After a long winter (well, not so long in Austin, TX) there is nothing like the first time you fire up the grill and invite friends and family over to enjoy great food and wine. From sparkling wine and crisp aperitif-style whites that pair so well with appetizers and salads to well-balanced and hearty reds that complement a variety of grilled foods, our Summer Top 10 has something for every palate and pocketbook. Here are some of my favorites to uncork your summer!
V-Solo Verdelho Are you craving a refreshing, aromatic and citrus-inspired wine (think Sauvignon Blanc) to sip on those long, hot afternoons? Or maybe something to go with your grilled seafood? Well, I have the wine for you. From the moment you take the first sip, this lip-smacker will transport you to northern Spain where these grapes are harvested. Take home a few bottles for your next tapas party!
Biokult Gruner Veltliner I discovered Gruner Veltliner, or Gru-Vee as many people call it, several summers ago and I absolutely love the clean, crisp acidity in this wine. Gru-Vee grows almost exclusively in Austria and is so versatile for your summer entertaining. It makes a great aperitif for when your guests arrive or is a perfect match for both grilled seafood or Asian-inspired cuisine. Can you say teriyaki salmon burgers?
Escudo Rojo Two words: grilled meat. This Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere from Chile is rich with black cherry aromas and just yearning to be paired with a perfectly grilled steak or a hearty hamburger. I also love this wine with any kind of BBQ, grilled sausages or even after dinner with cheese. Chile keeps bringing us amazing wine at such great values and this is a perfect example. Trust me, you will love this wine!
Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet You may know the Penfolds brand, but I bet you didn't know that this wine is available exclusively at Whole Foods Market. I take that back - it is available in some restaurants in Australia, but short of flying "Down Under" you'll have to visit your local Whole Foods Market and pick up this gem. Ripe blueberry and black currant flavors mingle with notes of coffee and chocolate. This wine gives new meaning to "Bang For Your Buck!" Fire up some lamb chops or grilled chicken and this wine (and you) will be in heaven!