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Drinks: Summer is for sauvignon blanc

Sauvignon blanc, a refreshing summer choice.

Sauvignon blanc, a refreshing summer choice. Credit: AP

The summer hunt for good white wine at $20 or less is under way. Refresh yourself with some sauvignon blanc.

The 2011 Franciscan Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($17) gives you plenty of citrus and tropical fruit, as well as a minerally note. It's a versatile white, fine as a sipper and with food that has a spicy kick, especially Asian.

The 2011 Hess Select North Coast Sauvignon Blanc ($11) delivers notes of lemongrass and grapefruit, in a package that works especially well with sauteed or grilled fish, Mexican fare, prosciutto and melon.

And the 2011 Matanzas Creek Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ($20) balances suggestions of grapefruit, lemon and lime, plus a hint of herbs. The wine is ready for seafood salad, smoked fish, Thai food, even Tex-Mex.

To go with Indian cuisine, salads, pasta with pesto: the 2011 Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Sauvignon Blanc ($16) comes across with passion fruit, citrus and a trace of grassiness.

The 2011 Clif Family "The Climber" Sauvignon Blanc ($14) reaches its peak with a taste of lemon and pineapple, and a slight whiff of vanilla. The grapes are from Mendocino and Lodi. Puts you in the mood for grilled pork or grilled chicken.

Crisp and satisfying: the 2010 Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc ($13), good with either grilled or fried calamari, sauteed scallops, grilled shrimp.

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