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Summer Wines

Warm weather brings a yearning for certain wines. Living in San Francisco, the fog can dampen the feeling but when I do escape the fog I tend to reach for Rieslings, Chenin Blancs, rosés & Zinfandels. What about you? Do you have certain wines you like to have with warmer weather?

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  1. Dry Creek Fume Blanc, any decent pinot grigio

    1. We definitely drink more Rose and Vino Verde in the summer. Probably more of other white wines (sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, various rhone varietals and various white blends) also as temperatures climb. In general, we do not drink a lot of zinfandel, but almost all of the ones we open accompany the summer barbecue season.

      1. Riesling, Muscadet, Torrontes, Arneis, Falanghina. And all sorts of rosé wines.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Brad Ballinger

          Ooohhh I forgot about Falanghina. I just LOVE that varietal. I should also list Albariño.

          1. re: Brad Ballinger

            That's a good list, Brad.

            Add to that Gavi, Ribolla Gialla, Semillon, and cold Champagne!

            1. re: maria lorraine

              IF Semillon is on my list, it has to be COLD. Ribolla Gialla for "heavier" white wine fare--at least based on the few I've had.

              1. re: Brad Ballinger

                Yup on the Ribolla Gialla. Though all are not "thick." I love Semillon at slightly below cellar temp; the fruit is round and lemony then. White Bordeaux (blend with SB) is my favorite way to have it.

                And, I forgot one of my favorites: Rousanne. Love that varietal.

                Marsanne, too. And Pinot Gris.

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  For me, in the summer, I like a little levity on the palate—thus, the lighter white varietals. I usually reserve Semillon, Bordeaux Blanc & champagne for other times of the year. So glad I asked for it is interesting what people prefer.

                  ML and BB, I would opt for the colder temp for "heavier" fare. I have even chilled down some reds when it is warm outside.

                  Another addition, I will do flips for prosecco or cava during the summer.

                1. re: maria lorraine

                  In the FWIW mode (mood?), Champagne is pretty much an "all year 'round" thing for us, as opposed to a "Summertime wine," but a Vin de Bugey-Cerdon -- like that from Patrick Bottex (imported by Kermit Lynch) or the Domaine Renardat-Fâche (Louis/Dressner) that carswell mentions below -- is pretty much the quintessential warm weather sparkler at our house . . .

                  As for Sémilion -- some white Bordeaux are wonderful during the warm weather (typically Fall, rather than Summer, in the SF Bay Area, but with global warming -- who knows?), but for us, it's mostly Entre-deux-Mers. More serious whites from Pessac-Léognan and Graves, or so-called (and incorrectly) "dry Sauternes" like Château Y, R, G, etc., along with Sémilions from producers like L'Ecole No. 41, Ahlgren, and Kalin get more use at our house in the cooler months.


                  1. re: zin1953

                    Jason, while in Healdsburg this past week picked up a bottle of the Saxon Browne Cricket Creek 2007 Alexander Valley Sémilion specifically to acquaint myself with the varietal. Wondering how this compares with your reco's? TIA



                    1. re: PolarBear

                      Never had the Saxon Browne, but I love Sémilion -- Ahlgren, specifically, but several others as well.

                1. re: thegourmetbachelor

                  What makes it more appealing to you in summer versus other seasons?

                  1. re: thegourmetbachelor

                    I'm not sure...possibly Rhone Valley wines pair very well with BBQ and Cote du Rhone tends to have less tannin than other Rhone wines. So a bottle of Cote du Rhone can bring a table of casual wine tasters and wine experts together. What do you like to drink in the Summer?

                    1. re: thegourmetbachelor

                      Agree with your thoughts on Cotes du Rhone. CdR is one of our current favorite "house" reds. We like it for the same reasons you suggest. (We seldom find one that we do not like, and we generally consider them a good value given the quality.) We pair them with a fairly broad variety of dishes. The only difference is, I think we drink them fairly consistently throughout the year without regard to the seasons. Of course, here in SOCAL, the concept of "seasons" generally involves less extreme variation in climate than some other locales.

