I have a confession to make. I love wine. I love the act of sitting down with a friend and having a glass of vino or having a delicious meal that’s enhanced when paired with a glass of wine. One of my favorite things to do is pour a glass, grab a book, and lose myself in a good story while sitting in my favorite cozy chair.
While I have my favorite go-to wines, I truly enjoy exploring new types and varieties. Wine tastings and pairings are fun for me, and I’m intrigued by the science behind winemaking and all that it entails. The appearance, aroma, flavors, and textures all play a role in what makes the wine unique. When I think back on my life and wish I’d done something different, I often wish I’d dedicated time to becoming a sommelier or to backpacking across France on a wine exploration. Not that I can’t do those things now, but it turns out adulthood and responsibility tend to prevent one from disappearing into a vineyard somewhere. Alas. I’ll just have to keep backpacking through my local grocery store and exploring at my local wine shop to find new gems hidden among the bottles.
While I typically prefer red wine (think cabernets, blends, or even pinot noir of late), the hot weather we’ve been experiencing lately makes it less desirable. A glass of crisp white wine is a nice way to get a refreshing break from the heat. This summer, as we dust off our patio furniture and fire up the barbecue, treat yourself to a chilled glass of wine that pairs with some delicious summer cuisine. I worked with wine expert Tricia Conover from Grapestone Concepts to put together a list of 5 PRiME patio wines for summer that are sure to please!
Dry Rosé is the darling of the summer wine category. The original dry Rosés came from the South of France in Provence and are predominantly made from Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Syrah grapes. Currently, these same Rosé styles are made around the world, including many produced in the US. Grab a few bottles of dry Rosé before they sell out this year.
Chateau d’Esclans Rock Angel Rose 2018, Cotes de Provence, France – $34.99
Sauvignon Blanc has put New Zealand on the wine map for the last few decades. Fumé Blanc is a Sauvignon Blanc alternative. Robert Mondavi gave Fumé Blanc its name, but basically, it is a Sauvignon Blanc that has had some oak influence.
Craggy Range Winery Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2020, Martinborough, New Zealand – $23.99
Albarino is the sunniest of Spain’s white wines for summer and a perennial from Northern Portugal. It is now being grown in the US, too. Typically Albarino is from the Galicia and Rias Baixas regions of Spain and the Northern portion of Portugal, where it is called Alvarinho.
Pazo de Senorans Albarino 2018, Spain – $26.99
Pinot Gris is grown in some spectacular wine regions like Willamette Valley, Oregon, and Alsace, France. Pinot Grigio is the Italian name for the same grape.
King Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Gris 2018, Willamette Valley, OR – $19.99
Last but not least of the great wines for summer is this Rosé of Pinot Noir.
Martin Ray Rosé of Pinot Noir, 2020, Russian River Valley, Sonoma CA – $15.99
And don’t forget the accessories! A great glass and an ice chiller can make all the difference when enjoying a glass of vino.
As summer days grow shorter and we enjoy the last couple of months of warm weather before fall appears, it’s a fun time to try out some new white wines or rosés. When you get the chance to sit out on the patio with a chilled glass of wine to catch up with a friend or simply listen to nature around you, grab it. And enjoy. Salut!