I have heard that some people stop drinking wine in the summer time. I’m not surprised considering the state of the market today. For those whose idea of wine is limited to a single national brand it is no wonder that it could be out of place during certain times of the year.
I like fine German Estate Rieslings and White Burgundies but they wouldn’t be my first choice on a hot summer evening. Those off dry red blends people can’t seem to get enough of must taste like cherry syrup in the heat.
Thankfully, there are options that pair well with the rising temperatures, enter the crisp dry white. These simple clean wines are not about complex fruit or costly ageing so they tend to be found down in the value range. This is important since they tend to disappear quickly from the glass and require several back up bottles kept well chilled at all times.
We are featuring the Southern Rhone Valley’s Picpoul De Pinet from Domaine De Castelnau ($7.97) for starters. This wine’s bright style comes from good natural acidity and pure minerality balanced by a supple texture and delicate fruit character. A small glass is totally inappropriate for this refresher, better go for the tumbler (no worries at 12.5% alc. you won’t feel boozy) thus the reason for needing more than one bottle.
Did I mention South Africa? For those who know me you knew it was coming. Our old friends at KWV are back at EZ with a simply irresistible Chenin Blanc ($8.91) that would steal the hearts of any Pinot Grigio drinker with enough savvy to try it. Stainless steel fermentation brings a pure transparency to the soft fruit and round mouth feel, perfect for dare I say…lunch?
What could be more enticing than a South African Chenin Blanc? One blended with a few parts Viognier! The Bloem 2017 ($9.85) brings a heightened fruit aroma to the mix while adding tropical flavors complimenting the creamy texture. Last year’s favorite, the Tread Lightly Sauvignon Blanc in the remarkable one liter plastic bottle is still going strong at $11.96 and makes South Africa a refreshing alternative to the New Zealand glut.
Also close to my heart and on the short list of “chill’um n swill’um” essentials is the Verdegar Vinho Verde ($5.86) that brings a more modern freshness and balanced interplay between the firm acidity and natural fizz characteristic of this Portuguese original. Buy by the six pack!
Earlier this Spring I tasted an uber fresh Spanish Verdejo that was finished under a Stelvin closure from Los Dos Marias ($8.91). It will be hitting before Memorial Day and for those cool kids like me who will be still drinking wine this summer, it’ll be the go-to to get you through till Labor Day!