For me, summer reminds me of a time when cool, light, crisp wines keep me reminiscing about trips to the South of France. I still drink some reds, but French whites and rosés are what I prefer when it gets hot out and my meals drift toward more vegetables and seafood. I usually find the wines I like each year and buy them by the case when the new vintages become available in the spring. That way, I don’t run the risk of running out mid-summer, just when I need them most. Pathetic and needy? Yeah, probably. But I’m comfortable with myself.
Summer may be just our of reach but depending where you are, the heat still is hanging around, so I usually have at least a few bottles of these around the house, on the racks, in the fridge or out in an ice bath. It’s still hot out. You never know when you’ll need one.
Definitely my favorite Riesling region. The French make their Rieslings less sweet, more dry and offering more minerality than others, making them perfect for sharing on hot days in the park.
2013 Bott Geyl Alsace Riesling, $15 – Deep golden and rich on the nose yet light-bodied with deep, stone and mineral flavors.
White Burgundy or Chablis
White wines from Burgundy are made from Chardonnay grapes, but aren’t as rich, oaky and buttery as our US offerings. Why? The French employ a lot more stainless steel and a lot less oak. The Chablis region, in northern Burgundy, is famous for it’s crisp, dry and citrusy Chardonnays.
2013 Jean-Pierre Grossot Chablis, $25 – Dry and crisp citrus and stone fruit flavors with floral aromas and a chalky finish.
Provence is Rosé. And who says Rosé has to be sweet and French wine has to be expensive? Mixing Rosé from mainly Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, these light pink, super-dry beauties are just sublime.
2014 Saint Aix Provence Rose, $14 – The quintessential, approachable, Provencal Rosé. This light pink beauty just tastes like summer, crisp acidity, super dry and tasting of ripe summer fruit.
Tavel is a small region in the southern Rhone Valley, just north of Provence that produces nothing but Rosé. The wines are a bit bigger and sweeter, but still Rosé. If you’re looking for unique, here it is.
2014 Prieure de Montezargues Tavel Rose, $21 – A healthy blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan and Bourboulenc makes this richer, darker in color and with more intense red berries.
The thing is, summer wines are fab. But remember, nothing beats a Boulevard Brewing Company Unfiltered Wheat after a long mountain hike on a warm summer day in the mountains. Wine might run in my veins, but beer tastes good in my belly, too.