Hot days definitely call for a few cool summer wines!
I am a city girl and love living in a walking neighborhood. While I also very much enjoy quieter time spent at the ocean, in the mountains, or visiting a park, the city is my home. I truly enjoy the vibe of “things going on” when I walk out the door – rounding a corner to find a pop-up market, being lured to a plaza by live music, or popping into a local wine bar for a taste.
The last one has become even easier for me recently with the discovery of several locally-owned wine shops (with wine bars) that offer tastes and pours by the glass. Some even host free wine tasting events each week! Hmmm…
Now, I already have a pretty extensive list of wines I enjoy especially after living in Oregon for a number of years. But, sampling (and buying!) new finds is pretty fun, and conjuring up recipes with which to pair them adds to the experience.
For the summer months, I’ve been enjoying many chilled whites and roses. The lighter alcohol and cool, crisp fruit-in-a-glass flavors really please my palate. Listed below are seven of my favorites – some are old standbys, some new finds shared by my local wine shop friends. Because distribution rules availability of wines, they may or may not be available at your local shop. I’ve included a link to online sources in the event that works for you.
If you live in or are visiting downtown Raleigh, I recommend stopping by Short Walk Wines, The Raleigh Wine Shop, and Wine Authorities for a break and a taste, warm and friendly service, and some fun and interesting wine shopping.
The Four Graces Pinot Gris | USA, Oregon
A light, well-balanced, easy-drinking white wine with flavors of lemon, lime, tropical, and stone fruit. Pair with appetizers, fish and seafood, vegetables, salads, chicken or pork especially those dishes seasoned with lemon and herbs.
Penner-Ash Hyland Vineyard Old Vine Riesling | USA, Oregon
A nicely structured dry Riesling, with flavors of citrus, green apple, and honey. Pair with raw, cured, smoked, or cooked fish and seafood, chicken or pork, creamy sauces, pickled veggies, lighter to medium cheeses, or spicier dishes.
Gateway Vinho Verde – white or rose | Portugal
This low alcohol, slightly effervescent wine is one of my “go-to’s” for something light. It is bright and refreshing, with slight citrus flavors. Great for sipping on the porch or patio, and enjoying along with fresh summer fare. Pair with appetizers, and lighter meals such as salads, vegetables, fish and seafood, light pasta or rice dishes.
Tamellini Soave | Italy
This interesting, medium-bodied Italian wine offers flavors of “juicy nectarine, pineapple, and creamy white peach along with a hint of almond.” Pair with appetizers, lighter pizzas such as Margherita pizza, fish and seafood, vegetables, lighter pasta, and rice dishes.
Biltmore Reserve Rose North Carolina | USA, North Carolina
A light rosy pink, off-dry rose with flavors of strawberry, papaya, and hints of spice. Pair with appetizers, cheeses, and charcuterie, vegetables, fish and seafood, pizza, turkey, and ham.
Biltmore Estate Dry Rose | USA, North Carolina
Slightly drier than the Biltmore Reserve Rose North Carolina, this wine offers berries, watermelon, and a small amount of minerality for a clean finish. Pair with appetizers, cheeses and charcuterie, vegetables, fish and seafood, stuffed peppers, lighter soups, chicken and pork.
Julian Ostolaza Ganeta Txakolina Rose | Spain
This crisp, raspberry pink rose has a full-mouth feel and offers fruity flavors of watermelon, strawberry, and a squeeze of lime. Pair with appetizers, rice dishes, fish and seafood, chicken and pork, and vegetables.
What’s your favorite summer wine? Share it with us in the comments section.
Main photo: Mark Swallow from Getty Images
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