13 Wines to Sip Through the Summer Season


Summer 2021 is here and with the promise of lockdown restrictions easing, it is an exciting time to celebrate with great seasonal wine.  From Albariño to Zweigelt Rosé I’ve got you covered with a dreamy selection of light but serious wines.  A great summer wine should be approachable, lively, and of course, refreshing.  This roundup includes brand new releases that fit the bill for warm weather sipping.

While everyone should drink rosé all year-round, summertime just begs for the crisp pink drink. Sophisticated and dry styles from Southern France are the pinnacle for quality, but standouts are made around the world including Austria.

2020 Vievite Provence Rose ($22.99): This stunning rosé is aromatic and perfumed with aromas and flavors of strawberries, rose petal, and violets.  Zippy, refreshing acidity with a smooth texture.  Its lively freshness makes it the perfect beach wine for the season.  Pair with salty potato chips and fried chicken.

2018 Lustig Zweigelt Rosé ($14.99): This Austrian rosé is just delicious, with flavors of strawberry, melon, and a hint of dried green herbs, and cracked white pepper.

2020 L’Olivette Bandol Rosé ($26.99): L’Olivette from the Mediterranean’s most serious rosé appellation, Bandol, is a bold blend of mostly Grenache, offering rich concentration.  Fresh strawberry, hibiscus, and tangerine burst out of the glass.

2019 Vicchiomaggio San Jacopo Rosato ($13.99): Bright pale pink color with copper tints. Rose petals, wild strawberry and raspberry aromas. It has a light body and soft texture. Very refreshing with delicate citrus flavors.  Pair with sushi, pecorino cheese, salads.

The noble Riesling grape is full of complexity, racy acidity, and vivacious freshness. Discover the many styles of Riesling ranging from honeyed tropical sweetness to bone-cracking dryness.  Riesling is a wonderful choice in warm summer weather since it offers low alcohol content and yummy natural fruit flavors.  The best examples have the ability to age for decades in the bottle.

2018 Sparkman Cellars “Birdie” Riesling Colombia Valley, Washington ($19.99): Lively aromas of jasmine, lime, Asian pear, crushed river stones and pepper spice. Delicious now and will age gracefully for decades. Pair with sushi, raw oysters, Asian dishes, and much more.

2020 Rieslingfreak No. 44 Riesling Eden Valley, Australia ($16.99): Eden Valley Rieslings are delicate and refined.  Rieslingfreak No. 44 is no exception with aromas of citrus and white blossoms, and flavors of lime and lemon, with a background of sweet spice. The wine drinks well young but will reward with a little cellaring. Pair with grilled shrimp for the perfect match.

2019 Kilikanoon Killermans Run Riesling, Clare Valley, Australia ($19.99): Spicy white pepper, citrus blossom, ripe pineapple, white cherries, and lemon rind show off on this outstanding Clare Valley expression.

France’s Loire Valley is the home of this summertime classic made from Sauvignon Blanc.  These selections are made by serious winemakers in small batches offering aromatic and complex flavors of lemon-lime citrus, melon, green herbs, and stony minerality with rich texture.    

2019 Gitton Silex Les Belles Dames Sancerre ($32.99): Produced from vines grown on silex soils of the 12-acre single vineyard, Les Belles Dames, this Sauvignon Blanc truly expresses a sense of place.  Flinty minerality, acidity, and tart citrus fruit. This thirst-quenching Sancerre has a wonderfully rich and full texture.

2018 Henri Bourgeois Sancerre Les Barons ($19.99): This stunning Sancerre is full of ripe peach, honeydew melon, and lemon. It is versatile and food friendly.

The most well-known grape variety in Galicia flourishes in Rías Baixas, Albariño is considered Spain’s quintessential white wine. The sea influence is prominent, and the best wines display a briny, salty character backed by zippy acidity.  The granitic soils in Rías Baixas contribute to the mineral expression of the terroir.  Think Pinot Grigio on steroids!

2019 Sonrío Cuando Llueve Albariño ($19.99): Aromas of green apple, lemon, pear, and pineapple burst from the glass. The palate has a creamy and round texture along with racy acidity to create a balanced and lively white wine.

2019 Rectoral do Umia Albariño Rías Baixas ($26.99): Granny Smith green apple aromas are lifted by honey, lemon and lime.  The salty flavors on the long finish are ultra-refreshing!

Summer Reds Don’t forget to chill!
While white wine and rosé are always a fabulous choice, branch out and chill down these juicy reds.  These reds should be chilled down even more and enjoyed with reckless abandon while dining alfresco. 

2017 Barrique Cellars Pinot Noir ($29.99): A beautifully expressive, layered Pinot Noir with ripe red cherry and blackberry flavors.

2018 Sparkman Cellars Wonderland Grenache Washington ($34.99): Fruit comes from three very different vineyards, all fermented with a third whole cluster, which deliver ripe aromas and flavors of raspberry, anise, black olive tapenade, citrus, and cinnamon.

Visit Elyse Genderson at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill to discover wines you love.