Summer wines and the living is easy-Vinho Verde from Portugal anyone?
Dear Wine Ladies, The recent hot days are turning my attention to changing up what is typically stocked on my wine rack. Can you recommend a few summer wines that would be appropriate to have on hand? Should red wines in general be reserved for the cooler days being too heavy? Sheila Brampton, Ontario Dear Sheila, When it comes to selecting wines that pair best with hot summer days and evenings here are a couple of considerations. First and foremost, summer entertaining is oftentimes very casual, enjoying friends and family at the cottage, at a barbeque perhaps or simply on the deck enjoying the sunshine. Look for easy drinking, casual wines to echo the situation. Light, crisp white wines, well chilled are always welcome, not too heavy in alcohol or overly oaky. Look to Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Rieslings, or perhaps a Vinho Verde from Portugal all of which pair well with typical summer fare that often includes a variety of salads. Roses will be really hot once again this summer, enjoying over the last several years a new appreciation being vinified crisp and dry, with seductive fruity aromas of strawberry, raspberry and a touch of minerality depending on its source. Roses are extremely versatile too matching well with a variety of foods, fulfilling the role of a fuller bodied, more concentrated white or that of a lighter red. Steering away from red wines completely would be missing out, opt for lighter, fruitier reds such as Pinot Noir, Gamay, or a Beaujolais, giving them a touch of a chill in the ice bucket before serving. We do love a great Syrah, a Zinfandel or a Cabernet Franc for our ribs, we have to admit, and finally, another soft spot, sparkling wine. Nothing gets a get together going better than a bottle of bubbly.
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