Summer un-officially starts tomorrow on Memorial Day (real summer is in June somewhere around the 20th when the solstice occurs, but who's counting?). White pants, shoes, and purses can come out of hibernation...and chilled summer white wines! But you need something for your grill too, so here are 5 wines you should consider busting out tomorrow and maybe drinking all through the summer too:
1. DRY Rosé in sparkling or still. Real men and women drink pink. Rosé is usually the juice of red wine that's allowed to sit for a very short time with the purple skins to give it a little extra flavor and a tint of color. Heavier than some whites but lighter than some reds, this is the perfect in between wine. And yes, it's normally dry if it it's not White Zinfandel. And if you don't believe me, a sure why to ensure it will be dry is to buy one from the homeland of Rosé: France. They don't make the stuff sweet. You can find dry Rosé from around the world and particularly tasty rosé sparklers from Spain all for great prices.
2. If it's hot out, go for something light and refreshing like a Spanish Verdejo. These wines are from Rueda (so it may say that on the bottle) and are usually blended with a little Sauvignon Blanc and the native Spanish grape, Macabeo, which is used in Cava. It's creamy, full, and nutty and reminds me a little of honeysuckle. Because it's mixed with Sauvignon Blanc it's got the punch of acid, herbs, and grapefruit but in moderation. It's a fabulous white and it's got gusto. Grilled seafood -- HELLO!
3. I love a good Pinot Gris from either Alsace, France or Oregon. It's the same grape as Pinot Grigio but it's a far cry from the over-processed, flavorless, watery stuff out of Northern Italy. The wine is fresh, full, smokey, peachy, and floral. If it's from Alsace, it has a spiciness and dryness like no other wine in the world. Pinot Gris is great with creamy or buttery food but it can hold up to fish or smoked stuff too.
4. Shiraz or a Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre (GSM) blend from Australia or Chateauneuf-du-Pape are the best grilled food wines. Although they have their nuances, each are spicy, black peppery, and plummy with medium tannins that will combine well with blackened flavors from the grill. It rocks with grilled shrimp, hamburgers, Mexican, and pizza too. Easy, affordable and fabulous.
5. A summer red? Yup. I love a red that can handle a little chill. Beaujolais from Burgundy (NOT Nouveau look for any of the following towns on the label and you're guaranteed something pretty good: Chénas, Régnié, Morgon, Fleurie, Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Chiroubles, Julienas, Moulin-Á-Vent, Saint-Amour) is like a bouquet of fresh violets, strawberries, and earth. Stick it in the fridge for about 15 - 20 minutes before you sip. For a great pairing guide and info on the differences between villages, check out the official Beaujolais site.
Have a great day off (if you have the day off!) and drink something to make yourself smile!