The best pours to accompany longer days and fun in the sun.
With summer temps hitting higher, there’s nothing like a chilled glass of white wine to provide some respite. Or a fabulous red to accompany your dinner spread. With a little bit of time, you’d be surprised which new wines you might take a liking to this season or maybe even rediscover. We asked some of our trusted wine experts for their best bets in a bottle for the next few months and what they’d pair some of these potions with. They did not hold back and neither should you.
Jermaine Stone, President and CEO of New York-based Cru Luv Selections
Cru Luv aims to bring the highest quality wines to hip hop’s global audience, delving deep into 40 years of professional wine experience. The company brands and markets wines in partnership with some of the world’s leading artists, so don’t be surprised if you are starstruck by some of these options
Licataa: A sparkling red lambrusco created by Raekwon The Chef of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. He took a trip to Italy with a group of wine professionals, designed the bottle and helped create the flavor profile. Licataa is perfect for summer day drinking. It’s extremely “gulpable” with bright berry fruit, notes of violets and a touch of earth.
Frederic Savart ‘L’Ouverture’ Brut Champagne NV: Frederic Savart has grown to become my favorite Champagne producer. There is an extra level of care that goes into each bottle when the farmer is also the winemaker. He makes several different cuvées, but the L’Ouverture is the most accessible. It’s 100% pinot noir with delicious notes of tart apple and chalky minerality.
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2016 Weiser-Kunstler Riesling Sekt Enkircher Zeppwingert: I’ve always enjoyed riesling, but when I tried sparkling riesling, I was blown away. This wine has all the explosive aromas of ripe apples and pears with the great structure that you would expect from a top-tier riesling. But the fact that it’s sparkling takes this wine, which is already great, to the next level.
La Fête du Rosé: This is officially the rosé of the summer. The bottle has made appearances on everyone’s Instagram, from Carmelo Anthony to DJ DNice. La Fête is sourced from St. Tropez and tastes like it. Made of 80% grenache, 14% mourvedre and 6% syrah, it truly is a vacation in a glass.
Maia Parish, owner of The Wine Suite and creator of The Tales of a Wine Mistress Live Show and Blog
Denver, Colorado-based Parish is known for her award-winning (Night in Wakanda) events and tastings featured at national festivals and trade shows. She has a broadcast called The Wine Suite on Facebook Watch and an upcoming podcast called Hungry, Tipsy and Grown.
Stuyvesant Champagne, Cuvée Brut Rosé NV: Marvina Robinson of Brooklyn named her Champagne after her Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. A traditional blend of the three Champagne grape varietals, this salmon-colored wine has notes of strawberry, red currant, and slight floral notes.
Aslina by Ntsiki Biyela, Sauvignon Blanc: Ntsiki Biyela is a South African winemaker and businesswoman who runs Aslina Wines. This sauvignon blanc has a great nose full of exotic flowers and citrus notes. The palate is mostly tropical melon and lemon curd. With a nice amount of acid, it pairs great with seafood.
John Legend LVE Wines, LVE Côtes de Provence Rosé: Award-winning entertainer John Legend collaborated with wine legend JC Boisset to create a tremendous aromatic rosé from Côtes de Provence. This color is a vibrant pink with flavors of strawberry, candied apricot, and tropical flowers. It is a great host or hostess gift.
Kumusha Wines, 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault: Award-winning judge and winemaker Tinashe Nyamudoka is making some great juice in South Africa. Kumusha in the Zimbabwean Shona language translates to “your home,” “your roots” or “your origin.” The red blend has a powerful nose of red plum and blackberry, the palate is full of tart cranberry and ripe strawberry and the oak is integrated with soft rounded tannins.
Ahivoy Oregon, Las 4 Amigas Wine: This one-of-a-kind wine package celebrates some of the few Latinx winegrowers and winemakers in the Oregon wine industry. Winemakers Cristina Gonzales, Elena Rodriguez, Sofia Torres and Yuliana Guillen have joined Ahivoy to produce a four-bottle wine package.
