Cool, Crisp Wines for Summer

2006 Gruner Veltliner, Austria  2006 Gruner Ve...
2006 Gruner Veltliner, Austria 2006 Gruner Veltliner, Austria (Photo credit: stevegarfield)

As the days grow longer and the temperature rises, people tend to abandon wine as their drink of choice. It may feel too “heavy”, or they may feel as though they are limited to white wine or rose, which is not to everyone’s tastes. However, there are plenty of different wines on the market whose flavor profiles are tailored to be flavorful and light at the same time. Here are three great white wines and a surprising red that will be relaxed and refreshing all summer long.

Stadelmann Gruner Veltliner, 2011, Austria

Austrian wine is becoming more popular in the United States, and the Gruner Veltliner from Stadelmann is no exception. This is a spicy white wine that surprises first-time drinkers. It has notes of pepper, sour apples and even limes. The Gruner Veltliner is an excellent choice for seafood dishes, chicken dishes and salads.

Riesling (Photo credit: J. Star)

Trimbach, Riesling 2010, France

Those who believe that Riesling is far too sweet will be pleasantly surprised with the offering from Trimbach. It has a wonderful tropical scent and has a tangy, citrus-y taste. Compared to other varieties, the Trimbach is dry and crisp, with light floral notes coming through in the aftertaste. This Riesling pairs well with chicken and fish dishes, and can even be matched with veal. Adventurous eaters may choose to pair it with shellfish such as lobster or crab, as the acidity of the wine will cut through any butter-based sauces used.

La Reina, Torrentes 2013, Argentina

Anyone who is looking for a bright and floral white wine to sip on as they relax in a garden will be delighted byLa Reina, a wine made with Torrontes grapes from Argentina. This wine is bursting with floral notes and a punchy aftertaste. There are notes of citrus in the wine that make it an incredibly refreshing drink while sitting in the hot sunshine. This wine pairs beautifully with fennel and arugula salads and is also the perfect accompaniment to fresh fruit such as apricots. Roasted almonds will be a good snack food to go with La Reina.

Tierra y Hombre Pinot Noir, 2011, Chile

This Chilean wine is a wonderful choice for warmer months. It is has been aged in French oak barrels in order to impart a creamy, smooth taste to the wine. It should be enjoyed young in order to get the most out of the delicate tannins and the aromas of berries, flowers and smoke. Tierra y Hombre is a perfect choice for beef dishes with brightly flavoured seasoning. It is particularly good when paired with Thai foods and can even be a great accompaniment to dishes such as grilled tuna or even duck.

Great Summer Wine: a Surprising Amount of Variety

Summer white wines can be light or full bodied, and this should be taken into consideration when trying to pair a wine with certain foods. Chicken, fish and pork dishes will all benefit from a Sauvignon blanc, a Cabernet blanc or a Pinot gris, but the final choice should take into account any sauces, rubs or marinades that have been added to the main dish. Anyone interested in exploring summer reds should choose young wines that have not had time to gain the rich, heady flavor that characterize older vintages. These wines will work better with beef dishes, sausages, lamb and duck, especially if they have been grilled.

When it comes to summer wine, there is a world of opportunity available. The only limits are the drinker’s tastes and their imagination. As long as the sun is shining, the grill is hot and the wine is flowing, summer fun-seekers will always have a good time.