Just like the rather brief window of opportunity to enjoy them, my introduction on summer wines will be a short one. I have a few criteria for what qualifies as a summer wine. These are all white wines that are fresh and crisp and have light textures but retain lots of flavors; all are dry but one. The common denominators are that they can be drunk as an aperitif and they pair well with summer foods. And they have some or all of the following characteristics: floral aromas, citrus flavors, notes of green apple, good acidity as well as some minerality.
The 2013 Quinta da Raza – Vinho Verde ($9.99) has less alcohol (11.5%), especially for such a dry wine. It is crisp and fresh. A clear lemon colored wine, that has good acidity, a fruity fragrance and grapefruit on the palate. It has some spritziness it but it is not a sparkling wine.
2013 Franz Etz – Grüner Veltliner ($11.99) This crisp Austrian white offers fresh, tangy green apple, white pepper and spice notes with wonderful minerality and a refreshing finish. The extra bonus is the larger bottle size; it comes in a 1 liter instead of the standard 750 ml.
2012 Chateau de Pennautier Viognier Pays d’Oc ($10.99) Viognier is one of my favorite grapes, and I love this wine.. It has everything I would want on a hot summer day — a pretty floral nose, crisp and fresh citrus flavors on the palate and traces of minerality on the finish.
2012 Château HAUT-RIAN Bordeaux Blanc Sec ($9.99) This blend is 60% Sémillon and 40% Sauvignon Blanc, which gives it acacia and citrus fruit flavors and it opens up to a round and long palate with a fresh and persistant finish. This wine is a favorite in France where it is paired with oysters, most of which come from the Arcachon Basin just 41 miles southwest of Bordeaux.
2013 Librandi – Cirò Bianco ($10.99) is from Calabria, Italy. This can also be drunk as an aperitif, but I really like it paired with any grilled fish especially swordfish; it is delicious..
2013 Saracco Moscato D’Asti ($13.99) is the only sweet wine on my list and Italian wine laws mandate no more than 6.5% alcohol if it is labelled Moscato d”Asti. This is not a sparkling wine, but it does have delicate, persistent bubbles that the Italians call “frizzante”. It is served cold and is light,and refreshing — like a soft breeze on a summer afternoon – and is usually served as an aperitif, or offered at the end of the meal as a light dessert.
I hope you enjoy these wines as much as I do. They will only enhance your summer days and nights.
Muriel S., Beltramo’s Wine Consultant