Perfect Wines For The Summer

Champagne for two.

Photo © 2007 Roger Kirby.

Summertime, with it's sweltering heat and heavy air, does something to a wine drinker's palate. We no longer crave a tannic rich Cabernet, for example. They tend to make us warm. During the hot months, wine drinkers tend to crave wines high in acidity. These livlier wines tend to be more cleansing and refreshing. So, put away your Merlots and Cabernets for the Summer, and join us for a tour of some delightful summer substitutes.

No question about it, we Americans love our Champagne! We drank about 35 million gallons of it in 2006. This figure represents about a 20% increase from 2001. We would probably drink alot more of it, but it's price has risen right along with it's popularity. An excellent, economical substitute is a proseco from the Veneto region of Italy. Proseco comes extra dry, or brut, which is drier still. Heavy, creamy dishes such as fettucine Alfredo, complement the lively, dry quality of proseco. Proseco tends to cut through the oiliness and richness of Salmon or even an avacado. Proseco leaves us cleansed and refreshed, and eager for the next bite!

Though sometimes a little too sweet, Spanish Cavas are a great, bubbly alternative to champagne. Extremely affordable, most cavas are under 20 dollars. Most Cavas are made west of Barcelona, in northeastern Spain. Cavas are generally sparkling wines, however once in awhile youll run across a rose. With aromas ranging from apple to lemon, Cavas are one of the main reasons that Spain is rapidly ascending in prominence in the world of wines.

Although only slightly effervescent, Portugal's Vinho verde still qualifies as a choice alternative to Champagne and an excellent summer wine. Featuring a delicate lightness and a lower alchohol content, Vinho Verde is perfect for hot, summer days when the tendancy is to consume your wine a little more quickly. Perfect for many types of foods, Vinho Verde is usually quite fruity, with citrus being the most common. Generally a young wine, Vinho Verde has earned the nickname "green" wine.

Beacause it lacks the harsh tannins of a Cabernet, the full bodied spirit of a Grenache is a good summer choice. Although most associate a Grenache from France or Australia, Grenache is grown in abundance in the Priorat region of Spain. Grenache typically conveys accents of dark fruits such as black plums or rasberries. Californis, too has it's share of Grenache. Interesting enough, Grenache complements a good old fashioned burger as well as anything else!

In finishing our round-up of great summer wines, we still have a few more that deserve mention. Sauvignon blanc, particularly from New Zealand, is a great summer choice. It features just the right amount of acidity combined with the goodness of gooseberry and grapefruit. The ever popular pinot grigio, especially from Italy is clean and wonderfully refreshing! A little less well known is a Gruner Veltliner from Austria. Gruners are wonderfully crisp and thirst quenching. They are bone dry and are frequently laced with green apple.

Needless to say, we have left out somebody's favorite summer wine. For that we are sorry. Hopefully we have included some wines that will make this summer perfect for discovering new favorites.

Michael Hutchins is a noted lecturer on the subject of entertaining in your home. He is a respected wine enthusiast and self admitted "party animal." Michael has created his online store, www.home-bars-and-more.com to provide "one stop" shopping for all your home bar needs. The store features a remarkable variety of home bars, bar stools, wine racks, and lots of bar accessories. Why not visit right now!

Copyright © 2007 Michael Hutchins