Not all of the wine choices I share with you are ones I’ve been sent by the winery to sample. Today’s weekend wine pick is one of those wines that I wasn’t sent; it’s one I tasted at a local wine store and loved enough to buy.

Dry Creek Vineyard 2012 Dry Chenin Blanc was the wine being sampled at the store one Saturday afternoon when I ran in to get some sparkling wine for a special occasion. I was in a hurry, but I wasn’t going to pass up a chance to try a new wine. In the few minutes I was there talking with the employee giving the tasting, we both agreed the Chenin Blanc would be a wonderful wine to pair with cheese.

On its own, the wine is perfectly dry with soft flavors of peach and citrus. I ran with the cheese pairing idea, and I tried the wine with a few different cheeses.  First, I tried some spring cheeses - a simple goat cheese on its own and some Brie on a cracker with a little honey. Very nice.

Then I decided to do something against my usual way of thinking. I tried it with some Maytag Blue Cheese. I almost always pair blue cheese with a bold, jammy red like a Zinfandel, but I was curious. When I tried the wine after having some of the blue cheese, the buttery-ness of the wine came through. It was unexpected, but really pleasing.

I researched Dry Creek’s sustainability initiatives on the website. I was happy to see that like many California wineries, Dry Creek has made sustainability a priority.

Sustainability at Dry Creek Vineyard is a way of life. From our 100% solar energy to the recently completed fish habitat restoration project along the Dry Creek, a sustainable mindset permeates our winery culture.
The website mentions that the ultimate goal is to turn the vineyards over to the third generation of family in the wine business in better conditions than they are today. I applaud that goal.

The next time I put together one of my cheese plates to take to a friend’s house, I’ll probably bring along a bottle or two of the Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc. It sells for around $12 a bottle, making it a very affordable wine to take. I imagine people will think I paid more. 

Wine, beer and spirits disclaimer: I am not paid by any producer of wine, beer or spirits to write about their product, although the company may provide me with a sample of the product. I am not a professional reviewer of wine, beer or spirits. I'll write about the product if it's something that I like and if I think the producer is working toward making the product in an environmentally friendlier fashion.

More weekend wine picks

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Dry Creek Vineyard Dry Chenin Blanc, great for spring cheese pairings
This California white wine comes from a winery that uses 100 percent solar power and employs sustainable farming practices.