25 Wines to Drink This Summer
Today on The Daily Meal
Though it may have felt like summer for some time already, the season's arrival has only just become official. That deserves a toast now, don't you think?
The better question, of course, is: What should you be toasting with? Cocktails and refreshing lagers aside, there's the whole spectrum of summer wines to consider. And it's a vast one at that. Which is why we turned to the experts — sommeliers, wine writers, and the like — to offer a little advice. What wines are they excited to drink this summer?
Greek wines received several shout-outs, as did rosé sparklers and Rieslings. Other interesting picks included a mineral-driven white from the Canary Islands, a "wine geek wine" that also appeals to the "eco crowd," and even a sherry (which Eater.com's Talia Baiocchi claims to stock "like most stock Budweiser").
Scarpetta Brut Rosé 2009. "Fresh and fizzy with loads of bright strawberry and crisp acidity. Dry sparkling rosé is one of the most versatile wines in the world with food and one of the few I can drink on its own — this is one of my favorites."
Venica & Venica Fruilano "Ronco delle Cime" 2009. "A crisp white from one of Italy's top-quality white wine areas. This wine has a lot of minerality and fresh apple, pear, and raw almond notes. I love the whole Venica line but am a sucker for this delicious norther Italian grape because it is so unique and delicious."
Los Bermejos Diego Secco 2010. A mineral-driven white wine from the Canary Islands. In fact, I'm drink a bunch of Canary Island wines this summer, they represent great value and are some of the more interesting wines emerging in New York City right now."
Foillard Morgon "Côte dy Py" 2009. "A Beaujolais from one of the leading producers — here you have a chance to have the very best example of a wine from an area an not spend much more than $30. I bought a case of this with the intent of aging it but can't stop opening them as they are drinking so good. I've been drinking a bunch of Beaujolais and other producers I like are Lapierre, Thevenet, and Louis Tête."
Talia Baiocchi, wine columnist, Eater.com
La Cigarrera Manzanilla Sherry. "I stock this like most stock Budweiser. It's the idea introduction to the many joys of Manzanilla — salty, smoky, and super lean. It's awesome on its own but also goes well with pretty much everything I crave in the summer: cured meat, olives, seafood, and more cured meat.
Skouras Moschofilero. "I was in Greece this past spring and absolutely fell in love with Moschofilero. This bottling comes from George Skouras, one of Greece's original artisan winemakers and still one of the country's best. Moschofilero is pink-skinned like Pinot Gris and often has a slightly rosy hue as a result. The nose takes a cue with trademark notes of rose water and minerals. At $15, it's one of the best values in white wine out there."
Denis Jamain Reuilly Pinot Gris. "Year after year, this is one of my favorite rosés. Light and coppery in color — like Lopez Rosado light — it's irony, earthy, and grassy with plenty of tart citrus fruit. If you can find this with just a couple years on it, it gets even more mineral-driven and that tinge of oxidation adds another layer of complexity. Right out of the gate it's reminiscent of doilies, warm days, and tiny lockets. Perfect for summer."
Thierry Puzelat "KO" In Côt We Trust. "Again, this to me is such a summer wine. A Malbec from the Loire Valley (where it's called Côt) from one of my favorite producers. It's honest, likeable, and unabashedly fruit-forward. The best with a chill and a view."
Marie Courtin Champagne Resonance & Efflouresence. "So, this may not be the sort of thing any of us drink on a casual weekday, but it's still one of the great values in Champagne ($50/$57). Dominique Moreau of Marie Courtin is one of my favorite new grower-producers (the estate was created in 2005). All of the vineyards are farmed biodynamically and the wines — which are both 100 percent Pinot Noir — express such terroir and purity. The Resonance is vinified entirely in stainless steel and the Efflouresence is fermented and aged in neutral oak."
Tanner Walle, bartender, Terroir (New York, N.Y.)
"Of course I have to default back to Riesling as the perfect summer grape. The acid, the fruit, the versatility. The fact that you can find bone dry, off-dry, medium sweet, sweet — the possibilities are endless. Not only that, but it pairs with damn near any type of food. It's the perfect summer juice, no doubt about it!"
James Tidwell, master sommelier and beverage director, Four Seasons Resort & Club (Dallas, Texas)
Pewsey Vale Riesling 2010. "Lip-smacking crispness, steely notes, and a range of fruit flavors from citrus to stone fruits, make this a perfect wine to relish beside the pool with light summer fare or as an apéritif."
