Summer is officially here which signifies the start of grilling season, as well as more salads for dinner because when the temps are high who wants to turn on the oven? Naturally we just we tend to yearn for fresher and lighter foods this time of year.
So, what wines pair best with the summer season?
Here are a few of my summer sippers:
I’ve mentioned this wine before and I continue to circle back to it because it’s refreshing, but still offers a myriad of aromas and flavors. It’s fuller body than Sauvignon Blanc but without being heavy. These wines have bright citrus notes of lemon and lime combined with stone fruit characteristics like peach and apricot, which provides the perfect balance between crisp and creamy on the palate.
It’s delicious with seafood, which we tend to grill often in the summer–grilled shrimp, seared tuna and even grilled salmon. I also find that Albariño is delicious with any avocado dish. Avocado with a splash of lime juice perfectly mirrors the creamy and crisp characteristics of Albariño.
I know it’s an obvious pick, but dry rosés served cold are a refreshing summer sipper served with food or not. Despite their often notorious reputation, several California winemakers are producing high-quality, dry rosés from Pinot Noir and Grenache. Or travel to the wine aisle with rosés from Provence, France that are usually blends created from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault and other lesser known grapes. These Provence style rosés have complex aromas and flavors of strawberry, raspberry, peach and citrus, plus floral notes.
Rosés are light body and refreshing, but can still hold up to grilled foods. Plus, they’re an ideal match to any summer salad, especially those that feature summer fruits. One of my favorites is pairing it with grilled peaches served over arugula with gouda and green olives.
If you’re still skeptical about rosés start by selecting one made from a red wine you like. For instance if you like Pinot Noir start with a rosé of Pinot Noir. If you like red blends start with a Provence rosé. There are many styles of rosé being made, so don’t give up after just one or two, keep exploring–you’ve got all summer!
I definitely tend to drink less red wine in the summer and when I do I usually crave one that is light body and low in tannin (tannins in wine are responsible for drying your mouth out). I was recently turned onto Frappato, a low tannin, fruity and light body wine from Sicily. This wine is full of red fruit flavors, but it’s soft on the palate and won’t overwhelm. It’s even acceptable to serve this wine slightly chilled, which might be extremely gratifying on a hot summer evening.
It can pair with anything from pizza to grilled chicken or fish and it complements an Italian style salad with eggplant, olives, tomato and mozzarella.
What’s more important than what your sipping, is who your sipping with…we’re wishing you a summer of creating joyful memories with friends and family!