                      1. re: scrappydog

                        Speaking of Cote du Rhone..i'm totally enjoying this 2005 Coudoulet de Beaucastel. It's slightly one dimensional but I like the dimension : )

                    2. Almost any New Zealand Sauvingon Blanc. Even when chilled may be more than they should, they have a crispness than is very refreshing in the dog days of summer (which have already started down here in FL.)

                      1. Verdejo, grenache blanc, albarino, tons of rose, txakoli

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: vinosnob

                          Do a combo--Txakoli Rosado. Good ones available from Ameztoi and Gurrutxaga.

                          1. re: Brad Ballinger

                            Yup! Already gone through a half case of the Ameztoi rose.

                        2. Good dry Roses deffinitely have more place in my warm weather drinking than at other times.

                          Chenin Blanc, Scheurebe (Spatlese) from the Pfalz, and SBs all also seem a bit more to my liking.

                          1. A good Gruner Veltliner (I particularly like Hoepler). In summer I also love to try the lovely light reds from Provence - Coteau d'aix en Provence in particular, and all its cousins.

                              1. Any non-fruit candy rose below $10, esp Ciro, Corbieres, Bergerac; Soave Classico, Verdicchio di Matelica, Greco di Tufo; Clare Valley Riesling; Touraine sauvignons, Entre deux Mers, Picpoul de Pinet. Chilled lightish Cotes du Rhone, Rosso Conero and Vapolicella, Bergerac/Cotes de Castillion.

                                1. Muga Rose from Spain, Campo Grande Orvietto from Antinori

                                  1. Summertime, Rose becomes our "red" more or less, except for a few Pinot Noirs or our "barbecue blends," like Marietta Cellars' Old Vine Red.

                                    Love love love whites in the summer. Especially the crisp, light ones like Albarino, Friulano, and our quick fix, Vinho Verde.

                                    White Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc, Gavi, Fiano, Moschofilero and the list goes on.

                                    1. Muscadet, rose, sancerre, albarino, beaujolais, loire reds, dolcetto, barbera, rueda, so many good ones.

                                      1. The main additions to this summer's rotation:
                                        - Renardat-Fache's Bugey Cerdon
                                        - Domaine Alzipratu's 2008 Corse-Calvi "Fiumeseccu", the most vibrant rosé I've tasted this year
                                        - Castello di Ama's 2008 Rosato
                                        - Bruno Clair's 2007 Marsannay rosé
                                        - Selbach's 2007 MSR Riesling QbA
                                        - Muller-Catoir's 2007 Pfalz Riesling trocken QbA
                                        - Gamay-based reds from the Loire and Beaujolais, lightly chilled TYVM
                                        - Some of the few big New World wines (Australian Shirazes, California Zins, South African Pinotages, Argentinean Malbecs, etc.) that always seem to end up in my cellar, since the only thing I can conceive of pairing them with is grilled red meat (grilling season is roughly May through October chez nous).

                                        Other than those, I can't think of any strictly seasonal quaffers, though I do shy away from high alcohol wines (too easy to overdo it when you're thirsty because of the heat) and do find myself even more attracted than usual to brisk acidity.

                                        1. I just discovered a Brazilian wine, Salton Flowers, demi-sec. Inexpensive and a easy "patio wine". Pairs really well with spicy food and light summer foods in general. It is not overly sweet and flabby as so many of these wines are! It is bright and floral and easy, think " house wine" for the summer. I have had it with brunch, shrimp, spicy thai cold noodle salad, and chef salad with blue cheese. All good.

                                          My distributor said it is selling retail for about 9 dollars a bottle, or thereabouts.

                                          1. We go through a lot of Tavel Rose during the summer. Lots of Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc as well. Substitute Pinot Noir when the food demands a red.