McPherson Cellars Bingham Vineyards Reserve Roussanne 2010. "Ripe peach, nectarine, and lemon aromas and accented by a delicate floral perfume. The ripe roundness of the wine is surprising. While richer in texture than many summer white, the aromas and flavors are too pleasing for this not to be a summer favorite."
Fairhaven Vineyards Chambourcin 2010. "Brilliant tart berry fruit of huckleberries, Morello cherries, and wild raspberries makes this a pleasing, light-bodied wine for summer. It's not a well-known grape variety, but a fun and tasty wine for easy summer drinking."
Spy Valley Envoy Pinot Noir 2009. "This a premium offering from Spy Valley, New Zealand. The wine has ripe cherry fruit with fragrant sweet spices and chocolate-mocha aromas. It's mid-weight and supple, making for a perfect summer red."
Julia Travis, manager and beverage director, Kin Shop (New York, N.Y.)
Sottimano Brachetto Maté 2010. "Brachetto is typically produced as an off-dry, sparkling dessert wine. Sottimano is one of the few producers making dry, still brachetto. Served chilled, with the floral aromatics of a sweeter wine and light body of a Pinot Noir, it makes a beautiful, easy drinking summer wine. It's the white wine drinker's red wine."
Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko 2009. "Greek wine is too often underestimated or lumped in the same category as Retsina — this wine proves otherwise. Grown seaside on the island of Santorini, it smells like the ocean with great lemony zest on the palate. Truly a terroir-driven wine that tastes and smells of where it comes from. It's great with grilled fish and oysters, preferably with a view of the beach."
Roger Morris, freelance wine writer
Gloria Ferriet Rosé Brut. "This sparkler is cooling and very satisfying with its rich, refreshing flavors — rosé and bubbles are the perfect summer match."
La Vielle Ferme Côtes de Ventoux Rouge. "This wine is an excellent value and a very versatile summer red that can be served slightly cool."
Allegra Angelo, sommelier, Michy's (Miami, Fla.)
Dr. Loosen Riesling Sekt Non-Vintage. A sparkling Riesling from Mosel, Germany that is a great value at less than $15 a bottle. In terms of personality it's "peachy, dry, and limey."
Casteller Cava Rosé Non-Vintage. This dry Spanish sparkling rosé (also under $15 a bottle) is made from Trepat and Garnacha grapes and presents notes of dark raspberry.
Leo Schneemann, beverage director, Wallse, Upholstery Store (New York, N.Y.)
Stadt Krems Riesling Steinterrassen 2009. "The wine has a typical taste of minerals and the bouquet reminds me of apricots and peaches. It's a transparent and well-structured wine — very fruity and easy to drink, the classic Riesling from Kremstal."
Glatzer Zweigelt Riedencuvée 2007. "A fruit-driven, pleasurable Zweigelt with fine tannins and aromas of cherries."
Jean K. Rielly, MW, wine director, Morrell Wine Bar (New York, N.Y.)
“I think Greek wines are really capturing consumers' attention right now. I’ve been especially impressed in recent months with a number of bottles. We have found lots of fans of the Kir-Yianni Petra, a white wine made from the personality-rich Roditis grape. Also the Moraitis red, from the island of Paros. With their bright, pure fruit flavors, they let people escape to a Greek island while they are sipping a glass.
At the Morrell Wine Bar, our hottest red right now is Klee, a Pinot Noir from Oregon's Willamette Valley. A light, fruity Pinot Noir is a perfect summer red and this one is unusual on a number of fronts. It’s really a wine geek wine and appeals to the eco crowd as it’s made from organic grapes and comes in a very cool recycled package. Guests also seem intrigued by the fact that it's bag-in-box (a recycled box, of course). This is not a cheap wine, by the way, a 750 milliliter bottle retails for $20.
Txakolina is also burning up the wine highways. It’s a super-crisp white from the Basque region of Spain that is fantastic with all kinds of seafood. When I first bought it, Peter Morrell told me it wouldn’t sell because no one can pronounce it; we were sold out in 10 days. It’s pronounced ‘chak-o-LEEN-a, by the way, and my favorite is the Txomin Etxaniz that retails around $20.”
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