Even though the warmer weather around here seems to have started around the first of the year, I have to say that it’s an incredible, stunning day in April. I have surrendered to the “no winter” plan Mother Nature has for 2015 and I am moving into summertime mode for wines and that means crisp, dry white and rose wines that can handle a chill.
If you’ve been reading this column for a while you probably know that I have long been a Sauvignon Blanc and Rose lover. But lately I have been mixing it up a little more (see my column on January 8 “Step outside your regular wine habits this year”) and working new wine types and varieties into the mix. I’ve assembled a list below of some of the wines I am drinking right now and would recommend you check out.
Let me say up front, that these are not necessarily the most complex or most expensive wines of their respective types; some of them are great values. I’m buying these for casual sipping and sharing with friends—and so I’m much more concerned about finding wines I can afford to keep buying and enjoy all through the summer.
The lists below are organized by wine variety or type and the wines are listed in alphabetical order. Any of these wines qualify as “go to” wines as far as my summer sipping is concerned.
There are a lot of other interesting white wines that I enjoy—from White Rhone blends to Riesling to Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris. The common thread again for me is bright fruit and very crisp acidity because that is what makes them the most versatile for sipping and pairing up with a meal. Here are several I like:
I love the crisp, bright-fruited styles of this wine and find that they really do pair well with any casual summer dishes.
I am a very selective Chardonnay drinker—I do not really enjoy the over-oaked, big bruiser versions of this wine. I like those that offer more structure and elegance with the oak in the background, or no oak at all.
Lately I am finding myself really attracted to rosé wines. I love the brightness of the strawberry and other fruit flavors, but truthfully, I love the color of the wines as much as the wines themselves. It puts me in a better, more festive mood and they really make a meal feel like summertime!
As always, you can email me with questions or comments at [email protected]
Greg Walter, a Sonoma resident for more than 25 years, has been in wine and food publishing for more than 35 years, 15 of which were spent as a senior editor and later president of Wine Spectator magazine. Today he writes the PinotReport newsletter (pinotreport.com) and publishes books through his Carneros Press imprint (carnerospress.com).