Marvin John Towler aka The Black Wine Guy
A wine professional with over 20 years of experience in all aspects of the wine business, Towler has worked retail, wholesale, auctions and also as a sommelier. On May 5, 2000, he became the first-ever African American fine and rare wine auctioneer. He is currently launching his podcast and subscription-based wine newsletter.
2019 Mary Taylor Anjou Blanc: A 100% chenin blanc that hits all the right notes. Quince, slate, underripe apricots and a bit o’ honey to pair this with all sorts of summer fare such as a salad Niçoise, grilled salmon, charcuterie plates and especially good with goat cheese.
2019 Saint K Flower Bomb: A native Italian varietal with a California spin, this malvasia bianca has an exotic nose that explodes with floral aromatics of white flowers, lychee, and toasted hazelnuts. A full mouthfeel that is balanced by the wine’s racy acidity.
2019 Ledge James Berry Vineyard Rosé: A blend of 95% counoise and 5% cinsault, this is a veritable cornucopia of red fruits. Hints of peaches and orange peel make this wine stupid delicious and an age-worthy rosé. This is California Bandol.
2018 Domaine de La Fruitiere Muscadet: Have you ever Muscadet? There’s nothing better than a crisp Loire Valley white wine. Made from the Melon grape aka Melon De Bourgogne, pair this baby with raw oysters, shellfish or as an aperitif before dinner.
2016 La Caña Navia Albariño: This alabariño is built like a fine white Burgundy. Notes of pineapple, white flowers and citrus. True to its Galician roots, the wine exhibits beautiful mineral and saline qualities. Absolutely perfect with fresh seafood.
Desiree Harrison-Brown, Founder of Wino Noire
The brand was founded with the mission of making wine accessible to diverse groups. Desiree’s goal is for every wine drinker to have a solid foundation of wine knowledge to be able to explore the world of wine with confidence. She recently completed her Wine and Spirit Education Trust level 3 certification with merit and is also one of the 2019 SommCon Young Leaders Summit Scholarship recipients. Her go-to wine is anything sparkling.
Campo Viejo Tempranillo: This is the red wine to bring to the BBQ! Spanish tempranillo pairs well with grilled meats and even grilled vegetables.
Mumm Napa Brut Prestige: What’s summer without bubbly? Made by the same method as Champagne, this California sparkling wine is delicious and affordable.
O.P.P. – Other People’s Pinot Gris: Andre Mack of Maison Noir continues to put Oregon on the map. This isn’t your grandma’s pinot grigio. Packed with flavors of apple, peach and pear.
Jaton B. Gunter, author of “Fruit In Glass: Wine Myths, Facts & Opinions” and host of “Wine Tasting With Giants”
A certified sommelier who has completed the French Culinary Institute wine program, Gunter has been in the industry for more than a decade, imparting knowledge on the wine world via his blog and company.
Caraccioli Cellars Brut Cuvee: There are other great sparkling wines in California, but this delicious little Caraccioli brut is my favorite. With flavors of lime, green apple, raw honey and under-ripe pineapple doing the Cha Cha Slide across your palate, you’ll yearn for another sip.
Two Shepherds Trousseau Gris: This grey-skinned grape produces what we consider an “orange wine” due to its color when pressed with the skins on. On the palate, this wine displays lush stone, citrus and tropical fruit with a solid backbone of acid to help with food pairings.
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Thymiopoulos Vineyards Atma Assyrtiko: This is a medium-bodied acid monster from Macedonia Greece. Assyrtikos are known for their silky mouthfeel and complexity, and this wine has both in spades. Along with a beautifully elegant lingering finish, with flavors of peach, grapefruit and raw honey.
Raul Perez Ultreia Saint Jacques Mencia: This Mencia “gets in where it fits in” during any season —although it’s considered a medium-bodied red wine, it’s also very savory. With flavors of blueberries and cranberries, it’s a perfect pairing for pork and game-driven dishes.
Theopolis Vineyards Petite Sirah: If you’re looking for something a little more full-bodied, this is extremely complex and not only tastes great by itself but also pairs well with hearty red meat dishes. It displays characteristics of plum, BBQ smoke, cassis and dark cherry.