So what does one drink while commemorating the yeoman job the tree, a Bradford pear, did over seven years of blocking the sun and doing what it could to keep the house cooler? Obviously, nothing with oak:
? Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Bernkastleler Riesling Kabinett 2010 ($21, sample, 7.5%). The high temperature was 104 the day the tree fell, so it was a trifle warm when my neighbor, Dave Hangar (perhaps the best plumber in Dallas) sawed while I gathered most of the branches out of the street. The Dr. Pauly was everything German riesling should be — lovely and balanced and off-dry, with low alcohol, candied lemon fruit, and a little petrol. A beautiful wine.
? Bodegas Valdesil MonteNovo 2010 ($18, purchased, 12.5%). I bought six bottles of this Spanish white (made with the godello grape) for $4 each at a sale, little knowing how handy it would come in over the past couple of weeks of 100-degree weather. It ?s still fresh and lively, with enough lemon and citrus to be noticeable and refreshing. More sophisticated than less expensive Spanish wine, and more of a food wine — seafood paella, perhaps?
? La Fiera Pinot Grigio 2012 ($8, purchased, 12%). The Wine Curmudgeon ?s antipathy to pinot grigio is well known, but I also have tremendous respect for La Fiera, which makes some of the best $10 wine in the world. In this case, the producer won out: This is quite possibly the perfect pinot grigio — a little lemon fruit and a restrained, quinine-like finish, three flavors, and not overdone in any way, Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2014 $10 Hall of Fame.