Rita Di Lello, a busy traveling professional who loves to entertain at home, is also the V.P. National Accounts On-Premise of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, a sponsor of our Bay Area Idea House. Here, she tells us her ideal weekend evening with wine and apps.
1. J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
With flavors of ruby grapefruit, passion fruit and fresh fig, this dazzling wine goes great with grilled jumbo shrimp with remoulade sauce. J. Lohr’s beloved Carol’s Vineyard in Napa Valley is named after Jerry Lohr’s wife, Carol, who passed away from breast cancer. J. Lohr donates $2 of every bottle sold of this wine to fund mammograms for women in need. I love to start the evening with this wine. It’s an amazing Sauvignon Blanc and I always get a good feeling knowing that I am contributing to the National Breast Cancer Foundation with each bottle that I buy.
2. J. Lohr Estate Bay Mist White Riesling
With just a touch of sweetness, this is a fantastic choice for guests who are just getting into wine. At the same time, it’s quite complex with lovely layers of lychee, pear, lemongrass, tangerine and roses. Try it with a vine-ripened caprese salad. For a twist, I like to drizzle pesto on my salad instead of balsamic.
3. J. Lohr Highlands Bench Pinot Noir
Pinot is a perfect all-around red that pairs with an amazing array of foods, and this one is an absolute gem. Grown in Monterey County’s renowned Santa Lucia Highlands, it offers gorgeous layers of lush red berry fruit that pair beautifully with blue cheese-stuffed figs wrapped in prosciutto, and then baked and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
4. J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon
Seven Oaks has helped to introduce a global audience to the amazing wines of Paso Robles, and for good reason! With its velvety tannins and voluptuous layers of black cherry, chocolate and hazelnut, it’s a silky and seductive wine. I like to pair it with one of my favorite apps—cooked Applewood bacon dipped in maple syrup and baked. The combination of savory, salty and sweet is delicious.