| Booze |

Six porch-poundable white wines for hot summer nights

Porch pound-er (n): A highly technical, wine industry term referring to a wine which, after as little as one sip, uncontrollable guzzling of said wine occurs almost immediately. Exaggerated licking of lips and eye-rolling ensue as accompaniments.Typically, the wine is extremely affordable and has a tendency to be a crowd-pleaser.

When it comes to choosing the perfect porch pounder, everyone's bound to have their favorites -- these are wines you cannot wait to drink on a balmy midsummer's eve, preferably enjoyed on the comfort of your very own porch. If, however, you happen to be of the porch-less persuasion, you may still enjoy these wines while cozily ensconced on your picnic blanket, floaty chair or couch. While the wine recs below happen to be white, the term "porch pounder" is an equal opportunity one: They come in pink and red varieties, too. Drink on...

The Infamous Goose Sauvignon Blanc 2009 ($11): What is it that makes New Zealand sauvignon blanc so unbelievably delish? Maybe it's the oh-so-grassy green aromas, beckoning images of sun-soaked days in the vineyards. Or it could be the tangy-tart flavors of lemon zest, freshly cut pineapple and mango that positively zip across your tongue. This wine is a textbook example of all that fantastic-ness and then some. Lots of this wine + abundant sunshine = a perfect summer sipfest.

Paso Y Paso Verdejo 2009 ($10): Are you one of these "late adopters" who've somehow still never enjoyed the innumerable pleasures of Spanish white wine? If you are, consider the fact that Spain makes some of the most infinitely quaffable (and thereby certifiably porch pound-able) whites around. Is this wine as refreshing as a lap in an infinity pool on a 90-degree day? Check. Is it chock-full of delightful mandarin orange, limeade, and fresh nectarine flavors? Check and double-check. Does it cost waaaaay less than it reasonably should, given that it tastes so damn good? You'll definitely think so.

Crios Torrontes 2009 ($13): Oh, torrontes...why doth others forsake you? It's a mystery as to why this widely-planted Argentinean grape gets so little love, because it's truly one of the most uniquely fantastic white wines you might ever taste. If you've ever had viognier, torrontes is a lot like that: a lush, voluptuous body, distinctly exotic aromas of white lily, nutmeg and amaretto. What makes it so porch-worthy is how refreshing it remains (where many viogniers do not) in spite of all that delicious decadence. If the aforementioned verdejo is the wine equivalent to jumping into a pool on a hot day, this torrontes is the deep-tissue massage you managed to finagle from your lover when you got out. It's that good.

Venica & Venica Pinot Grigio 2008 ($17): Many, many years ago, after many extremely disappointing glasses of pinot grigio, I swore off of it altogether. Breaking up with an entire varietal is like dumping your long-time hairdresser - it's pretty frickin' tough to walk away. But memories of all too many weak, limpid PGs had me seeking pleasures in other summertime whites...until I recently tasted the Venica & Venica. The color of a freshly-minted penny, it literally tasted like money: flavors of just-picked white peaches and more than a little minerality, all courtesy of the magnificent Fruilian terroir which produced this particular wine. So even though it's a little pricier than your typical porch pounder, its supreme drinkability qualifies it so. Welcome back to pinot grigio!

Berger Grüner Veltliner ($14): If you've ever wondered which wine pairs best with vegetable-based dishes, look no further than this freakishly good grüner from Austria, home to this incredibly versatile grape. Don't worry if you're having trouble pronouncing it now - after a few glasses of this wine it won't matter anyway. What makes it so fantastic? The delectable apricot aromas, followed by the bounty of tropical fruit (think kiwis and papayas) flavors that ensue. Pour with absolutely anything you happen to be eating (chicken tacos to avocado and pumpkin seed salad) and let the magic happen. The only thing better than the taste of this wine is the price: Fourteen measly dollars scores you a LITER of porch-pounding goodness.

Quattro Mani Toh-kai 2008 ($12): When searching for the appropriate word to describe this particular wine, the one that kept coming to mind was "wow." Although the label will tell you that this wine is from Slovenia, don't get spooked: It's practically a stone's throw over the border from the Fruili region of northeastern Italy where lots of tocai is more commonly produced. Never mind all of that.The first thing you'll notice about this wine is the mouthfeel - round and lush, with a silken texture that glides on the tongue. The next thing you'll be stunned by is the taste...there is all kinds of love happening here. A little bit fruity, a little bit nutty, and a little bit minerally equals a whole lot of drinky.

Time to get your porch on.

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