Summer Sips

Looking for just the right wine for your summer soiree or patio sipping? Try these recommendations from local experts and find your perfect pairing for warm-weather wines.

Favorite Summer Sipper

Aromas Das Castas Vinho Verde
“Light, crisp, with just a touch of fruity sweetness, Vinho Verde is one of summer’s great affordable vinous pleasures,” says Duane Johnson, wine specialist at Coaltrain Wine and Spirits. “Vinho Verde means green wine, not because the wine is green, but because it is very young, often released only three months after the vintage. Made from alvarinho and loureiro grapes grown in Portugal’s northernmost wine region, the Aromas Das Castas Vinho Verde is lightly tangy with flavors of sliced apple and lemon. The perfect match for lighter summer fare.”

Casal Garcia Vinho Verde
“It is an inexpensive dry, light and fruity beauty,” Jack Backman, owner of Cheers Liquor Mart. “Great with fruits and cheeses.”


Cline Mourvedre Rosé
“Rosés are hotter this season than last, and they were on fire last year,” Backman says. “This Sonoma blush wine is bright, delicate and fruity.”

Domaine Carrel Savoie Rosé
“No wine category has shown greater growth in the past few years than rosé. The supply of delicate fresh rosés from France, especially Provence, seems inexhaustible.” Johnson says. “Up on the foothills of the Alps, near the Swiss border, is the wine region of Savoie. Here, Eugène Carrel makes a beautiful rosé from gamay [grapes] and the local grape mondeuse. Dry and crisp with perfect acidity and purity of fruit.”

Best for Special Occasions

Trouillard Brut Champagne
“Nothing marks a celebration or a special occasion better than Champagne. There is something about the chalky soils (the highest concentration in Europe) in the plains of Champagne that makes the perfect wine for bubbles,” Johnson. says “The [Trouillard family’s] house style’s emphasis is on the lighter side, with refreshing, crisp and creamy flavors and a very long finish. And best of all it easily surpasses most Champagnes in its price class.”

Moet-Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne
“I like the Moet-Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne,” says Backman. “It’s from the same company that produces Dom Perignon and is nice and dry, clean and crisp.”

Best Value

The Culprit Red Blend
“Great little blend of five different varietals,” Backman says. “It is from the North Coast of California and has intense berry with hints of spices.”

2016 Chateau de Montfaucon Cotes du Rhone
One of many sought-after, iconic wine from the southern Rhone Valley. “Made primarily from grenache and syrah, [wines of the Cotes du Rhone appellation] are soft and approachable, but with good depth of spicy fruit and nuances of plums, earth and herbs.” Johnson explains. “These wines have consistently been some of the best values in the world of wine and go great with almost all cuisine including barbecue. Don’t miss the great 2016 vintage.”

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