These warm summer days are the perfect time to sit back and relax with a delicious wine. But which wines are the best for this time of year? A summer wine should be light and chilled to complement the warm weather, and it should be versatile so that you can have it anywhere–on the beach, at a barbecue, and especially at BLEND. In this blog post, we’ll tell you about seven wines you have to try before summer ends.
Originally from Bordeaux, France, this white wine is now widely cultivated in Canada, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa. Sauvignon blanc is a dry yet refreshing wine, and its flavor can vary drastically depending on the climate in which the grapes grew: grassier in cooler climates and more tropical in warmer climates. Its zesty acidity and distinctive aromas that range from fruity to musky make this a very easy wine to identify. While winemakers occasionally age sauvignon blanc in oak barrels, they prefer to exhibit the wine and let it age in the bottle. Sauvignon blanc pairs well with seafood and cheese and is one of the few wines that complements sushi.
This red wine originated in the Beaujolais region of France. The country has some interesting requirements for its wine; makers can only use Gamay grapes to make red beaujolais, and all the grapes in the Beaujolais must be harvested by hand. Red beaujolais is easy to drink thanks to a winemaking process called carbonic maceration, or whole berry fermentation. This keeps the fresh, fruity quality that red beaujolais is known for without extracting the tannins from the red grape skins. This wine has low to medium acidity with an aroma and taste of red berries, which is more apparent when it’s served around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Pair red beaujolais with salad, chicken, or anything else you’d like to eat outdoors.
This white wine originated in Spain, where its grapes were first thought to be a “mutation” of the red grape version of Grenache. From there, the white grapes spread to the Rhône Valley in France, where grenache blanc is now a major component in Côtes-Du-Rhône white wines. Grenache blanc is full-bodied with low acidity and a high alcohol content, and a low fermentation process gives this wine a fresh dill scent. It has an inquisitive taste with hints of acacia, straw, honey, herbs, and even candied citrus fruits. Grenache Blanc pairs well with Asian food, fish, and appetizers.
This pink wine actually isn’t from a specific region, but its biggest producers are France, Spain, Italy, and the US. Rosé winemakers lightly crush red grapes and leave them to macerate with their skins for a short time. Then, they strain the juice out of the skins and ferment the liquid from there. Old World (European) rosé is typically drier than New World rosé, and both have hints of strawberry, raspberry, and citrus. If you’re new to rosé, you can’t go wrong with a bottle from Provence or the Rhône Valley. Although delicious on its own, rosé goes with just about anything: fish, steak, desserts, and even burgers.
This white wine gets its name from the French pinot gris. Although pinot gris and pinot grigio are made from the same grape, the Italian pinot grigio is very different from its counterpart and is an ideal summer wine. Pinot grigio is light-bodied, crisp, fresh, and pure, with fruit and floral aromas and a touch of spice. You can find hints of vanilla, apple blossom, citrus, and even smoke in you pinot grigio. Pinot gris, on the other hand, is a fuller-bodied wine and is better with heartier foods like stews, roasts, and casseroles, making pinot gris an ideal fall or winter white wine. Pinot grigio pairs well with fish, cheese, shrimp, and light appetizers.
From Burgundy, France, chardonnay is the world’s most popular white wine. Interestingly enough, it’s easy to grow Chardonnay grapes in virtually any wine region, but no two places produce exactly the same wine. Aging chardonnay just a little in oak goes a long way, giving it a nice hint of vanilla. Like with sauvignon blanc, climate plays a major role in how your chardonnay will taste. Warmer climates will produce fruity, tropical flavors like citrus and peach, while cooler climates will produce an apple- or pear-like flavor and earthy aromas like fallen leaves. Chardonnay is very versatile, pairing well with foods from vegetable kebabs to spicy chicken wings.
Originally from the Rhine region in Germany, this white wine can age and improve in the bottle for more than 100 years. Its long life is thanks to high acidity and a chemical compound in the Riesling grapes. When this compound is strong in a Riesling wine, it gives off a petrol-like aroma, signaling that the wine is high quality and age worthy. Riesling from Germany and California is especially sweet, while France, Austria, and New York produce drier Riesling. This is a high-acidity wine with crisp, floral aromas and hints of peaches, apples, pears, and apricots. Riesling is at its best with spicy foods like Indian or Thai cuisine.
Try a few — or all — of these wines this summer, and you’re sure to find a new favorite. While certain foods pair especially well with these seven wines, don’t be afraid to get creative and try new pairings. After all, you should enjoy what you’re eating and drinking. At BLEND Bar and Davidoff Cigars, we have a wide variety of summer wines in our cellar that are sure to refresh you. The items on our menu also pair well with many of these wines. Whether you’re closing a deal with a client or enjoying a night out with someone special, join us at BLEND for an unforgettable experience!
BLEND Bar • Cigar with Davidoff Cigars® is Indianapolis and Nashville’s premier cocktail lounge and cigar bar. BLEND’s selection of premium cigars is second to none, and our walk-in humidor is one of the largest in the US. BLEND is the only appointed merchant for Davidoff cigars in Indiana, so cigar aficionados are sure to find what they are looking for.