4 Wines to Toast the Start of Summer

Happy summer! Today officially marks the start of summer, though we have been well in it for weeks. To help cool you off, and refresh your palate, sip one of these crisp and lively white wines from around the world.

Domaine Wachau is celebrated for its highly structured, mineral-intense wines from elevated, steep, terraced vineyards along the Danube River. Domaine Wachau Federspiel Terrassen Gruner Veltliner ($19) is bright and clean, depth and complexity. On the open the wine reveals peppery spice notes, melding with juicy, well-ripened citrus and green apple, with a mineral note of crushed stone throughout.

Italy’s Collio region lies in the hills of Friuli Venezia Giulia in the northeastern part of the country, bordering Slovenia, the Italian Alps, and the Adriatic Sea. Here white wines have intensity and structure, revealing an elevated purity, with elegance, ease, and approachability. Pighin Collio Pinot Grigio ($33) is pure and clean, revealing the essence of the fruit, opening with tropical fruits such as mango, banana, and pineapple, with a nice, fleshy structure that makes it perfect for enjoying on its own or with food. Though fruit-forward, and fleshy, the palate is incredibly dry. A delicious option to enjoy all summer long.

Summertime and rosé are an effortlessly easy pairing option, especially when the wine is as delicious as the Rosé of Pinot Noir ($30) from Hilt Estates in Santa Barbara. Very vibrant, lively, and juicy.  The juice of hand-selected Pinot Noir fruit macerates on the skins for 4 days after pressing, giving an intensely rich rose color to the wine, layering watermelon, ripe raspberry, cranberry, and wild strawberry with structure and balance, intensity, and character. A perfect food wine, easily paired with anything from summer salads and light pasta, to burgers and barbecue. Less than 100 cases are made each year, stock up early!

From the rocky hillsides of Spain’s Somontano region, an area that highlights a broad range of well-known, international varieties as well as Spanish ones, Seacastilla La Miranda Garnacha Blanca ($15) shines as a sunshine-filled, aromatic beauty, highlighting the subtle grace of Grenache Blanc. Though there has been much debate over if the sister variety, Grenache, hails from Spain or France, I tend to think the historical references that tie the variety to Aragon in Spain are the correct ones, so this white version is right at home in the Northern Spanish territory influenced by the Mediterranean to the east, bringing warm breezes from the water, and the Pyrenees to the north, bringing cool breezes from the mountains. The wine reveals citrus blossom and wildflower aromas, followed by layers of juicy citrus and orchard fruit with a herbaceous undertone, melding into a well-rounded palate perfect for pairing with shellfish and seafood, roasted chicken, or pork tenderloin.

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