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Wines for summer

by Lisa Johnston, Wine Musing
As Summer heats up and the silly season continues to roll through to its Australia Day climax, there’s no better time to chill out. So you don’t need to get hot and bothered about your wine selection, here are a few tips and a selection of wines that will keep even the fussiest friends happy through the hottest days.
Remember, the best recipe for summer is – grab a bottle of your favourite wine from the fridge, an ice bucket and some friends and you’re guaranteed to keep your cool.

Summer wineSummer  Wine Tips:

Keep your fridge stocked! The last thing you want is to be caught empty handed when long lost friends unexpectedly drop by or your favourite relos call in on their way through to somewhere else. Just a bottle or two on hand to cope with any situation.
If you are in the mood for bubbles, don’t forget to put the glass in the freezer for ten minutes before you pour and it will make that first few sips more fun. Why not chill your white wine glasses if it is particularly warm.
Try to avoid putting ice cubes in your wine unless you are actually aiming to dilute the wine as well as chill it down. Rather use and ice bucket or ice cubes that are plastic coated and will not melt or even a corksicle which will keep your wine colder for longer.
Prefer a fruity red? A quarter of an hour in the fridge will do wonders for the refreshment value of a red. Don’t chill down a red with lots of spicy oak as all you will get is a mouthful of oak. Fruity, lightly or unoaked wines are great chilled in summer.
In the heat of the day, it is better to avoid higher alcohol wines which will just make you feel hotter. There is a reason that moscatos, early harvest wines and some Hunter Valley Semillons feel that much more refreshing. They tend to have alcohols that are lower than 10% which means that you can have a glass and not feel that you have been hit over the head with a heat bomb. Just another way to keep your cool and avoid the hot flushes that sneak up on you as you reach the bottom of your glass.

Here is a list of six fresh summer wines for around $20:

Devils Corner Pinot Grigio 2013 ($20) – Pinot Grigio is very popular at the moment and this is a good one. Crisp and light, the apple and pear fruit has a pretty floral perfume that makes it great summer drinking. Drink with a light seafood pasta.
Taylors Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($17) – A good Australian Sauvignon Blanc that offers ripe passionfruit and citrus with a handful of herbs. Varietally correct, it is a dry, medium bodied white that is kept fresh by the crisp green apple acid.  Softer on the fruit than a kiwi cousin.
Dowie Doole Chenin Blanc 2013 ($18) – There is citrus and white peach fruit and a silky polished weight and texture to the wine. Juicy, elegantly medium bodied and long on flavour. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this Chenin. Drink now and enjoy this wine with a spaghetti marinara or chicken salad.
Bimbadgen Moscato NV ($18) – Moscato is a hot item this summer. A sweet and soft floral and musk moscato that is a great start or finish to the night. A lovely pink colour, it is a wine that is balanced and frothy – get into it.
Pizzini Rosetta 2012 ($18) – A fresh dry pink that has loads of raspberry and cherry crowd appeal. It really does have a take-anywhere-do-anything attitude that I really admire. Take it to lunch, dinner or on a picnic on the beach and it will reward you.
Rolling Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre 2012  ($19)  – A concentrated cherry and spice classic. Richly dense without oak and kept fresh with a fresh line of acid, this is a good candidate for the fridge this summer. Enjoy with food or without.

About Lisa Johnston

Lisa has an infectious enthusiasm for all things vinous. She is a wine educator, writer and wine business consultant who has a fascination for the ever changing nature of wine and the wine experience – in the vineyard, in the bottle and in the glass. An avid wine traveller, her plan is to visit every wine region in the world. She is also renowned for unrepentantly insisting that wine is opened at playdates – for the adults only, of course! www.winemuse.com.au fb: /wine muse twitter: @thewinemuse gplus.to/LisaJohnston pinterest: Wine Muse instagram: thewinemuse

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