By Emily Archbold, Senior Event Planner & Sommelier and Melissa Paul, Brand Storyteller
“Summer is a popular time for entertaining, so I’m sharing five summer wines you’ll love offering to your guests! These wine picks are what I serve during the hot summer season, and I recommend them for your own summertime gatherings.. Whether you’re planning an intimate bridal shower for your friend, or a large outdoor party in the backyard, these wines are sure to make you shine!” says Emily Archbold, Senior Event Planner with Evantine Design who just happens to be a trained sommelier.
Emily’s Five Summer Wines She Knows You’ll Love…
Vibrant Vinho Verde
1. First, let’s start with something fresh from Portugal. Vinho Verde, pronounced “veeng-yo vaird” and with “Verde” referring to it being a young wine as the wines are released 3-6 months after harvest. If you’re not familiar with Portuguese wines, the Vinho Verde region has produced wine for over 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest wine regions in Portugal. The wines of Vinho Verde have long been known for their vibrant fruit, low alcohol, and refreshing qualities — a combination that makes them one of the most versatile partners with food. Vinho Verde is an ideal wine pairing for summer salads, seafood, and Asian cuisine, and can be served alone or as an aperitif. Its freshness seems almost effervescent which is why I love it as a passed beverage instead of the traditional bubbly champagne.
Vinho Verde is enjoyable on a hot summer afternoon when you want a light and refreshing glass of wine. And, as a bonus, wines from Portugal are incredible values and yet pack a delicious punch! Try Quinta de Curvos, Loureiro, Vinho Verde 2016.
Sauvignon Blanc is a Must!
2. This list would not be complete without a Sauvignon Blanc. I could drink it every day. Oh wait, I do just about drink it every day in the summer! My favorite when it comes to a crisp, vegetal Sauvignon Blanc is a glass of Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc, Martinborough, Te Muna Road 2018. I have experienced this wine, and the region where it originates, on my honeymoon in New Zealand.
“Don’t judge a wine by its screwcap. This increasingly popular style of bottle enclosure is the preferred method in New Zealand and Australia and reduces the chance of the wine being corked,” advises Emily.
3. Don’t overlook the reds! Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean red wines are out. In fact, a summer evening outdoors is the perfect time to enjoy a properly chilled red. You’ll want a light to medium body with low tannins such as a Beaujolais which takes its name from the popular region in France. Try a bottle of Jean Claude Lapalu Beaujolais Villages, Vieilles Vignes 2017. Or, look for a Gamay from Oregon or South Africa. With minimal tannins, you will not want to pair this with red meat. Instead, enjoy with seared tuna or a summer salad.
4. I know what you’re thinking, “white Zinfandel, really?” But, hold on a minute. I’m not talking that kind of Zinfandel! On no my dears, I’m talking about a cool, jammy California Zinfandel with delicious aromas of wild blueberry and baking spices that give way to a palate of juicy, ripe blackberry and black plum. Soft tannins and focused acidity leading to a long finish, creating the perfect wine to pair with rich tomato-based sauces, salty pizzas, and tangy barbeque. My go-to Zin is a bottle of Seghesio, Sonoma Zinfandel 2017 which has a small amount of Petite Sirah added to provide color and structure.
Emily also suggests you can “easily achieve the ideal temperature for chilled red wines by placing the bottle in the freezer for 12 mins before serving.”
Orange Wine, the New Rose?
5. Move over Rose! Make way for Ramato! It’s a special skin-fermented white wine, or what many are now calling and LOVING “orange” wines. Ramato refers to the old Friulian-style of fermenting Pinot Grigio on its skins, thus creating a coppery-colored wine. But in addition to the orange color, Ramato has the acidity of a white with a fuller body of a red. There are aromas and flavors of honey, brown spices, dried apricots, pear skin, tropical citrus, baked apples, coriander, and summer peaches!
Are you new to orange wine? I suggest starting with a bottle of Channing Daughters, Ramato, 2016 and pair it with a rustic charcuterie board. Sampling this new wave of wine provides the perfect excuse to take a break from the beach and visit this winery in the Hamptons. Or, order a bottle from your chaise lounge at Congress Hall in Cape May where they keep it on hand for wine lovers.
Time to Get Pouring!
Big thanks to Emily Archbold for sharing her five suggestions for sipping some sensational wines! We’d love to hear what wines you’re enjoying this summer… otherwise, CHEERS!