We’re experiencing a heat wave in the Northeast but I’m sure we all come to expect high temps no matter where we live. My advice first of all is to stay in the shade and avoid the direct sun. Then perhaps pairing that shade with some nice summer wine.
How about a nice spot under a shady tree, then pull up a lounge chair, a folding table and bring out a bottle of chilled wine. I know white wines should be served at 55F but when the ambient temp is over 90F, your cold wine will soon be at the optimum serving temp.
Now that you have the basics covered, allow me to share with you 10 suggestions for intriguing wine selections to keep you cool:
10 Great Wines to Keep You Cool This Summer:
A wonderful crisp full bodied wine from Campania, with hints of pineapple and citrus fruit.
Recommendation: Try Caggiano or Mastroberandino
- Sauvignon Blanc – New Zealand:
These are the most consistent SBs around with nice lingering aftertaste and none of that grassy herbaceous dimension that turn many wine drinkers off.
Recommendation: Try Cloudy Bay (about $25) as a classic NZ wine.
As a counterpoint to NZ above, try a Sancerre from France’s Loire Valley. It is more reminiscent of viognier with depth and complexity.
Recommendation: My favorite (because I’ve been there 5 times) is Baron LaDoucette.
- Gruner Veltliner
Austria’s claim to fame grape, with full body and minerality if it’s done by the right producer.
Recommendation: My favorite is Schloss Gobelsberger. A pretty good deal at $17
A wine from the island of Madeira. It’s rich, unctuous with an incredible aroma of citrus and honey and almonds.
Recommendation: The best is the Savannah, from the Rare Wine Co portfolio, ($46)
There are a lot of great rieslings being made, some as close as the Finger Lakes. But the archetypal riesling is German and in particular, I prefer the rieslings from the Mosel River for their tartness and all-around balance.
Recommendation: Try the Selbach versions- we know Johannes personally and his wines are in a league of their own.
Keeping an international perspective, let’s go to Argentina, where way up north in the dessert they produce this delicious dry white wine that makes you think of gewurztramier. Like biting into grapefruit. Recommendation: Triventa is dependable and inexpensive at $10
It would be criminal to give suggestions for summer wines without alluding to Alsace, producing great riesling and gewurztramier. If you like spice dimensions, then try a gewurz – you can’t go wrong with anything produced by Hugel, a winery we always visit on our Alsace tours. ($15)
- Pinot Gris
Oregon’s claim to fame is pinot nor and pinot gris. A proper Oregonian pinot gris has richness on the palate with a subtle aroma, a truly world-class wine. There is no shortage of great producers but I single out Ponzi. ($15)
Alright, any sparkling wine on a hot day will cool you in seconds. But your best bank for the buck is cava from Spain. Millions of bottles of cava at all price ranges but a tested and true example is the Llopart from one of the best importers – Jorge Ordoñez.
Recommendation:Llopart Brut reserva is about $25
Try one of these a week (or one a day for some of you 😉 ) and you’ll get through the rest of summer with ease.
What are your favorite summer wines or favorite ways to cool off? Feel free to try some of the wines above and let us know your thoughts.