The main reason a wine takes on complexity is because of blending. Even when it’s made of just one grape (like Chardonnay), if a wine is at all interesting to you, chances are the blending of different batches is how it got that way.
In a Baroque example of blending, the folks at Sokol Blosser, a leading Oregon winery, offer Evolution, a fragrant, citrus-like, white wine that’s delicious on its own and great with a wide range of light summer fare. Evolution is a blend of nine (yes, nine!) varieties.
The grapes in Evolution’s blend are Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muller-Thurgau, Semillon, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Sylvaner. (While some of these are household names, others are a little more obscure). I was skeptical when I first ran across Evolution, thinking it was a gimmicky, kitchen-sink blend of spurned grapes that didn’t make the grade for premium bottlings. I assumed that with so many varities in the mix, the wine would taste muddy.
But I’m glad I tried it, because, boy, was I wrong. Evolution is clean tasting, refreshing, and oh-so-easy to drink. It’s a great apéritif and a slam-dunk match for Asian flavors that can be tricky to pair with wine (and that might have you reaching for a beer-bottle opener rather than a corkscrew). But don’t wait until the urge strikes for beef satay, tandoori chicken, or a ginger-shrimp stir-fry: Evolution is just as good a match for every night favorites like roast chicken or grilled salmon. (Do stay away from tomato-based dishes, which would overwhelm Evolution’s delightful aromas and flavors.)
The winery won’t disclose the exact percentages in the mix, but what’s clear is that there’s some deft blending going on here. A bottle costs $15. For more information, visit www.evolutionwine.com or www.sokolblosser.com.