Wines of the Day: Five Wines for Summer

Kir-Yianni Xinomavro vineyards in Naoussa, Greece
Kir-Yianni Xinomavro vineyards in Naoussa, Greece
As temperatures continue to climb this long hot summer, we look for lighter wine options to pair with our favorite light summer fare. These five wines will deliver incredible taste, at easy pairing ability. #Cheers

The white grape, Vermentino, is best known in Italy where it calls Sardinia home and in the South of France, where it is often referred to as Rolle. However, in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley, Seghesio showcases the sunshine-filled fruit in their Seghesio Vermentino ($24). Very dry, very crisp, and very delicious, filled with juicy tangerine, lemon-lime, and a hint of herbaceousness.

We love a good Chardonnay, and there are so many great ones out there. One favorite stands out as an affordable option that delivers on great quality. From Chamisal Vineyards in San Luis Obispo’s SLO Coast, Chamisal Stainless Chardonnay ($18) melds steely minerality with honeydew melon, stone fruit, and citrus.
Nothing says summer like Rosé and there are so many beautiful options to chose from. Consistently I go back to Willamette Valley Vineyards ($20) in Willamette Valley for their Rosé of Pinot Noir. Clean, balanced, and refreshing, filled with watermelon, tangerine, wild berry, and a touch of earthiness.
90-year-old Barbera vines in Piemonte, Italy

The Piemonte region of Italy is known for their bold, regal Barolo and Barbaresco wines made from dense Nebbiolo fruit, but it’s fellow regional varieties, like the lush, light and approachable Barbera d’Asti DOCG and Barbera d’Alba (from either the region of Asti or Alba within Piemonte,) is a perfect light red for warm weather. While the fruit maintains the earthiness of the region, it also celebrates clean fruit-filled flavors of strawberry, ripe cherry, and cassis. Ricossa, Vietti, Luca Bosio, and Enrico Serafino deliver incredible options for reasonably affordable prices.

If you are a Pinot Noir fan, especially the earthy, rich, and aromatic styles, challenge yourself a bit with one of the favorite Old World varieties of Northern Greece, Xinomavro. I love this variety. It is big and chewy, with robust tannins, but there is elegance, balance, and freshness to the wine melding ripe fruit with acidity to create an ideal food wine to pair with your favorite barbecue dishes. Open an hour before serving, and decant if you like to let it breathe for a bit. Boutari and Kir-Yianni are two great producers, both available for between $15 and $30.