Refreshing summer wines that beat the heat. Use our curated list to pick out the best wines for summer.
When the dog days of summer hit, it’s time to forgo the big, bold Cabernet and reach instead for a lighter, refreshing summer wine to enjoy poolside or with an al fresco meal. This summer instead of uncorking your standard Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, get creative and try some unusual varietals and best wines for summer from around the globe.
TALAMONTI | TRABOCCHETTO 2020 PECORINO SUPERIORE ABRUZZO
If the only Pecorino you know is cheese, this is the perfect wine to acquaint you with this Italian grape of the same name. It’s a traditional grape in the Abruzzo region of Italy, and Talamonti has crafted a classic expression to enjoy. It has the traditional straw color of the varietal and bursts with notes of pear, peach and jasmine. While it’s a dry wine, it has a hint of sweetness with good acidity and minerality. With a higher alcohol content, it’s a good choice for red wine lovers looking to lighten up for summer.
HIGH CAMP | 2021 ESTATE GRENACHE ROSÉ
The essence of summer wine is rosé all day and with High Camp’s sophisticated Grenache Rosé you’ll enjoy a refreshing sipper with classic notes of strawberry and cherry and enough freshness and acidity to cut through the heat of the day. Winemaker Megan Mouren recently left her career as a stylist (the Jonas Brothers were a client) to rejoin the family business and if this rosé is any indication, it was a good move. I like this as an aperitif or paired with a salad with strawberry and goat cheese.
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JEAN ROSEN | PINOT BLANC 2020
Alsace is one of my favorite French wine regions to visit not only for the amazing wines, but for the storybook villages to explore. The Jean Rosen Pinot Blanc is produced by Paul Blanck & Fils in charming Kientzheim. The winery dates to the 17th century and is renowned for its Pinot Blanc and Riesling varietals. With strong minerality and notes of stone fruit the Pinot Blanc makes a great apero on hot days.
LANGETWINS | 2022 CHENIN BLANC/MERRILL VINEYARD
The LangeTwins Chenin Blanc is literally summer in a glass. With strong aromatics of apple and stone fruits the pale, yellow wine brings back childhood memories of biting into a nectarine picked directly from the tree. The cold fermentation process helped retain the fruit’s beautiful aromas and minerality.
LOHR | 2021 GESTURE RVG
If you like French Rhones, try Paso Robles J. Lohr’s intoxicating 2021 Gesture. This white blends together Roussanne, Viognier and Grenache Blanc resulting in an aromatic floral nose with notes of apple and Meyer lemon. Good minerality and acid make it one with the best wines for summer, perfect for paring with with fish, mussels or a nice soft cheese like Port Salut.
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ALKINA | 2022 KIN SEMILLON
This certified organic and biodynamic Australian Semillon is made from grapes that sit on the traditional lands of the Ngadjuri people. The wine’s colorful label pays homage to its Aboriginal roots. The complex full-flavored wine has notes of grapefruit, making this a great choice for Sauvignon Blanc lovers.
GAI’A | 2021 THALASSITIS
With one sip of Gai’a’s flagship white you’ll be transported to one of the white-washed villas hugging the cliffs of Santorini where the Assyrtiko grapes in the 2021 Thalassitis grew. With great minerality and acidity, flavors of passion fruit and lime and a bit of a lanolin texture it pairs great with fresh seafood or sushi. While you don’t normally decant wine, the winemaker suggests that doing so 30 minutes before serving will enhance the experience.
DOMAINE OSTERTAG | 2018 GEWURZTRAMINER LES JARDINS
For me, Gewurztraminer is the quintessential grape of Alsace. The Domaine Ostertag tantalizes from the first sniff with its delightfully perfumed nose that features tropical fruits, spice and telltale lychee. The deep golden wine is full-bodied and long lingering, marketing it one of the best wines for summer. With its strong aromatic profile, it pairs with a wide variety of cheeses or even with a cheesecake for dessert. It’s also a great go-to wine when you have a guest that claims to only drink sweet wine. Pour this, and you’ll convert them to drier whites.
DARIOUSH | 2021 SIGNATURE VIOGNIER
Napa is known for Chardonnay so it’s always fun to discover a winery like Darioush that experiments with other whites like Viognier. The 2021 Signature Viognier expresses the classic floral and spice notes of the grape. Stone fruit, orange blossom and tropical fruit also add complexity. It’s a full-bodied wine, making it a great summer wine alternative for red wine drinkers. With its structure it’s also a wine that can pair with lighter meats.
FLORA SPRINGS | 2021 SOLILOQUY
As a writer, I love to pair a good backstory with the wine in my glass and the 2021 Soliloquy has it in spades. In the late 1980s Flora Springs felt that there was something special about a small block of its Sauvignon Blanc grapes and sure enough there was. UC Davis certified it was a new clone of the grape entirely unique to Flora Springs. But just a few years later vine disease nearly made the just discovered clone extinct. Flora Springs worked hard for eight years to save the clone and today we’re all rewarded with the 2021 Soliloquy which features a blend of 75 percent Soliloquy-clone Sauvignon Blanc along with Chardonnay and Malvasia. The three grapes combine to create a well-structured, full-body white blend with zesty acidity and notes of pear, apple, citrus and spice.
Pick any of our 10 best wines for summer and you’ll have a perfect pairing to create summer memories.