As summer finally arrived with a vengeance in New York in mid-August, the basil in my garden was shooting to new heights. As a result, I’ve been making pesto by the quart, and I am always on the lookout for a good wine to match with it.
For me, pesto pasta is a classic dish for the hot summer days that demand white wine, and I’ve usually found that Sauvignon Blanc does the trick. But this time, I was looking for something with a little more richness to stand up to the copious amount of garlic that is the key ingredient in my most recent pesto renditions. So, fresh from travels in Spain, I searched for one of the country's full-bodied white wines.
I chose Fan D. Oro from Bodegas Arzuaga, whose cellars are located near the city of Valladolid in the north central part of the country. Made from Chardonnay and fermented for 30 days in oak barrels, the wine featured a ripe, fruity nose that led to baked apple, peach and pineapple flavors and plenty of vanilla and rich spicy notes on the finish. It was a bit blowsy but provided a good foil to the herbal, garlic and cheese notes of the pesto. I rated it 88 points, non-blind, and it’s a good buy at $15 a bottle.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Bodegas Arzuaga Viño de Mesa White Fan D. Oro 2007 (87, $15)
• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more Top Values among Spanish whites.