Troy Smith is the beverage manager at Montage Laguna Beach in Southern California. The oceanfront hotel boasts a wine selection of more than 2200 different labels.
Marketplace asked Troy Smith (who has the rank of an Advanced Sommelier) to pick five wines that pair nicely with summer fare. You can impress your friends without spending a lot of money.
Sauvignon Republic Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2011 $9
This is a classic New Zealand wine. Full of pink grapefruit, passion fruit, and jalapeno. Goes well with ceviche.
Jim Barry Shiraz, Lodge Hill, Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia 2010 $15
Here’s a meat-and-potatoes wine. You’ll find notes of blackberry, plum and licorice with a touch of mint. Great wine for bacon cheeseburgers.
Castello di Romitorio Morellino di Scansano, Tuscany, Italy 2009 $18
This is an emerging wine region on the southern coast of Tuscany. Imagine a wine that is versatile (with a strong cherry character). You can pair with a grilled t-bone or a meat ragu over polenta.
Castellare Chianti Classico, Tuscany, Italy 2009 $25
This is a nice match with a variety of Tuscan dishes from fagioli all'uccelletto to grilled game.
Alain Graillot Crozes Hermitage Rouge, Rhone Valley, France 2008 $30
Pair this elegant, spicy and red-fruited wine with braised lamb shanks.