Summer Wine List

I love having a nice glass of red wine with my dinner, but once summer hits, the thought of a big red weighs me down.  Like most people, I make the switch to lighter reds, rosés, and whites.  With the help of a few friends and my un-snobby wine-snob cousin (love you Andy!), I’ve come up with a list of my favorite summer wines, perfect for patios, porches, picnics, or parties.   I’m a pretty un-fussy wine drinker, so this list is based on what tastes good to me.  I make no claims about their status in the wine world—- they are just great, easy wines to drink for summer.  So grab your corkscrew and kick off your flip-flops.  Summer is here!


My new favorite white is Albariño, introduced to me by my friend Heather.  Absolutely delicious.  Very light, dry, but not super dry.  To me, this is white wine perfection.  A grape varietal from Spain, it’s one you want served cold and goes with just about any foods.  I’m still trying different brands and haven’t come up with a favorite yet, because honestly, I have yet to have a bad one.  Most I’ve tried are in the $13-17 range. 

In the same price range is another new favorite, 3 Stones Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.  My cousin told me about this and the  very next day another friend told me I just *had* to try her new favorite white, and this was it.  Also delicious and light, perfect for summer.  Even people who do not care for Sauvignon Blanc will love this. 

I also discovered a new bargain white, recommended to me at the wine store as a “must try”.   Torrontés is a dry Argentinian white, light and crisp.  We got a 2009 Gouguenheim Valle Escondido Torrontés, which at $8 is a no-brainer. 


Although rosé wine gets a bad rap, they really have come a long way since the days of super-sweet White Zinfandel.  The French rosés tend to be a little drier, and the Spanish rosés are, as they told me at my favorite wine store, “more fun to drink”…but I think that is wine-people code for “less complex”.  I love them because you get a little of that red flavor without the heaviness.  I have been tending toward Spanish rosés made from rioja and garnachas and have been very happy.  Convincing my husband to drink pink wine has been more of a challenge, but we’re getting there.


I just read an article about how some of the lighter reds, like Pinot Noir, can be kept a little cooler in summertime and actually lend themselves to this in warmer weather.  So, pop that pinot in the fridge for 15 minutes before firing up your grill and enjoy.

So stock up with these summery selections and enjoy a cooler glass of wine!

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.


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