Summer means crisp, refreshing cocktails, and, for many of us, wine. The season is a great time to explore new wines from new areas and also to turn your palate to the lighter side of the vino spectrum. We are not suggesting you give up your red wine; just think about going a little lighter. As for your whites, think outside the chardonnay, and explore the many other varietals out there. Here are 10 great summer wines, each under $30. They’re all so refreshing and pair perfectly with summer food.
The 2016 StyleBlueprint Summer Wine Guide
This California sparkling wine is a blend of white and red, but exactly which white and red is unknown. No worries, as this sparkling wine is a hit, made by the popular Bedrock Wine Company out of Sonoma County. It’s fruity, effervescent and crisp, but not sweet. It is also “bone dry” and not as sweet as prosecco. Drink it in the morning, at lunchtime and at celebrations. $26.99
Bucher Rosé of Pinot Noir
This wine is made by a family that owns a dairy farm in the Russian River Valley in Sonoma County, CA. They grow grapes on the side, and produce a small amount of wine each year. But what they produce is top notch. This is a rosé of pinot noir and is a brand new wine for this brand. Rosés are referred to as a “red drinker’s white” or a “white drinker’s red.” Take your pick on the category, but rosé is a kind of wine everyone needs to try. $27.99
d’Orsaria Pinot Grigio
Translated from Italian as “the bear,” this wine comes from the far northeastern region of Italy by Slovenia. It is a high quality, organic pinot grigio. Pinot grigios are classically soft, approachable, crowd-friendly wines that are on the sweeter end of the spectrum. For this reason, they are safe to serve to a crowd and very easy to drink. $13.99
Lagar de Cervera Albariño
This is a great lunchtime wine that pairs well with sandwiches and salads. Albariños are aromatic, dry, fruity classic white Spanish wines. It is aromatic, like a sauvignon blanc, and easy to drink, like a pinot grigio. An all around great wine to serve or to drink on your own. $11.99
Sean Minor Sauvignon Blanc
Like all sauvignon blancs, this one is highly acidic, highly aromatic and practically bursts from the glass. It has notes of tropical fruits, honey and flowers, and its crisp taste pairs perfectly with anything citrus, such as lemon chicken or anything grilled in a citrus marinade. $13.99
Gysler Scheurebe Halbtrocken
This is a German grape and a popular German wine, and yes, it’s very hard to pronounce. It is deceptive, because when you smell it, you think it is sweet, like a riesling, but it actually tastes very dry. Enjoy this wine freezing cold; it tastes like “summer in a glass.” Drink a glass while you are waiting for your grill to heat up. Word to the wise, it comes in a tall, green, liter bottle and can be mistaken for a bottle of water. $14.99
This is another great “waiting to grill” drink that is perfect with lighter meals, such as salads or chicken. Viognier tastes like chardonnay with a kick, with notes of apples, honey and flowers on the palate. It is dry, soft and easy to drink. $10.99
Derived from the garnacha grape in Aragon, Spain, this is a very popular export. A fruity, light, red wine, it works well with pork and other grilled meats. It’s great to serve to company for dinner, especially with a little chill on it. It is an inexpensive summer wine that is easy to drink. $8.99
Clendenen Family Vineyard’s “The Pip” Pinot Noir
This is the most recommended wine of the bunch, which comes from the Santa Maria Valley near Santa Barbara, CA. Made by Jim Clendenen, who is known as the “Master of pinot noir” in the United States, it is the most expensive wine of the list, priced at $29.99, and it is also the most elegant of the bunch. This wine is so good that Europeans drink it, and they are notorious for not drinking American wines. $29.99
P-Oui Pinot Noir
The play on words here refers to the size of this half-bottle of pinot noir, from the famed Willamette Valley in Oregon. Made by Mouton Noir wines by sommelier and wine producer André Mack, this one comes from a winery that produces fantastic selections. The half bottle is great for one person, and though small in stature is by no means a peewee on taste. $19.99
Cheers to summer … and to you!!
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