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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What wine to drink in the heat of summer

Downing a big, heavy Cabernet when the outside temp. is hovering around 90 degrees is not all that enjoyable (believe me, I've tried).   So what to consume in the heat?   (Besides a nice cold beer).

Sauvignon Blanc
SB is more acidic than Chardonnay and isn't as heavy.  This means it's clean, crisp and refreshing.   I tell beer folks, "It's like the IPA of wine."  (You'll get that if you're a beer geek).

Chenin Blanc
Many folks don't know what this is.  It's usually a little sweet, but has decent acid to balance that out (and make it refreshing).   And it's cheap!

Dry Gewurz is spicy and refreshing.  A couple weeks ago on a hot night I enjoyed a Navarro Gewurztraminer with grilled chicken. It hit the spot.  Riesling works well, too.

People are surprised by the quality and drinkability of California rosés today as the better ones aren't syrupy sweet and are made from quality grapes.  People along the Mediterranean in France and Italy have long-known about dry rosés in the summer.

Pinot Noir
The lightest and softest of the reds, but watch the alcohol level as some can be heavy and hot-tasting.
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Rhones (red and white)
Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Syrah blends are easy-drinking summer wines. Among the whites Viognier is easiest to find. For reds, Syrahs can be heavy so look for blends and look for lower-alcohol wines.

Of course, when it's really hot there's nothing better than a nice, cold beer...

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