Summer cookouts and backyard parties are a great time to uncork a bottle of wine to enjoy with friends and family. Although there is some debate about red vs. white in the summer, we think you simply can’t go wrong with a good bottle of wine no matter what you prefer.
I had a chance to chat with Debbie Myers, Heinen’s Downtown Cleveland Wine Consultant and overall wine expert about the best wine to enjoy when the weather turns hot. Find out what she has to say about finding great wines to enjoy all summer.
What wine varieties do you suggest the most during the hot summer months?
Generally I see customers gravitate toward rosé and white wines like sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio during the summer months. They’re all great choices for warm weather but ultimately it’s about your taste.
When the temperatures rise, we tend to head for the white wine. What is your favorite summer red?
Whether you choose white or red, it’s all about personal preference. For summer red, I love to suggest Beaujolais Villages; a light bodied red made from the Gamay Grape. Simply put, a slight chill to it and you have a wonderful food wine that will work with poultry, burgers , pizza and more.
Are there any wines that you’re particularly excited about for the summer?
- Whispering Angel Rose is one of the best rosés I have ever tasted, a must try for the rosé lover.
- Drylands Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough New Zealand is the epitome of what a Marlborough New Zealand “Savy” (as the locals call it) should taste like.
- Mullineux White Blend from South Africa is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Clairette has wonderful notes of peach skin, and apricot blossom.
- Callejon del Crimon Petit Verdot Gran Reserva from Argentina. You rarely see Petit Verdot bottled as a single varietal it is usually one of the blending grapes used in red Bordeaux. This is a delicious full bodied red with lots of black fruit to it.
It can be difficult, but in your opinion what is the perfect wine to drink with barbecue food?
My go-to pairing for barbecued food is either Zinfandel or Malbec but it all depends on your palate, so I say: drink what tastes good to you.
Wine tastings have become very popular recently. Do you have any tips for hosting a wine tasting at home?
Wine tastings are a great way to expose yourself to new and different wine varieties and they’re a lot of fun with friends and family.
Pick a theme for your tasting. Some ideas for themes include:
-It is rosé season, a tasting of different rosés would be a perfect fit for the season.
-Try tasting alternative whites with varieties other than typical chardonnay and sauvignon blanc. Some of my favorite whites are Gruner Veltliner from Austria, Albarino & Verdeho from Spain, Torrontes from Argentina and Arneis & Gavi from Italy.
-Select wines from one particular region, for example choose from Napa, Australia, Bordeaux or any region that intrigues you. Select between 6-8 wines that fit into your theme.
Provide each guest a wine glass and remember to swirl, sniff, sip and savor the wine. Take about 15-20 minutes tasting and discussing each wine before moving onto the next.
Can’t decide on a theme? Stop into your local Heinen’s and any of our knowledgeable wine consultants will be happy to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
What advice can you offer to the wine drinkers out there, that will make drinking wine a bit more enjoyable?
Don’t get stuck in a rut drinking the same wine –its easy to do, but with so many wines out there its fun to experiment –you never know what you might come across.