5 years ago

Top summer white wine recommendations

As we head through the dog days of summer, nothing quite hits the spot like a chilled glass of white wine. Bill Belkin, category manager for our Wines & Spirits locations, shares his top picks for these sultry summer days.

For people with a naval background, the phrase “summer whites” is reminiscent of crisp, light-colored clothes that are heat resistant and leave the wearer more refreshed and less fatigued than darker fall/winter
colors.

As far as wine drinkers are concerned, it’s an apt comparison; as the weather begins to turn downright HOT, our tolerance for high-alcohol, high-tannin wines quickly leaves and we start thirsting for cool, crisp, lighter-bodied white wines. Even though white wines do have alcohol and tannins, they do a superior job of hiding them – and the cool serving temperature does the rest.

A little white wine tip: Although some wines are aged in oak vessels, it can actually have negative long-term effects. Try wines that have been made entirely in stainless steel or even concrete.  They retain all the fruit and mouthfeel that you crave during the summer without the weightiness and buttery components that you don’t.

Some of my favorite summertime sippers:

Conundrum: This wine has been around in one form or another for nearly 15 vintages but the newest is by far the best. Drier rather than sweeter, yet full of tropical notes of pineapple, papaya and mango, this wine is sure to stimulate a neighborhood discussion over the fence!

Joel Gott Chardonnay: This 100% stainless steel Chardonnay is the perfect bridge wine for those who don’t want to get away from Chardonnay. It’s full of tropical fruit, has bracing acidity and a nice long finish, all without the heaviness and buttery notes of oak.

Ferrari-Carano Fume Blanc: This is an example of when a winemaker still uses a little oak to soften the flavor and texture of the wine. However, because they use a neutral oak – wood that has seen multiple vintages, which removes most of the flavor from the barrel staves – it only serves as a way to oxygenate the wine. The result is a creamy mélange of flavors featuring mostly herbaceous and vegetable notes, versus the tropical fruit.  A great wine with shrimp appetizers!

Look for these wines at any of our Wines & Spirits locations.