July 2007

Wine Talk - Summer Sipping Wines

Author: Krissy Cantelupe

July. It’s a hot one in the Lowcountry. In the evening, after work and on the weekends, the humidity lingers and the air stays hot. When you’re ready to escape the heat and cool down—on the screened-in porch, out on your boat or wherever you choose to “chill”—sit back and enjoy some of these summer sipping wines.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is one of the best porch wines available. Most have hints of lemongrass, pink grapefruit, and a fresh acidity that lingers long after the first sip. If serving with a snack or appetizer, look for goat cheese, asparagus, or a tomato-basil-fresh mozzarella salad with just a hint of olive oil to accompany it. Recommended serving temperature is well-chilled, so you may want to have an ice bucket on hand.

Spanish Albarino is another great summer wine. Hailing from the Northwestern part of Spain, Galicia, this fresh, crisp little wine is becoming quite popular. The wines have a tendency to be quite dry, with lemon zest, peach and sometimes apricot on the palate and are also meant to be served well-chilled. Oysters, shrimp, and other light shellfish pair well with Albarino.

Dry Rosé has also become quite popular for summer, especially those from the South of France and many areas of California. They can be made from almost any grape, including Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Grenache, Pinot Noir, and Tempranillo. Recommended pairing would be a nice baguette with Brie and prosciutto or a smoked salmon and cream cheese, perfect for the outdoor weather. Serve well-chilled and keep that ice bucket nearby.

A sparkling Prosecco from Italy would be another recommended wine for the heat. Prosecco pairs well with an antipasto, salami, capicolla, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, roasted red peppers, olives, and artichoke and a hint of olive oil and basil to complement. Prosecco should be served just as if you were serving Champagne or sparkling wine—in a flute. For something different, try adding some peach nectar, or peach schnapps to make a Bellini—very popular for brunch and aperitifs.

The porch, the deck, or even the hammock are enjoyable places to watch the sun go down. So pick up a bottle of wine, keep the ice bucket nearby, and keep cool.

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