Best Summer Wines : Sommelier Share Their Favorites | ICONIC LIFE

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Best Summer Wines: Five Sommeliers Share Their Favorites

Wine and Clams on the half shell

Lisovskaya Natalia / Shutterstock

Whether relaxing solo by the pool or throwing a neighborhood BBQ, there’s a wine for every occasion this season. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of our favorite sommelier’s around the U.S. to share the wine and food pairings they love to enjoy as temperatures rise. After all, it’s summertime and the livin’ should be easy.

Sommelier Brent Karlicek

Photo courtesy of Upward Projects

Upward Projects—Phoenix, Arizona


Domaine Bregeon Muscadet Sèvre et Maine ‘Gorges’ 2013
Arguably one of the most refreshing drinks, this bold white wine is made from Melon de Bourgogne grapes, which originate in the Burgundy region of France. Although the grape eventually vanished from the region, it lives on in Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, where it’s planted in gabbro soils and aged on the lees for 28 months. “This coastal French white over-delivers with both intellectual and sensory satisfaction.”

PAIRS WELL WITH: Tomales Bay oysters

Ameztoi ‘Rubentis’ Rosé Getariako Txakolina 2017
Thanks to the resulting contact between the grapes—harvested near the ocean—and sea-spray, Karlicek has deemed the rosé as the “vinous equivalent of Gatorade.”

PAIRS WELL WITH: Grilled prawn

Passopisciaro ‘Passorosso’ Etna Rosso 2015
Made from Nerello Mascalese grapes planted high on the slopes of Sicily’s Mount Etna (an active volcano), this wine has dynamic notes of vivid red fruit, wildflowers and dusty herbs.

PAIRS WELL WITH: Seared tuna

Sommelier Patrick Cullars

William B’s Steakhouse at Blue Chip Hotel and Casino—Michigan City, Indiana


Gérard Bertrand Coté des Roses
This is our pick for one of the best drinks out there. “Rosé is the perfect summer wine—whether at the beach or a summer picnic.” Cullars’ all-time favorite is a blend of Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault. The combination of grapes is like a bouquet of strawberry, rhubarb and crème de cassis with floral rose notes and a hint of grapefruit.

PAIRS WELL WITH: Red snapper; halibut; raw shellfish; light salads

Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc
For something different than Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, Cullars opts for this aromatic white—a blend of gooseberry, blackcurrant, grapefruit, lime and lemongrass notes.

PAIRS WELL WITH: Fish tacos; grilled tilapia

LaMarca Prosecco
This brut sparkling wine pulls flavors from green apple, honeydew melon and pear. “Don’t save the bubbles for New Year’s Eve—enjoy them this summer!”

PAIRS WELL WITH: Prosciutto; seafood; spicy Asian dishes

Sommelier Kliment Stevoff

Photo courtesy of Pier W

Pier W—Cleveland, Ohio


Domaine Weinbach Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg Cuvée Ste. Catherine
“We proudly serve the 2014 vintage at Pier W because it’s a true expression of the terroir of Alsace.” Although made in a dry fashion, this Riesling has a candied pineapple aroma along with golden raisins, crème brûlée and brioche, resulting in an astonishingly refreshing acidity.

PAIRS WELL WITH: Scallops; lobster; crab; Pier W’s grilled Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna served with pickled cabbage, spring rolls and wasabi coulis

Chateau Kamnik Temjanika 2016
Kliment regularly recommends this medium-bodied white, which hails from his family’s homeland to his guests at Pier W. “With a 12.5 percent alcohol, this wine is relatively light and should be enjoyed at a younger vintage.”

PAIRS WELL WITH: Chargrilled swordfish with sautéed kale, roasted chickpeas, eggplant, cucumber and lemon


Flowers Sonoma Coast Rosé 2017
“Rosés are meant to be drank young, making this 2017 a perfect selection for this summer.”

PAIRS WELL WITH: Copper River salmon

Sommelier Michael McVitte

Photo by Kraig Haver

Anchorage Wine House—Anchorage, Alaska

Tommasi ‘Le Volpare’ Soave Classico 2016
Not to be confused as the Soave of the ‘70s and ‘80s, McVittie’s pick for the best drinks in regards to dry white Italian wine is a harmonious blend of citrus, stone fruits and melon notes.

PAIRS WELL WITH: Fish en papillote with grilled zucchini, quinoa and beurre blanc

Jermann Pinot Grigio 2015
This Pinot Grigio is made from grapes harvested in the stunning Italian-Slovenia border—a patchwork of rural vineyards and farms with the oh-so picturesque Alps in the background. The resulting flavor profile? Lush and juicy, moving to a creamy texture.

PAIRS WELL WITH: Cold linguine salad with prosciutto, baby green peas and extra virgin olive oil


Zocker Grüner Veltliner 2015
“Its bright citrus and minerals greet the nose, while the mouth is vivacious, firm and juicy with medium weight—a must for your next wine adventure.”

PAIRS WELL WITH: Roast orange chicken with Yukon Gold potato mash and bitter greens

Sommelier Michael Meager

Sommelier On-Demand—Boston, Massachusetts


Château de Lancyre vin Pic Saint Loup : Le Clos des Combes
“In good tradition, there’s a lot of time spent at the grill and smoker on my deck, and while beer might be the first thing people think about, I can’t always give up my glass of wine.” Packed with fruit but balanced by spicy and savory notes, this blend of Syrah and Grenache complements smoky and char flavors from summer barbecuing.

PAIRS WELL WITH: Grilled flank steak with chimichurri; grilled lamb loin chops with olive; smoked pork ribs


Brick & mortar rosé
Perfect for your next hiking, camping or beach trip, this rosé-on-the-run comes in easily portable aluminum cans. Don’t let the can fool you—this zippy wine is chock-full of aromas and flavors of fresh strawberries, cherries, and cranberries. “It really walks that fine line of ‘sippable’ and ‘gulpable.’”

PAIRS WELL WITH: Picnic foods that travel well—i.e. charcuterie, cheeses and olives


Domaine de la Pépière ‘Clos des Briords’ Muscadet de Sevre-et-Maine
“Muscadet gets a bit of a bad rap, but for me it’s the perfect cool-down quaffer when the sun is beating down on you in the mid-afternoon.”

PAIRS WELL WITH: Oysters; chilled shrimp; fried clams

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