Summer Whites Perfect for a Costa Rican Summer Vacation

My daredevil 7 year old who ziplined upside down every chance she had

One thing that I’ve learned in my travels is that the wine cellar at my house usually has a much better selection (and certainly is a much more cost effective choice) than buying wine from a resort.  So, when traveling to Mexico (or in this case Costa Rica), I put a case of assorted bottles together in a shipper, check it with the airline and hope the wine arrives intact (it always has).

This trip, I received several samples that I knew were Costa Rica vacation worthy.  The first was from my friends at J Vineyards & Winery.  You may remember that I had a chance to sit down with Kathryn Lindstrom, COO, and Melissa Stackhouse, winemaker, during the recent Sonoma in the City visit in the Spring and I was a big fan of their wines.   They shipped me a sample of the 2011 J Pinot Gris that was perfect for the beach.  It had notes of tropical fruits including banana and pineapple with a fresh crispness and minerality.

The second set of samples included the 2011 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone North Red Rocks! and 2012 Stepping Stone by Cornerstone North Coast White Rocks! with the new packaging that I mentioned during my March Napa trip.   I love the winery’s philosophy of making the best possible blend based on the blends of Southern France for a price that is affordable.   We tried both the red and white with new friends with rave reviews and lots of label picture taking on their end.

On the red, I got big notes of red fruits – both stone fruit and berries, spiciness and a juicy mouth feel when drinking this wine.  It was perfect with my husband’s grilled steak but didn’t overwhelm my grilled fish.  The white was crisp and great for outdoor patio weather.  The wine had lots of fruitiness with notes of floral, tropical fruit, apple and pear. It was perfect with the ceviche and mahi-mahi freshly caught that morning by my wonderful family.

I also was able to find a refreshing wine at the resort that was a Chilean sparkling wine.  I saw the bottle listed for $11 on the Internet. Let’s just say that you couldn’t get a glass of that at the Four Seasons Resort at that price.  Undurraga sources grapes from Central Chile including Maipo made in a New World style with lots of strawberry, minerality and crispness.  It was an unexpected find in Paradise.