Since 1929, Joe Muer has been one of the most trusted names in the city for fine dining. What most people don’t realize, is that fine dining doesn’t have to be intimidating.
General Manager and Sommelier John Rodriguez has been at Joe Muer on the Detroit Riverfront since 2013. This season, he has stepped up to offer his best advice on creating the perfect summer wine list.
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or want to try something new, you just might want to try one, or two.
White: Nortico – 2018 Alvarinho
Next on his list is a new glass of the light, bright flavors of Nortico from northwest Portugal.
“For centuries the people of Portugal have been pulling great seafood out of the ocean. This is a delicate wine that goes well with that diet.”
Because this white originates by the Atlantic Ocean, it naturally goes well with seafood. Aromatic with an orange citrus kick, Nortico is refreshing on a warm summer day.
Pairs well with: steamed mussels
Rosé: Garzon – 2018 pinot noir rosé
When considering a good rosé, Rodriguez suggests sampling Garzon, a youthful pinot noir rosé from Uruguay.
“Rosés were sold in stores and restaurants during the summer, but now you can find them all year round. This is a testament to how enjoyable and refreshing they are.”
Garzon has decent acidity and a bright taste, so it will certainly kickstart your appetite. Try packing it in your picnic basket on a nice day.
Pairs well with: grilled chicken breast
White: Alpha Omega – 2015 un-oak chardonnay
For a heavier white, Rodriguez offers Alpha Omega from the famous Napa Valley in California.
“Chardonnays are typically aged in oak barrels. Chardonnay are traditionally fuller style wines. By having a chardonnay without oak, it allows you to enjoy a fuller style wine without the heaviness of oak treatment.
This approach gives the wine hints of tropical flavors such as pineapple, cantaloupe, golden apple and more.
Pairs well with: fettuccine alfredo
Red: Lingua Franca – 2016 pinot noir
The last wine selection is Lingua Franca from Hope Well Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills region of Willamette Valley, Oregon.
“This particular blend was created by master sommelier Larry Stone, who envisioned a balanced, well-structured wine.”
The Lingua Franca offers fruity flavors similar to something from California while also offering an earthy quality usually found in Burgundy. Try a glass when enjoying a meal on the patio on a crisp summer night.
Pairs well with: grilled salmon
Red: Syrah – 2012 red grape
If you’re looking for a more intricate selection, Rodriguez recommends Syrah from the Durand region in Cornas in Northern Rhone, France.
“As the wine sits in the bottle, it softens and creates layers, becoming more complex. The dark black fruit flavors in the wine make it have more weight than a Pinot Noir.”
Syrah typically is a touch smoky with less tannin than Cabernet Sauvignon so it makes it perfect to enjoy while grilling outdoors on a hot day. Cabernets are delicious, but can be too heavy and dry on a hot summers night.
Pairs well with: peppercorn steak or lamb
When it comes to ordering the perfect wine, it helps to ask an expert. Stop by Joe Muer’s happy hour and try one (or more) today. Just keep in mind, when sampling more than one wine, best practice calls for starting with the lightest and making your way to the darkest, so try them in the order they are listed.