Thursday, August 18, 2016

Refreshing Summer Sippers

By Liza B. Zimmerman

When the weather is hot and humid you are going to want a nice, cool glass of wine to wind down after a day’s work. Color choices could be white or pink, with perhaps a touch of light red served somewhat chilled thrown in for good measure.

Sauvignon blanc from all over the world is always a great place to start. It has balanced ribbons of acidity as well as lots of great fruit notes. You could try a handful of from Napa and Sonoma Valley, as well as take a varietally inspired trip down the California Coast bottle by bottle, ending up with some choice bottles in from the Central Coast.

Chile and South Africa also make some of my favorite Sauvignon Blancs. They tend to both have some of the best New and Old World attributes. All of these types of wine tend to pair well with a range of hard cheeses of all types as well as crudités plates and Middle Eastern-inspired dips.

Rose Around the World
Drinking a glass of rose is almost like taking a Mediterranean vacation. A huge variety of grapes are used to make these wines all over the world and run the gamut from Grenache and Sangiovese to Pinot Noir and Cinsaut.

Provencal roses tend to be the lightest in color and on the palate. Grenache-based ones from Spain tend to be bigger, more intense and fruit juicy. Some of my favorites also come from Bordeaux and are made with the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes used for the region’s noted red wines.

South Africa is also making some delicious roses, primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon. They tend to have intense fruit flavors like the Mulderbosch. And don’t forget those rose bubbles, which are made in beautiful styles everywhere from Champagne to France’s Loire Valley.

Roses are among the most flexible wines in the world in terms of food pairings. They can be divine with everything from fish if is a meatier version. Bluefish, salmon and monkfish would all be good choices. Roses also shine with a beef tartare and are perfect with a hamburger.

Red to End an Evening
Almost any red that is served slightly chilled is going to drink beautifully on a hot, summer evening. The Beaujolais Crus, my favorite is Morgon, are just the ticket. Fizzy Aussie Shiraz or touch of Lambrusco will also do the trick. These wines can be paired with all types of meat dishes, as well as roast chicken and grain and green salads that take advantage of summer’s bounty.

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Liza B. Zimmerman has been writing and consulting about wine and food for two decades. She is principal of the San Francisco-based Liza the Wine Chick wine writing, education and consulting firm. She has worked on staff and freelance at national magazines such as Wine Enthusiast, The Magazine of La Cucina Italiana, Wine Spectator, Where SF and the Examiner. She currently contributes to Cheers, Wine Business Monthly and the Examiner, among others.

Zimmerman focuses on demystifying wine and transforming it into a tool for business and networking for companies all over the country. Past clients include Genentech, Roche and IBM.

She has visited all the world’s major wine regions and is one of select few in the U.S. to hold the Diploma of Wine & Spirits (D.W.S.), the three-year precursor to the Master of Wine.

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