamy pasta or even sushi.

WINE EVENTS

THURSDAY, JUNE 6

Wine and tapas tasting, 5-6:30 p.m., La Maison on Telfair, 404 Telfair St.; four wines and three tapas, $19.99; (706) 722-4805

FRIDAY, JUNE 7

Wine and beer tasting, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; (706) 922-9463

Wine tasting, 6-8 p.m., Evans Towne Market, 4460 Washington Road, Evans; wines, cheese and crackers and live music most Fridays; $5; (706) 303-8591

Wine tasting, 5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; three whites, three reds, cheeses; $5 with rebate on purchase of one bottle of the featured wines; (803) 279-9522

SATURDAY, JUNE 8

Wine and beer tasting, 2-6 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; (706) 922-9463

THURSDAY, JUNE 20

Wine tasting, 5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; three whites, three reds, cheeses; $5 with rebate on purchase of one bottle of the featured wines; (803) 279-9522


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