With the thermometer topping 100 degrees already this Spring, I am sure this is going to be a long and super hot summer. Days like these require quenching, quaffable, and affordable summer sips to help me make it through the next several months. These wine are sold at big box stores, Total Wine, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s. That said they may not be in your area due to lack of distribution in your state.
Summer Sips – Sparkler
Gruet Brut Rosé NV
Who knew that such fantastic and affordable sparkling wines come from New Mexico? They have an entire line up of dry sparklers from their Brut to Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, and this lovely Brut Rosé. They also have a Demi-Sec for those like a touch of sweetness in their wine.
A beautiful garnet in color, this Rosé is made from 100% Pinot Noir. Lie most sparkling wine and champagne it is a non-vintage (NV). This wine presents with a delicate, fine mousse and creamy, fruit flavors. This full-bodied sparkler starts with floral and berry aromas which introduce flavors of cherry, raspberry, and wild strawberry, finishing delicately with zesty acidity.
I have seen all of these wines at various locations, including Total Wine and Whole Foods for approximately $17 to $20 depending on your location.
Summer Sips – Rosé
Klinker Brick * Bricks & Roses 2018
This is a delightful, affordable, and widely available rosé from the Lodi region in California. It is made in a true expression of the classic Provence-style rosé. It is a blend of 41% Grenache, 35% Carignan, 12% Syrah, and 12% Mouvèdre. We buy this wine six bottles at a time. Once you start here, you will want to finish here especially at this high QPR (quality to price ratio)
This wine is a pale to medium salmon color. This is a high acid and low alcohol wine. Mouthwatering citrus, melon, and mineral flavors are on the palate with a clean and bright finish. This wine is well balanced and will go great with food or as a cocktail wine. This wine is widely available around the country. In Charleston, you can find it at Bottles in Mt. Pleasant for approximately $15.00 per bottle.
I am still a big fan of Moulin de Gassac Rosé found locally at Bottles and Whole Foods.
Summer Sips – White
Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc-Viognier Blend 201/18
This is a friendly, fun bottle of white wine that is also available nationally. Crisp, bright, and lively, this affordable white blend is an aromatic (thanks Viognier!) wine with aromas of honeysuckle, lychee, and pineapple with back notes of green apple, lemon, and grapefruit. It is bright and crisp on the palate with flavors of ginger, grapefruit, lemon curd, and green apple. This wine is juicy and super easy to drink. There is a little more weight to this wine than a typical Italian Pinot Grigio or any Sauvignon Blanc thus offering up something a little different. The finish lingers as it cleanses your palate.
78% Chenin Blanc (Clarksburg AVA), 22% Viognier (Lodi AVAs)
I picked it up at Trader Joe’s and have also seen it at Total Wine. It sells for $13.00 to $15.00 a bottle.
Summer Sips – Red
During those dark times when I only drank red wine summers were especially tricky because I wanted something on the lighter side with high acid and low tannins… basically an easy quaffable red. And when I learned that these wines may be drunk slightly chilled. Now do not go crazy. If you are like me that keeps all my red wines in a wine cooler set at 55 degrees, you are in luck and can drink this wine immediately. The other reds I have to allow to warm up to 67 degrees os as they say “room temperature.” I do not know about you, but that is not room temp in my house.
The most common light-bodied red wine that should be chilled is Beaujolais (or Gamay from anywhere else). Some folks will also drink Pinot Noir with a chill on it during the summer months. If you are a fan of Italian wine, you may want to try a Valpolicella or a Barbera with a chill.
Remember though the chilling effect on wine is that it hides or masks aromas and flavors. When I drink a chilled red, I make sure I serve a fruit forward wine that I may not enjoy as much at room temperature.
I do not have any examples for you because of my love affair with rosé. But head to your wine merchant and ask them for a recommendation of a perfect chillable red wine.