It seems the second August 1st hits, everyone is already talking about summer being over. While I can feel fall creeping in, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the season. The hot days are far from over.
When thinking of some of my favorite summer wines, I’ve realized how much my palate and preference has changed over the years. There were times where I wouldn’t touch Rosé. A glimpse at my Instagram feed will show how much this has changed. I almost only drank big and bold red wine and Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and I would rarely stray away from the few wines I knew. My mind has opened up drastically since starting my wine courses. The more I learn about the wine world the more I want to try.
Now, there is nothing wrong with Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc – these wines are known for a reason. Nevertheless, there is so much out there that is mind blowingly AMAZING. Give me all the Pét-Nats, Rieslings, and Orange wines you’ve got. Beaujolais is beautiful. Chinon, let’s get married.
My point is, don’t be afraid to try new wines. Ask your local wine shop questions. Tell them what you like to drink and ask for wines in a similar style. Google is your friend. Message me if you’re in an adventurous mood and want a recommendation. All I want to do is get others to try more wine.
Read on the see what I’m loving about each of these wines then let me know in the comments what you’re into these days.
When the heat and humidity rise, grab a spritzy dry white like this Avinyó Vi d’Agulla 2016. It’s the perfect amount of sparkle and fizz to keep you cool. Vibrant flavours of honeysuckle, crisp green apple, lemon peel and minerality dance on your tongue. This wine is from the Catalonia region of Spain. Drinks well while sitting outdoors or on your couch.
Light-bodied reds with a slight chill can be dangerously delicious during warm summer months. Especially when they taste as good as this one by female winemakers Claudia and Giulia Benazzoli from Italy. Benazzoli Bardolino Dafne 2016 is made with Corvina and Rondinella grape varieties. Soft red fruits are delicate and balanced with a slight spicy note on the palate. The juice sees no oak. Aged in stainless steel tanks gives you a clean, fresh wine. What more could you ask for?
Don’t let “Dry White Wine” on this label fool you. Or Pinot Grigio for that matter. This is far from your typical, neutral white Pinot Grigio. Pullus Pinot Grigio is actually an orange wine. Orange wines (also known as “skin-contact” wines) have been gaining popularity more and more. I believe in part due to the fact that there is little intervention during the winemaking process, with little to no additives, giving you a more natural wine.
Orange wines are made by leaving white wine grape skins in contact with the juice for a period of time, anywhere from a few days to a year, during fermentation. In comparison, white wine is made by separating the juice from the skins immediately.
These wines range from rosy-hued copper (like the Pullus picture) to deep amber and orange. The skin and seeds give the wine color while pulling out tannin, body, and extra aromas and flavours. So, these wines will drink more like a red wine than a white. They can be a little funky and if you aren’t ready for it you may think something is off with the wine.
Why are they perfect for summer? First of all, they are freakin’ delicious for one. Second, the light tannin and structure found in these wines is great when you’re looking for something with some complexity and oomph. New to orange wines? Look for wines that were skin fermented for a short period of time. These are a good introduction to this different style of wine.
If you follow me on Instagram, it should come as no surprise that a Channing Daughters wine has made this list. One day I’ll do a piece on them entirely but until then, their Pétillant-Naturel Rosato (Pét-Nat for short) is a summer must-have. This juice is so deliciously smooth, the bottle will be gone before you know it. I also love that they are local. The vineyards are on the South Fork of Long Island.
What’s a Pét-Nat? Produced in the méthode ancestral, the wine is bottled prior to its first fermentation being complete. This allows carbon dioxide to be produced by the natural sugars in the grapes giving off a slight fizz. I swear if everyone tried this Pét-Nat they’d be hooked. It’s that good.
Fun fact: The name Amrita comes from the Buddhist equivalent of ambrosia, which means a wine of the Gods. I’d agree with that sentiment. This white wine coming out of Anne Amie Vineyards is a blend of Riesling, Muller-Thurgau, Pinot Blanc, Viogner, Gewurtztraminer, and Chardonnay. (Whew!) Aromatic with a slight effervescence, this is easy drinking and perfect for those nights where you just want to binge watch the latest show on Netflix and order in. Thai, Mexican, Sushi, or Indian food are a perfect pairing with this wine.
There you have it. Can’t find these particular wines? Ask for those similar in style. You’ll be drinking these with ease and enjoying every sip as we make our way into a new season.
What have you been drinking this summer?
all images original to Pardon My French blog