Story and photos by Dwight Casimere
ASTORIA "CARANTO" PINOT NOIR ($11) A WARM WEATHER CROWD PLEASER
Hand harvesting of Pinot Noir grapes
Astoria "Caranto" Pinot Noir IGT ($11) is the perfect match for everything you'll serve at your summer soiree. Light-bodied and food friendly, the wine is bursting with the flavors of summer; ripe red raspberry and strawberry. Summer barbecues were made for this wine, that pairs with just about everything. Served lightly chilled, the flavors seem to get even brighter. The wine is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, and is one of the finest representations of this notoriously finicky grape. Grown at high altitude, the grapes are hand-picked at harvest. The wine is carefully fermented under very cool temperatures to preserve the delicate fruit flavor. It is then cleared and stabilized and allowed to age a couple of months in the bottle, giving it a nice rounded flavor and added character. There's a lot of quality packed into this wine for the price. It has a nice, deep ruby color to start with. When you open the bottle, you're greeted with an intense, but pleasant aroma of bright red fruit. The flavor is everything you would expect from a quality pinot noir. It's straightforward without a lot of fuss. Savor the fruit flavors and the hint of rosemary and white pepper as you reach for that second helping of succulent barbecue ribs and you'll wish that summer days and nights could linger just a little longer.