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“It’s apocalyptic!” That’s what we heard someone gasp during a particularly heavy rainstorm at Red Rocks the other night. Okaaaaay….we wouldn’t go THAT far, but certainly Colorado is experiencing unusually rainy weather this year. We haven’t had a full week without rain, when typically it’s unusual to go a full week with rain. It does make the trees and grass green, and if anyone complains about the rain, other Coloradans will admonish “We really need it, though”. And that’s the truth. Our summers are usually hot and dry and we’ve had many years of drought.
Which brings us to our latest blog and video topic: Summer Wines. One of the many pleasures of doing what we do is sampling..err, or maybe more than a sample…wines in all kinds of weather. Believe me when I say our corkscrews could do a LOT of talking about 20 years’ of lazy summer afternoons that transition into cool Colorado evenings on either of The Two Wine Women’s back decks.
Today we are talking about 5 summer wines: A rosé from France, an Italian Pinot Grigio, Viognier from Washington State (with a nod to Virginia Viognier), a Napa Valley Zinfandel, and a French Cabernet Sauvignon.
- 2013 Domaine De la Modorée Rosé Côtes du Rhône – Fruity and floral on the nose, dry and mineral taste. Meg tasted some tannins in this one, and Beth tasted some strawberry and watermelon. It’s a refreshing wine, and would pair well with anything. (Except later that evening we paired it with a rather stinky triple crème cheese, and it made both the cheese and the wine taste bad).
- Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio – A very widely distributed wine. Crisp, clean, with flavors of tropical fruit. It’s a very versatile food wine. Just a note: Pinot Grigio is what this varietal is called in Italy, but other places call it Pinot Gris.
- Cougar Crest 2013 Estate Grown Viognier – Walla Walla Valley, Washington. Has some characteristics of Chardonnay, smells of citrus fruits, super strong aroma. Pairs well with all types of summer food, but is also “a drinker” (a wine that does not need to be drunk with food).
- Rosenblum Vintner Cuvee XXXVI Zinfandel – A heavy red wine like this one is not the first thing that comes to mind when it’s hot out, but this smooth wine with subtle tannins and cherry, plum, vanilla and mocha flavors lends itself well to pork ribs, hamburgers, or the usual bbq suspects.
- Fat Bastard Cabernet Sauvignon – Screw top! Super convenient for on-the-go, like watching fireworks in the park on Independence Day. Plus, this smooth, peppery wine with a long finish also pairs well with barbecued meats, and is accessible to just about everyone, in terms of price point and distribution.
The thing about drinking wine in the summer is that you typically want to have something refreshing, because it’s HOT! The 2 white wines and the 1 Rosé we mentioned in our video are certainly that, as are other light whites, like white Burgundy, white Bourdeaux, and California Sauvignon Blanc, to name a few.
However, we all have that friend who will only drink red wines, or the poser who believes red meat = red wine, so, even hamburgers on the grill or pork ribs smothered in BBQ Sauce require a red. If you have those people in your life, or if you run out of white wine at your backyard party, you can certainly find a place for red wine in the Summer. For barbecue sauce, with its smoky, spicy and sometimes sweet flavors, think young, spicy, and/or fruity. A Côtes due Rhône or a Zinfandel should pair nicely. Grilled meats like burgers or steaks will go nicely with a young Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Beaujolais.
To learn more about the wines mentioned in this blog post, please view our video, and tell us about your favorite wines!
Thanks for stopping by.