So when a friend gave me a a bottle of Montinore Estate's 2010 Borealis, a crisp white blend of traditionally German grapes, I thought it would be months before I opened it. But this past Saturday it was sunny and warm and I had dinner plans at a restaurant known for it ceviche and the Borealis was calling me.
Truth be told, I'd been wanting to open the Borealis since the moment my friend put it in my hot little hands. I was intrigued that Montinore, a terrific winery out of Oregon, a region where Pinot Gris is the predominant white grape, made a German blend out of Muller-Thurgau, Riesling and Gewurztraminer. There is a good amount of Pinot Gris in there as well (15%), but it drinks like a good drier Riesling. It has an aromatic nose filled with melon, pear and a hint of apple and these are the notes you get on the palate. It has a slight sweetness to it, but not enough to characterize this wine as semi-dry. It has a nice amount of acid, but not an overwhelming amount, which is good because ceviche is basically seafood marinated in acid. The pairing worked out beautifully and this was the first time in a long time that I kicked a bottle of wine at dinner with just one other person (I'm a heavy wine taster and buyer, not a heavy drinker).
As I gear up for spring and summer, I checked out Borealis on http://www.wine-searcher.com/ to see if it's locally available and I found a few stores near me that carry it. I was also pleased to find that at $10 - $15, it could make a good everyday white. Moreover, with its medium body and good acidity, it's something that could pair with something a little heavier than seafood.
So look for the "Northern Whites" as Montinore calls them, at a wine store near you. At this time of the year, I'd much rather enjoy this Borealis than trek up north for Aurora. I've had just about enough of sky masses from Canada.
Until the next sniff, sip quaff or half bottle,