Wines of Summer
The words “summer” and “chilled bottle of wine” belong together—in fact, it may be a law somewhere. Here is a list of fun, refreshing, and affordable summer-sippers for the ice bucket.
Casal Garcia’s Vinho Verde wines pretty much define summer wines. If Vinho Verde wines were any fresher, they’d still be on the vine. They are bottled early and meant to be drunk young.
Originating in the cool, green, Vinho Verde region of northwestern Portugal, Casal Garcia is best known for its brisk, slightly spritzy, bone-dry white. But don’t forget Casal Garcia’s mouth-watering rosé with its dry strawberry accents. The relatively low alcohol content of both wines makes them attractive lunch companions.
Casillero del Diablo is a well-known brand out of Chile with the kind of quality you would expect in a first rate house wine. My favorite labels (check out the new bottle design) for summer are their zippy, aromatic sauvignon blanc and their lush, 100 percent shiraz-based rosé. They don’t call these wines “tasty little devils” for nothing.
Kono Sauvignon Blanc comes from Marlborough, on the north island of New Zealand. Kono is not the grapefruit bomb that some Kiwi sauvignon blanc can be, but it does have has plenty of fresh citrus acidity and the acidity is tempered with just enough residual sugar to create an elegant balance. Drink Kono lightly chilled so the aromas and flavors are not frozen in the bottle.
Le Vignes de Bila-Haut Rosé (What? Another rosé? Yes, this is rosé season after all…) comes to us from the south of France, where some say that rosé production has eclipsed that of white wine. A blend of grenache and syrah, Bila-Haut shows crisp mineralty, citrus character, and a finish worthy of nice pinot noir.
Fontana Candida Frascati comes from the town of Frascati, just east of Rome, where it has been made since ancient times. A blend of several white grapes, Fontana Candida Frascati is dry, but lush, and there is something about its texture that makes the palate come alive. Frascati is an ideal party wine.
Lunetta Prosecco is simply fun to drink. It’s bubbly, light, affordable, and it’s fairly low in alcohol. In the north of Italy where it originates, it is drunk to celebrate the everyday pleasures of life. Lunetta (“Little Moon”) exudes aromas of peach and apple and then sparkles on the palate with bright fruit character. Just the thing to toast summer.
Steve Prati, Franklin-based wine consultant
Casal Garcia Vinho Verde, Light, clean, bone-dry, slightly spritzy $11.00
Casal Garcia rosé, Mouthwatering–dry strawberry and watermelon $11.00
Casillero del Diablo sauvignon blanc, 2015 Aromatic, zippy acidity, solid finish $11.00
Casillero del Diablo Rosé, 2015 Shiraz-based, dry raspberry/blackberry flavors $11.00
Kono Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Nicely balanced with fresh citrus acidity $15.00
Bila-Haut Rosé, 2015 Grenache/syrah blend , crisp minerality, citrus character $15.00
Fontana Candida Frascati, Italian white blend—dry, lush, textured, and lively $10.00
Lunetta Prosecco, NV Sparkler, relatively low alcohol, light, clean fruit $13.00