Best Wines for Summer

Vacations, graduations, reunions and poolside parties—it’s summertime! From chilled and bubbly to sultry and sublime, our top summer wine picks pair perfectly with the year’s sunniest season.

WINE EXPERIENCE GOES WITH

Innovación

Chenin-Chardonnay

This cheerful South American White comes in a 1-liter bottle—at more than 6 glasses per bottle, it’s a great value for summertime socializing.

Aromas of white flowers, apple and papaya. Flavors move from Bosc pear to applesauce and spice. Look for a clean balanced finish in this vegan Argentine White.

Cellars at Jasper Hill Harbison cheese, outside foods like burgers and fish tacos, shrimp or fish kabobs

Recipe: Grilled Turkey Burgers with Gouda

Frey

Agriculturist Organic Blanc

Frey Vineyards was founded as the nation’s first certified organic winery almost 35 years ago, and is still family-owned and operated today.

Glints of silver and aromas of fresh honeysuckle in this refreshing organic White blend. Tropical fruit flavors, notes of sweet grass. A whisper of Riesling brings orange blossom to the finish.

Cowgirl Creamery Mt Tam cheese, honey-marinated meats, Asian-style sweet heat dishes, grilled fish, peach salsa

Recipe: Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops

El Perro Verde

Rueda

Verdejo grapes thrive on the harsh, bleak Rueda plateau in north-central Spain, where dry winters and low yields concentrate bold complex flavors.

Bright gold in color, pronounced citrus and abundant grapefruit aromas. White peach, thyme and subtle savory notes move to a long finish nicely balanced between tanginess and fruit.

Mitica Mahon cheese, steamed clams, fresh oysters, calamari with sweet paprika, guacamole, grilled asparagus

Recipe: Chilled Melon Soup with Basil

Les Hauts de Bel Air

Sauvignon Blanc

Since 1883, the Sichel family of Bordeaux have produced globally recognized wines while remaining 100% family-run.

A progression of aromas, first grapefruit zest moving to rosemary and green pepper. Delicate yellow peach and citrus flavors lead to a balanced mineral-tinged finish.

Sevre et Belle Bucherondin cheese, grilled seafood, stuffed poblano peppers, paninis, raw mushrooms

Recipe: Spicy Celery Salad

Louis Latour

Grand Ardèche Chardonnay

The Ardèche River cuts dramatically through south-central France, creating beautiful 1,000-foot limestone cliffs, stone arches and perfect growing conditions for chardonnay grapes.

Toasty oak, fresh green apple and pear in the delicate bouquet. Depth of richness and balance in the smooth, ripe finish.

Vermont Creamery Bonne Bouche cheese, seafood in cream sauce, tarragon lemon crabcakes, oysters, grilled chicken, apple slaws with creamy dressing

Recipe: Roasted Heirloom Tomato Butter with Thyme and grilled chicken or veggies

Deccolio

Prosecco

This gregarious sparkler is Kosher certified and comes from the Veneto and Friuli regions of northern Italy.

Weddings, graduations, celebrations. Lemon-lime and tangerine aromas mingle with toast, tropics and honey flavors. A savory orange-peel note moves to peach and apricot in the refreshing extra-dry sparkling finish.

Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog cheese, crunchy salty foods, shellfish, chicken salad with grapes and nuts, mango mimosas

Recipe: Sonoma Tofu Salad

Montevina

Barbera

One of the many ways this California winery employs environmentally sustainable techniques is owl boxes strategically installed throughout the vineyards to help control pests naturally.

Sultry and dark with black cherry and spice aromas. Low tannins make room for abundant juiciness. Look for toasty oak and vibrant acidity in the satisfying finish.

Taleggio Ca de Ambros cheese, pizza with prosciutto and fresh basil, mussels or eggplant marinara, cheese board with figs

Recipe: Lamb Sliders with Celery-Yogurt Sauce

Sanford

Flor de Campo Pinot Noir

With insulating handmade adobe walls 30 inches thick, the winery has no need for either heating or air conditioning, keeping the interior at 55°–65° year-round—perfect for winemaking.

An initial burst of bright red raspberries and bing cherries moves to hints of cola, black pepper and intriguing earthiness. Toasty oak influences the balanced, medium finish.

Uniekaas Robusto cheese, lighter things on the grill (lobster, swordfish, chicken, shrimp, veggie kabobs), pork tenderloin, almost anything but citrus.

Recipe: Grilled Salmon with Sweet Corn and Avocado Salad

Querciabella

Mongrana

Querciabella’s vineyards, the largest area of certified organic grape-growing land in Italy, act as a sanctuary for thriving numbers of honey bee colonies—in keeping with the winery’s mission to preserve these important pollinators.

A complexity of dark fruit and sweet anise aromas. Lovely rich butteriness backs up notes of sour cherry and cocoa. Beautifully structured tannins in the full finish.

Seaside Cheddar, lamb chops, heartier pasta dishes, grilled mushrooms

Recipe: Spinach and Ricotta Salata Grilled Pizza

Santa Rita

Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon

Complex, enticingly food-friendly—we had to buy it all! The winery has developed a glass bottle that is 24% lighter, reducing glass, weight and shipping fuel.

Forward herbal notes of green parsley mix with aromas of ripe black berries. Black pepper and ripe plum flavors deepen the lingering, well-structured finish in this Chilean Red.

Gabriel Coulet Roquefort, steak with grilled salsa, chops with black pepper, gazpacho with green peppers

Recipe: Flank Steak Fajitas with Mango Chimichurri

Mas Picosa

Capçanes Montsant

Capçanes, a tiny village hidden in the Priorato hills of northwest Spain, grows vines in fragmented, rocky limestone soil causing the roots to search ever deeper (up to 30 feet!) for water.

Redolent with spice cake and candied dark berry aromas. Forward jamminess counterpointed by a zesty minerality. Complexity in the long, finely tannic finish.

Catamount Hills cheese, chicken paella, charcuterie, mixed berries, picnics

Recipe: Black Bean Tostadas with Pickled Veggies

Soleil des Garrigues

Ventoux

In 1957 a long hard freeze ravaged olive trees which originally grew where these vineyards now stand. Seeing an opportunity, Rhone valley winegrowers grouped together, bought the land and are now creating lovely wines.

Aromatic with black fruit, spices and sweet cherry. Minerality and sweet anise show in this easy-to-sip Red blend. Soft tannins gently round out the finish.

Mons St. Soleil cheese, blue cheese burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, falafel wraps, Greek salad

Recipe: Grilled Chicken with Fresh Herbs

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