With a change in seasons almost upon us, summer can often be a catalyst for many to turn the page and try something new. This normally means pulling out our summer clothing, taking more walks to enjoy the outdoors, a shift from winter comfort foods to summer fare and, yes, maybe a time to shift up the wines we drink. Here are 10 amazing wines to consider trying that won't break the bank and might even help you enjoy our brief summer even more!
(1) 4 Vines "Biker" Zinfandel- June normally means we start to really ramp up use of our bikes and our BBQ's. This wine is all about Cherries, White Pepper, Plums and Oregano. Pair it with anything you BBQ with sauce and watch the smoky sweetness come to life.
(2) Three Wine Co- Old Vines Rose- What is it about warmer weather and patios that makes us gravitate to Rose? I love the fresh cherry aroma and strawberry/cranberry palate. Try it with grilled salmon, salads, a cheese plate and just about any beach or patio.
(3) Auntsfield Single Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc- While International Sauvignon Blanc Day was in May, it doesn't mean that this wine doesn't deserve our full appreciation throughout the summer months. With intense flavours of passionfruit and lime and zippy acidity, this wine pairs incredibly well with creamy dishes and East Coast mussels.
(4) Schug Sonoma Coast Chardonnay- With minimal oak influence this wine flaunts tropical fruit, spicy apple and cream. Not surprisingly this is a stellar wine for seafood, especially lobster!
(5) Cryptic Red Blend- Its mantra "Anything is possible with wine and desire" leaves us really pondering life while we enjoy heady aromas of blackberry jam, juicy red plums and a hint of mocha. This can be enjoyed on its own or with grilled meats or pizza.
(6) Lucky Star- Cabernet Sauvignon- While we are talking about fun, value-driven reds that match summer fare, look no further than this easy drinking cab. With ripe dark fruit and supple tannins I love this wine with fatty meats like a pork chop or a rib-eye.
(7) Cyatho, Verdejo- In the peak of the summer, on its hottest days you will appreciate wines that are grown and consumed in hot regions like this one from Rueda. With a citrusy profile and mixed tropical notes this wine works best in the sunny outdoors with shellfish and friends!
(8) Casabianca, Vermentino- Another warm region that does white whites that really quench a thirst is this light skinned grape from Tuscany. With intense grapefruit and balanced acidity, pair this wine with seafood or a goat cheese and beet salad.
(9) Girasole, Pinot Noir- Charlie Barra is an "organic wine legend" in Mendocino and this wine is so versatile that it is going to match up with almost any light summer meal- from a panini to BBQ chicken to mushroom pizza. While grown in California, I think this wine shows signs of Burgundian influence with its complex notes of oak, leather and tea enhancing the bright red currant.
(10) Angeline Pinot Noir- Known for its outstanding quality, this hand-picked wine profiles fresh cranberries, maraschino cherries and orange zest and is simply amazing with cheeses, plank salmon and roasted vegetables.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list, and there is a heavy slant towards regions with warmer climates like California, Italy and Spain. But these are the summer wines that we drink in our house. They offer value and quality, and are all pretty impressive as food wines or on their own.