Food & Drink

Delicious and affordable white wines for summer enjoyment

Meredith Smith is the head winemaker for Sawtooth Winery in Nampa, Idaho. When she isn’t working with red wine grapes, she produces delicious white and pink wines.
Meredith Smith is the head winemaker for Sawtooth Winery in Nampa, Idaho. When she isn’t working with red wine grapes, she produces delicious white and pink wines. Great Northwest Wine

Make some room in your refrigerator because it’s time to keep a few bottles of delicious Northwest white and pink wines on hand.

There is nothing quite like a chilled, refreshing glass of wine to enjoy on the back deck after a long, warm day, and we have compiled a list of eight affordable white and rosé wines using Northwest grapes. All are priced at $15 or less.

We tend to look for wines that offer crisp acidity, which means they are more likely to pair well with a wide variety of dishes. Enjoy these versatile wines with fresh seafood and grilled meats, particularly chicken or pork.

Ask for these at your favorite wine merchant or contact the wineries directly.

▪ Wind Rose Cellars 2015 Rosato, Yakima Valley, $15: Olympic Peninsula vintner David Volmut’s Italian-themed rosé focuses on fruit from Lonesome Spring Ranch. The blend of Dolcetto and Sangiovese offers an alluring strawberry/rhubarb color with aromas to match, including Rainier cherry, nectarine and a rub of dried herbs. The fluid is refreshing with delicate red fruit flavors akin to raspberry, Rainier cherry and cranberry. (12 percent alcohol.)

▪ Jones of Washington 2015 Riesling, Ancient Lakes of Columbia Valley, $10: This serves as a quintessential Washington Riesling – led by tropical aromas with hints of ambrosia salad and apricot. The flavors remain fruit-driven, but they mimic Golden Delicious apple, Asian pear and more apricot. (12.7 percent alcohol.)

▪ Skyfall Vineyard 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $12: This Chardonnay is loaded with the fruity tones, opening with aromas of white peach, cotton candy and apricot blossom as buttery and nutty notes are released as the chill comes off. The rewarding mouth feel brings flavors of starfruit, nectarine, Gala apple and orange pith as lemon oil lingers in the finish. (13 percent alcohol.)

▪ Cloudlift Cellars 2014 Lucy Rosé of Cabernet Franc, Yakima Valley, $14: Seattle vintner Tom Stangeland crafted this as a tribute to Provence, light in color with delicate aromas of dusty strawberry and dried Rainier cherry. The structure brings crushed cherries and white strawberry flavors, leading to a finish of black currant skin. That bit of grip in the finish allows it to work with salmon or lightly grilled meats. (13.4 percent alcohol.)

▪ Sawtooth Estate Winery 2013 Chardonnay, Snake River Valley, $12: Boise native Meredith Smith continues her impressive work in Idaho’s Snake River Valley with this beautiful Chardonnay that imparts aromas of sweet toast, cotton candy, caramel apple and dried pear with hints of butter, rosemary and minerality. Complexity follows on the rich and delicious palate, offering flavors of Ginger Gold apple and Asian pear. (13 percent alcohol.)

▪ Pacific Rim Winemakers 2014 Wallula Vineyard Dry Riesling, Horse Heaven Hills, $15: Aromas of elderflower, lime, Granny Smith apple, fresh herbs and jicama lead to bright flavors of dried pear and dried apple with grapefruit pith and a pleasing finish of slate as there’s no sign of any sugar. (13 percent alcohol.)

▪ Sagelands Vineyard 2014 Riesling, Columbia Valley, $9: This expressive, off-dry and affordable Riesling gets a boost from Gewürztraminer and Chenin Blanc. Orange blossom, pink grapefruit, peach and vanilla taffy aromas transition to a delicious combination of white peach, honeydew melon and spearmint flavors. A penetrating injection of Meyer lemon and Key lime juice tightens up the listed residual sugar of 2 percent. It’s yet another example that Washington rocks Riesling. (11.7 percent alcohol.)

▪ Tamarack Cellars 2015 Rosé of Mourvèdre, Wahluke Slope, $15: The peach color leads to generous aromas of dried strawberry, light cherry and lime peel with a pinch of dried oregano. Inside, it’s an easy bone-dry drink of Rainier cherry and lingonberry with a fascinating mouth feel that’s backed by Montmorency cherry tartness. white strawberry and more dried herbs. Enjoyed with a loaf of fresh crusty bread, olive oil, olives and soft cheeses. (12.7percent alcohol.)

Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, an award-winning news and information company. Learn more about wine at