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Cool Off with Great Wines for Summer

by Maureen Rooney, Wine Consultant
Siesta Key Wines

Another summer is upon us and the season for picnics and grilling outdoors is well under way. This month we’ve selected four wines to impress your friends and please your palate without burning hole in your pocket. We hope you enjoy some of our new refreshing whites and tasty reds this summer season.

Vinho Verde is our number one most refreshing white wine. Originating in Portugal, Vinho Verde is fresh and fizzy with a citrusy effervescence. Very easy drinking and relatively lower on alcohol than most wines, about 10 to 12 percent. Vinho Verde is a young wine meant to be consumed within the first year or two of harvest. The Portuguese grapes that are used in Vinho Verde are arinto, azal, loureiro and trajadura. This wine is excellent with grilled chicken or salads and it’s wonderful alone or with a cheese plate. Serve with a slice of lemon or lime as a garnish.

Next on our list of summer favorites is Bubbles by Lobetia which is an outstanding wine from La Mancha, Spain. It’s a medium bodied sparkling white Cava made of 100% Chardonnay grapes. The first sip is of exotic and white fruits while the mid palate is drier and the finish slightly bitter. This is another refreshing wine for summer picnics as its sparkling bubbles are thirsty quenching yet the wine brings a fruity sophistication to a grilled menu. Enjoy this with tangy honey barbecued chicken and, my favorite, grilled zucchini.

Now just because the weather is warmer doesn’t mean you have to give up Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernets are a favorite complement to chat grilled steaks, but sometimes Cabernet Sauvignon can be too heavy to drink during the summer. Consider trying a smoother, medium bodied Cabernet Sauvignon like Casa Julia from Chile. This Chilean Cab has notes of cherry and blackberry that shine through to a velvety finish. Lots of full flavor with very little oak will have you asking for a second glass.

Big, bold and beautiful is the best way to describe Wine Guerrilla Zinfandel from Sonoma County. This Old Vine Zin is well balanced and fruit forward and it’s an excellent choice for barbecued pork or beef. Old Vine wines are from vines that are at least 50 years old and the older the vine, the more complex the root system. Old Vines produce less fruit but their grapes have a higher concentration of flavor. This Zinfandel boasts flavors of blackberry jam, peppery spice, licorice and has a very long finish. Enjoy with baby back ribs!

Each of the wines mentioned are a value at under $20 and are available for you at Siesta Key Wines. Happy Summer!