A Sommelier's Guide to Must-Have Summer Wines
Updated: May 15, 2018
Photo Credit: Hannah Schneider Creative
A new summer means new trends, and this year we’re going beyond the rosé and spritz. We’ve rounded up 2018’s top picks from Mattie Jackson Selecman, Owner and Sommelier of SALT & VINE.
Difficult to pronounce and even harder not to love, Txakolina is a perfect, edgy summer white to cut through muggy, humid nights. A style produced exclusively from indigenous grapes in Spain’s northern Basque Country, the wines (both white and rosé styles), are bone dry, mineral laced, and are meant for long afternoons by the ocean.
· Picpoul de Pinet
Another zingy wildcard white that should be stocked in every fridge this summer — Picpoul de Pinet. One of the oldest grape varieties to find a home in France’s Languedoc region, the wine is light, low alcohol and beautifully limey. Consider it the vodka tonics of wine. The best part, always inexpensive and great partner for delicate shellfish.
· Gruner Veltliner
Summer calls for bikini season which, unfortunately, can call for lots of salads and healthier fare. Gruner Veltliner, the pride and joy of Austrian winemaking, tops the charts as one of the best wines to accompany vegetables, vinaigrettes, and anything high in citrus. Bottles from Wachau, Kamptal, and Kemstral regions are the best, but most under $20 prove wildly refreshing.
· Unoaked Chardonnay
Bringing Chardonnay back into style and into the summer season, just remember to "keep it clean." While many of us cringe at flabby, butterbomb Chards, when the grape is unoaked, it offers one of the cleanest and freshest white wines to keep around the house. Whether an entry Macon from Burgundy or a crisp bottle from Santa Barbara or Sonoma, you’ll be astonished at how easy drinking Chardonnay can be when you keep it away from oak aging.
· Gavi di Gavi
Rooted in Italy’s most northwesterly mountain region of Piedmont, Gavi’s style is understated, fresh, and packed with a core of fleshy melon fruit that makes you salivate for salty prosciutto. This unique white comes from a primarily red wine producing area, but the grape Cortese that comprises the style is made for picnics and light summer pasta dishes.