It's been a great Spring, but Summer and hot weather are as inevitable as August. As the weather gets hotter, we like our food lighter and our wine colder. That means its Summer wine season again. Even if you are a red wine drinker, it’s hard to pass up a well chilled, crisp glass of a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, white Bordeaux, Pinot Grigio, Muscat, Chenin Blanc, Torrontes, Riesling, Gewurztraminer or Viognier. It’s also permissible to drink some red wines colder than you normally might. Lighter red wines like Beaujolais (Gamay) and some lighter Pinot Noir’s will stand up to the cold, as well as very fruity or very sweet red wines like an Italian Lambrusco or Brachetto d'acqui. The cold will suppress the sweetness and accentuate the fruitiness of these wines.Summer also means grilling; fish, chicken and pork prepared simply, without those savory, but heavy sauces we like during the colder months. Whether you're planning a cookout, a picnic or a light dinner on the patio, these Summer wines pair very nicely with simple, un-sauced, grilled and roasted meats of almost any variety; especially milder flavored meats like chicken, turkey, ham and veal. Sauvignon Blanc pairs particularly well with citrusy salad dressings.
Cellar NotesHere are examples of four of the Summer wine varieties mentioned above. A couple of them are a bit more pricey than I might normally drink for summer, but the sweet white Muscat and the sweet red Brachetto are surprisingly refreshing when consumed very cold. You can find examples of the other Summer wines mentioned on my website. Just steer your browser to virtualwineknow.com and click “Find a Wine”. You will also find more information on the wines below, as well as food pairing suggesting.
A note about vintage – If you are unable to locate a vintage shown in Cellar Notes, with some significant exceptions, you may find the next vintage year very similar. Modern viticulture and production methods have reduced, although not eliminated, dramatic year-to-year variation.