Many people think that once the weather cools, it’s time to pack away your white wines and start sipping only reds. But this rule is much the same as the one that says you can’t wear white after Labor Day. These days, there are no hard and fast rules about wines!

If you’re still not convinced, this white wine will surely change your mind.

The 2012 North Coast Rocks! Stepping Stone White Wine made by Napa-based Cornerstone Cellars is both elegant and refreshing. Made using a blend of Chardonnay and Muscat Canneli grapes grown on the North Coast of California, it’s certainly not one that you should have to wait until next summer to enjoy.

The color of this dry white wine is a bright sunshine yellow, reminiscent of a summer day. Aromas of lemons and stone fruits including peaches and apricots gently waft up from the glass. With a deeper sniff, one can smell a hint of mango and tangerine mixed with mineral components as if walking on concrete after a warm early afternoon drizzle.

At first sip, one can taste lemons and honeydew melons, with the citrusy tartness of limes and zest. With the second taste, more flavors become apparent, including slightly unripe peaches and meyer lemons. The 2012 North Coast Rocks! Stepping Stone White Wine has a nice balance of acidity that becomes more prominent with the finish. On the lighter side, it would be an excellent pairing with Citrus Scallops or Lemon Piccata Whitefish.

It may be cool outside but that’s no reason to follow old, boring wine rules! Think outside the box and experiment with wines you might not consider sipping during the winter months. Start with the 2012 North Coast Rocks! Stepping Stone White Wine, available at your local wine shop or by ordering from the Cornerstone Cellars website. Suggested retail price $18.

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About the Author: Michele Francisco