Palette to Palate

By Schneider, Sara; Linberg, Joanna | Sunset, March 2016 | Go to article overview

Palette to Palate


Schneider, Sara, Linberg, Joanna, Sunset


Your favorite hues may lead you to your best wine. Sound crazy? Read on.

YOU LIKE

Bold, masculine shades

Not shy with your style, you lean toward saturated colors--indigo, terra-cotta, and olive--inspired by the Middle East or Mediterranean. But this palette is more than a heavy hammer: The gray tempers the impact, and the sheerest coral elevates it. Find the palette's match in boldly structured Cabernet Sauvignon, a so-called "international variety" whose character garners the appreciation of audien ces worldwide. The wine's firm tannins and dark fruit flavors mirror the strength of the colors. Add layers of cedar, tobacco, and espresso, all rounded out by a touch of spice, and the message is clear: there's an elegance to power. WINE PICKS: Amavi Cellars 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley; $33); Laurel Glen 2013 "Counterpoint" Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma Mountain; $40); Medlock Ames 2013 "Fifty Tons" Cabernet Sauvignon (Alexander Valley; $60).

YOU LIKE

Luxe neutrals

You revel in the sophistication of neutral tones. Subtle variations in color--think warm cream to caramelized gold--make room for nuance: The loose weave of a drape or the mottled surface of a ceramic vase is more noticeable without visual competition. In the same way, winemakers use the blank canvas of Chardonnay to add hints of toast, spice, and vanilla from oak, shooting for a rich, creamy mouth-feel. And just as neutral colors pop if they have a hint of underlying vibrancy, America's favorite white is at its best when acidity and minerality balance out its richness. WINE PICKS: Albatross Ridge 2013 Estate Chardonnay (Monterey County; $55); Foxen 2014 Block UU Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay (Santa Maria Valley; $32); Patz & Hall 2013 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay (Russian River Valley; $44). …

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