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Insight: Heat Wave / Highway 65 Lincoln Bypass / Billy Mills / Kushman By The Bottle: Summer Whites

Heatwave There's a heat wave, my friends, and it could impact all kinds of things in our region. Wednesday is expected to be the hottest day this week - 108 degrees - but temps are expected to remain in the high 90s through the weekend. We'll check in with the weather service, a local doc, the humane society and the director of the State Fair - it starts Thursday - about what to expect and how both people and pets can beat the heat in the city.
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Highway 65 Lincoln Bypass The bypass that will route Highway 65 around the traffic lights of downtown Lincoln is on the verge of completion.  We'll speak with Lincoln's Mayor Pro-Tem, Tom Cosgrove, about the impact the bypass will have on the city and we'll also talk with a Caltrans representative about the cost, size and history of the project.
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Billy Mills His 10,000 meter race for the Olympic gold medal in 1964 has been called "the greatest race of the 20th century" by Running Times. Billy Mills joins us to talk about the legacy of his race as the 2012 Olympics near.
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Listen to the live radio call of Billy Mills' 1964 10,000 meter Olympic race

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Kushman by the Bottle In our July installment of Kushman by the Bottle, Capital Public Radio's resident wine expert (and occasional guest host) Rick Kushman talks about some of the best white wines for summer.
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Kushman's White Wine List:
Sauvignon Blanc/Fume Blanc (same grape): Leaner than chard, can by rich and melony, can be citrusy and a bit grassy, depending on style.

California style: Generally a bit rounder, more filled with melon and tropical fruit and the citrus is mostly grapefruit.

A few picks: Honig (Napa), Provenance (Napa), Lava Cap (El Dorado Cnty), Andis (Amador Cnty), Geyser Peak (Sonoma Cnty).

New Zealand style: Most of the best are from the Marlborough region. They're leaner, grassier, a bit greener, more citrusy and that citrus is more like lime.

A few picks, all from Marlborough: Mahua, Cupcake, Kim Crawford, Cloudy Bay (which was the biggie that launched the craze).

Sauv Blanc with oak: It's often called Fume Blanc, which is a made-up term. But not all Sauv Blanc with oak are called Fume Blanc, and not all Fume Blancs use oak. Sorry. It generally gives it a richer mouthfeel, but does not come out oaky like some Chardonnays.

A few picks: Ferrari Carano (Sonoma), Robert Mondavi (Napa), Grgich Hills (Napa).

Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris (same grape. Also the same grape as Auvergne Gris, Baratszinszoeloe, Fromentot, Spinovy Hrozen and Zelenak, and more than about 100 other names. Never mind about any of them. Just sayin'): Clean, light, easy-to-drink, light fruits like pear, apple and sometimes with a slight nutty undertaste. Gets criticized by wine zealots as innocuous, but perfect for summer. Sometimes the "Gris" means it's more in the French style, which is fruitier, but also has brighter acids. Unless they just use the name. Isn't wine fun?

A few picks: Estancia (California), 3 Blind Moose (California), Montevina (California), King Estate (Oregon), J Vineyards (Sonoma).

Italian Pinot Grigio: Generally leaner, brighter, bit less fruit (not always), but more zip.

A few picks: Santa Margherita, Ruffino, Cielo, Tosca.

Albariño: It's a Spanish grape that grows well in some California spots, especially Clarksburg. It's bright and lemony - but not overly lemony -- and you get a hint of the sea.

A few picks: Three Wine Co. (Clarksburg), Mahoney (Carneros) Dancing Coyote (Clarksburg), Bokisch (Lodi).

Viognier: A star in the foothills. It can have a rich feel in the mouth and at its best, it smells and tastes like a summer garden filled with apricots, peaches, nectarines, honeysuckle, jasmine and orange blossoms.

A few picks: McManus (Lodi), Loredona (Lodi), Lange Twins (Lodi), Cedarville (El Dorado Cnty), Miraflores (Amador), Sobon (Amador), Holly's Hill (El Dorado), Terra Rouge (Amador), David Girard (El Dorado), and many other foothill wineries.

Riesling: Great Rieslings are an explosion of flowers and fresh fruit, including peaches, apricots, melons and more. Some can be sweet, some very dry, and all the good ones have a sense of taughtness, as if the flavors are all strung together tightly. The good ones also have a enough acid in their backbone to balance it all and give them a cleansing snap (without being sour).

A few picks: Kung Fu Girl (Columbia Valley), Chateau Ste. Michelle (Columbia Valley) Trefethen (Napa), Handley (Mendocino).

German Rieslings are the gold standard, and can be very lean and bright, or very rich and sweet. Or rich and bright. They usually have a light minerality and a whiff of petrol - in a very good way. Really.

A few middle-of-the-style picks: Dr Loosen, Trimbach, Blu Feld.

Chenin Blanc: A classic wine in Europe, and one of the best regions in America, and on Earth, for it is Clarksburg. It got its reputation ruined when the name was stuck onto jug wines decades ago. It can be rich and layered with soft, round fruits like pears, peaches, melons and more. One style is to leave it a bit sweet, but still with a snappy, cleansing finish.

A few picks: Blue Plate (Clarksburg), Bogle (Clarksburg), Dry Creek Vineyards (Sonoma winery, Clarksburg fruit), Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier blend (Napa).

Gewürztraminer: Another foothill star, and like Viognier and Riesling, it's what summer is supposed to taste like, with stone fruits and white flowers, plus loads of spices including ginger (or ginger bread), nutmeg, and vanilla. Don't be put off by the old, sweet versions from decades past.

A few picks: Fetzer (California), Bargetto (Monterey), Husch (Mendocino), Navarro (Mendocino), J Lohr (Monterey), Dancing Coyote (Clarksburg), Trimbach (Germany)

Moscato: Hottest new wine in America, especially with beginning wine drinkers. Filled with flowers and honey and spicy orange flavors. The most popular California versions are made a bit sweet (or way sweet).

A few picks: Trinitas (Napa), Little Black Dress (California), Menage a Trois (Napa), Fetzer (California), Lange Twins (Lodi), Terra d'Oro (Amador), Jacob's Creek (Australia).

Grüner Vetliner: An Austrian grape that was really hot a couple years ago. It's kind of like Moscato all grown up. Filled with luscious fruit but also leaner and brighter and interesting. It's nickname is GruV. How do you not like a wine called groovy?

A few picks: Dancing Coyote (Clarksburg), Zocker (San Luis Obispo/Edna Valley). Most others are Austrian, but when you see it on a wine list, it's usually an underpriced surprise.

Vermentino: It's a fresh, zippy Italian white that grows very well in Lodi, and it tastes like you're sitting somewhere looking at the Mediterranean. It's got a light, clean sensibility (like a lot of Italian whites), but some aromatic fruits, too.

A few picks: Uvaggio (Lodi), Mahoney (Napa), Jacuzzi (Sonoma).

Torrontes: An underappreciated white from Argentina. It's light, easy to drink, and kind of a cross between Moscato and Gewürztraminer with spices and summer fruits but with less, or no, sense of sweetness.

A few picks: Alamos (Argentina), Crios (Argentina), Diseño (Argentina).

Conundrum: This is the name of one white blend. It's about $20 in stores, give or take, and is usually made with a different blend of grapes every year (they try not to say, hence the name), but it is thoroughly delicious, and in a way, a combo of all of the above. Great for people unsure about wine, great for folks who like complex wines. It smells like the tropics and tastes like a fruit bowl, but has enough of a backbone to make for serious food and wine pairings, too.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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