Us Texans are known for loving our red wine, but now that the temps won’t dip below 90 degrees any time soon, rosés and whites are the go-to colors for summer wines.
Rosés are finally catching on here. Long time the favorite of Europeans in the summer months, rosés are perfect for our Texas heat, and for the most part (love ya Domaine Ott) they are very affordable.
They come in many styles from the bone dry, crisp Provence rosés popular in France (my fave) to the fuller, richer styled domestics that come from Napa. Almost any red grape can be used to produce rosé wines with the most common being Grenache, Sangiovese, Mourvedre, Carignan, Syrah, Cinsault and Pinot Noir.
Rosés pair beautifully with food – seafood, chicken, fish and fresh salads. They’re an easy go to wine for most summer fare. For example, this delicious BBQ Gulf Shrimp cocktail—a colorful, delicious dish that’s super easy to make—pairs perfectly with a crisp rosé. The folks at H-E-B’s Cooking Connections shared the recipe.
Some rosés I prefer include –
Albert Bichot Cremant Bourgongne Rosé at about $24 from H-E-B. This is a refreshing sparkling wine with aromas of citrus and raspberries on the nose and strawberries on the palate. Love this sparkler with food or all by itself.
Becker Vineyards Provencal- $12 at H-E-B
Triennes Rosé- $15
Another great summer dish that works nicely with rosés is the Watermelon Gazpacho from Olivette at The Houstonian.
White wines, too, pair perfectly with our lighter summer foods. If you’re stuck in a rut with the same bottle of chard, I’ve got some great suggestions for you to try.
One of my favorite go-to whites for sushi, salads or just all by itself is The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is light bodied, crisp and refreshing with flavors of grapefruit, peaches and a hint of minerality. And, it’s only about $13 a bottle!
Most wine stores carry it, and it’s on the menu at Sushihana—some of the best sushi in town!
Try it with Morton’s bacon-wrapped scallops. These could be served as an appetizer, but I’ll take them as a full meal anytime!
Another good Sauvignon Blanc is Girard’s Sauvignon Blanc. Produced in Napa, this sauv blanc is ripe with tropical fruits and very reasonably priced too.
Europeans are making some wonderful white wines and one that’s perfect for summer foods is Albarino- a Spanish grape variety that screams for shellfish! Albarinos have beautiful aromas of flowers and tropical fruit. These dry, crisp whites taste of citrus and have an ever so slight hint of brine from the ocean. The grapes are grown on the northern Atlantic coast of Spain.
One of the best Albarinos I’ve found is Mar de Frades, and it’s easy to spot in the elegant blue bottle with tiny seagulls. This wine runs about $15.
Other great inexpensive whites for summer that I like –
Barone Fini’s Pinot Grigio
Girard’s Sauvignon Blanc
By all means, spend some time exploring the southern Italian white varietals like Greco di Tufo, Falanghina and Fiano de Avellino. We’ll talk about those beauties later. Cheers!