Come home to an uplifting white


POSTED: Friday, September 11, 2009

It is truly amazing to see the growing number of people who have started to enjoy wine at home. Finishing off a hectic day at work with a cool, thirst-quenching glass of white wine is a great way to lift your spirits, don't you think?

Over the years, I've found off-dry to dry, lighter-bodied, very crisp and refreshing wines with low to moderate alcohol levels work really well.

Save the bigger, fuller, more complex wines—like oaky Chardonnays—for times when you are already relaxed and want something to think about or savor with a complete meal. Consider a “;country-styled”; white wine from the Mediterranean basin instead; Greek Moschofilero, Italian Vermentino, Southern French Picpoul, Spanish Albarino and Portuguese Vinho Verde are all worth a look.

Also, consider dry to slightly sweet, effortlessly light German Rieslings. Talk about refreshing!

FOR THOSE who prefer red wine, doesn't a glass of delicious, savory, soothing red sound delicious? For lighter reds, look for artisan, handcrafted CRU Beaujolais vintages for really value-oriented, absolutely delicious finds. Producers such as Chignard and Diochon, Dupeuble, Thivin, Chanrion and Foillard will not disappoint.

For medium-bodied wines, there are more and more stunning, intriguingly spiced Malbec-based wines from Argentina making their way to Hawaii. The gorgeous 2007 Dona Paula (roughly $16 a bottle) is a stellar example.

This also makes for a perfect segue to my next helpful hint: recommended serving temperature. You will be amazed how much of a difference this will make!

For white wines, I suggest always having one chilled and ready to go in your home refrigerator. For the Beaujolais, just put the bottle in the fridge for 10 to 12 minutes, then serve. For the Malbec, try eight minutes or so.

Glassware can also make quite a difference. Rather than weigh in on which are the better brands, however, my last hint is instead a way to make wine glasses more wine-friendly.

The secret is to steep the washed glass in hot, filtered (de-chlorinated) water for a few seconds before air drying or hand polishing. This should help you minimize distracting aromas or any chlorine-induced smells from household cleaning products.

Once you get into the routine, its really gets easier and easier, and you will easily see the results of the extra work.


”;By the Glass”; appears every second Friday in HiLife. To contact Chuck Furuya, visit www.dkrestaurants.com.