May 24, 2010
Wines that Pair Perfectly with Summer
Whether it's for a backyard bbq or dinner with friends, I'd like to share a few of my favorite wines to drink during summer!
There are still some misconceptions about Rose wines. I hear people say "they are typically from jug wines, cheap, not of the highest quality, somewhat sweet..." I often wonder what Rose's are being described when I hear this, because the Rose's I have tried are dry, refreshing, crisp and are a perfect fit for grilling fish, chicken, pork and with bbq in general. Rose's are made from a variety of different grape varietals such as Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir just to name a few. The 2008 Etude Rose of Pinot Noir Carneros, around $24.00, is one of the best Rose's I've ever tasted. This salmon pink Rosé of Pinot Noir offers vibrant aromas of fresh framboise strawberries, red cherries and sweet blood oranges. Flavors of strawberry rhubarb and cherry persist on the palate and combine with a pleasing note of minerality. The perfectly-balanced acidity makes this wine a wonderful compliment to many types of food.
Another wine option to keep in mind for enjoying on the patio this summer is Sauvignon Blanc. There are so many to recommend, so I'll keep it simple and describe one that has impressed me of late. The Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc, which retails for around $20.00, is pale green straw in color. Rich aromatics of fresh lime juice, elderflower, lemongrass, grilled citrus and ripe nectarine. The palate is concentrated and dense, yet retains remarkable linearity and focus. Zesty citrus, stone fruit, herb and floral flavors fill the mouth and a fine chalky mineral texture tightens and focuses the finish. The wine finishes long and powerful, crisp, clean and dry.
Sparkling wine, such as Cava or Prosecco are great inexpensive alternatives if you normally enjoy drinking Champagne. Santa Margherita Prosecco is delicate and dry with long-lasting, concentrated bubbles and fresh aromas of peach and apples. Up-front floral flavors are followed by a mixture of lychee and lemon citrus. This wine is fresh and lively, with a well-balanced acidity and retails for around $20.00 a bottle. Spanish Cavas are known for being affordable and versatile. The Codorniu Reserva Raventos Brut Cava, $18.00-$22.00 a bottle retail, has intense aromas of pineapple, stone fruit, citrus and apple. There are predominant notes of dried fruits, nuts, honey and toasted bread. This Cava has a creamy texture, refreshing mouth-feel and lingering finish. Pair this Cava with ceviche, chicken or pork dishes. Try these by themselves or as a mixer in a cocktail or in a mimosa.
Rieslings, dry or sweet, can be enjoyed throughout the year and especially in the warm summer months. I prefer a drier style Riesling like the Gustav Lorentz from Alsace, France. Acknowledged as one the finest white wine grape varietals in the world, this Riesling is crisp, dry, refined and delicately fruity with an elegant bouquet of mineral and floral notes. Enjoy this wine with mussels, oysters, white fish or chicken.
So if the heat starts to overwhelm you this summer, refresh and keep cool with one of these light wine options...or with whatever else may quench your thirst!
Cheers to you,