Wines for Outdoor Adventures: Exploring Picnic and BBQ Pairings
With the arrival of summer, even full-bodied red wine devotees are converting to a new faith. In the coming weeks, acidity and lightness rule the roost, or rather wines that can offer freshness on a sultry day. In this blog post, we've made a memo of summer wines, with specific examples that are great to drink by the pool, at the country house, picnics in the park, and city verandas.
Beach Bliss and Canned Wines
When we hear "aluminum can", our brain first evokes the images of beer or soda. Well, it seems, it's time to expand the boundaries of our usual perception. It is a common belief that wine in an aluminum can is vastly inferior to traditional bottles in terms of quality. This is a misconception. Canned wines will certainly taste different from, say, an aged Chardonnay, but that's because the wines packed in cans are fresh and young, intended to be drunk the same night they are bought.
The cans are usually filled with simple, easy-to-drink wines, such as Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling. In addition, there are several advantages of canned wines that you probably didn’t expect. Such wines are ideal for public places. You can take it anywhere, from a picnic in the park to a trip to the beach or pool. They are convenient to carry around in your backpack, so you can open it at any time and pull your chilled wine out. They are also easier to cool, so it's a great choice for plein-air parties, concerts in the park, and everywhere else, where glass is probably forbidden.
Poolside Pleasures and Refreshing Pink Wines
During hot days, you crave something light and refreshing. In this case, crispy rosé wines are the best way to quench your thirst. Savor the rosé from Tavel and Bandol for the evening or enjoy them by the pool during the day. Then close your eyes and let them transport you straight to the Côte d'Azur. Today, elegant rosés are produced in many wine regions. Keep in mind rosé from the Loire Valley - quiet and sparkling, Provence, Languedoc, as well as the north of Spain - Navarra.They will pleasantly surprise you with their subtle character.
Maritime Whites for Summer Terrace Soirées
Some wines are just created for hot summer: light, low-alcohol, fresh, and very maritime. They taste as if the ocean is rolling in waves and their aroma is splashing. They evoke memories of days spent on the coast, bringing you as far as the shores of the Atlantic. For this wonderful effect go for something minimally fruity, restrained, and mineral, so that the aroma of wet stones can easily awaken in the glass. First on the list here would be Chablis from limestone soils. Another interesting option is Muscadet from the Loire.
The new trend in the world of mineral wines is white Etna. It was best described by Marco Paoluzzi, the founder of I Custodi when he compared it to Catania's summer drink, which consists of mineral water with lemon and salt. It's just like that, but of course a little more interesting. The much-loved Portuguese Vinho Verde is just perfect for summer terrace soirées at home or on a restaurant veranda. And lastly, let's also add Austrian Grüner Veltliner to the list with its green hues in the aroma and nicely delineated acidity.
Dinner Al Fresco with Elegant Bubbly Wines
During these sunny days, you can easily go from a more structured Champagne to dry Prosecco or Cava. The main thing is that it should be more acidic and refreshing. The advantage of sparkling wines is their versatility and gastronomic appeal. You can pair them with salads, appetizers, or hot dishes, such as vegetable pasta. Nowadays, the choice of sparkling wines is wider than ever, with some real hidden gems to be found on shelves and restaurant lists. And summer is the best time to expand your knowledge of the variety of sparkling wines. We highly recommend you check out Northern Italian Trento DOCs, with fresh wines made using the traditional method. An unconventional choice would be Luxembourg Crémants! And of course, Pet Nats are always good - simple, fruity, and a little bit crazy.
Light-Bodied Reds for Barbecues
What if you're more of a red wine drinker, but many of the reds are too heavy for the summer heat? Don’t worry, wine writer Madeline Puckette, known to all as the author of the popular Wine Folly blog, has selected some light red wines that can be sipped leisurely even while sunbathing in the sun. Austrian Blaufrankisch with its sweet-smoky notes with hints of pepper and dark fruit is perfect for a country house barbecue or even summer camping! Next is Barbera, suitable for those who don't like straightforward fruit and gem wines. Pay attention to Lambrusco Secco. Pouring it into a glass, you'll be enveloped by complex aromas of fresh blueberries, sour cherries, rose hips, and rhubarb, while on the palate you'll find a creamy, yeasty, elegant sparkle.
Another interesting variety is Cinsault. It tastes like fresh red berries that someone threw into a blender and then crushed. Wines made from this grape have mouthwatering acidity and a pleasant floral flavor that highlights hints of rose petals that successfully set off the bright notes of red berries. This is a first-class summer red wine in the style of "Wow, I'm chilling on a yacht". And of course if you opt for something very light, opt for Beaujolais. With its flavors of violets, blueberries, and loamy soil, you will find yourself right in the middle of the blooming garden!