It’s official . . . summer is here. And it brings record breaking heat indexes across Texas, not to mention thick, sticky humidity and the on-again, off-again thunderstorms spread throughout the great Lone Star State. With weather like this, you’ll want to stay in, dim the lights, and open a nice bottle of wine as you binge the latest season of Yellowstone. But before you stroll through the wine section of your local grocery store, indecisively holding onto two bottles of red because the labels look nice, check out these recommendations to start your 2023 summer season on a cool note.
For 50 years, Chalk Hill has been producing some of the best summer wines out of Sonoma. The Chalk Hill 2021 Estate Chardonnay, offers a more tropical option with notes of lemon curd and starfruit–a perfect companion on outdoor, midday brunches. Or if you find yourself on a lakeside pier with a bucket of coastal crab, the Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is the ideal juicy, fragrant pairing for most seafood. And for the more fruitier followers, the Felta Chardonnay ( below) named for the soil type of the plot where the grapes are sourced, offers a medley of floral and brioche characteristics that will complement any sunny afternoon.
Located in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley, Ferrari-Carano’s award winning wines are the perfect addition to your summer season. This is especially true for the 2021 Chardonnay, which blends 60 lots for a ripe, fruity Chardonnay with aromas of citrus, pear, vanilla, graham cracker and buttercream. The Russian River Valley 2021 Tré Terre Chardonnay (below) offers a creamy and full-bodied Chardonnay that combines both classic Russian River acidity and a full body. With aromas and flavors of Meyer lemons, citrus, cinnamon apples, graham cracker, creamy marshmallow, apricot, lemon, brown sugar and maple spice, the Tré Terre is a wine lingers as you pair it with mild spice and creamy shellfish entres–a great addition to those warm summer night dinners.
The Provencal 2021 rose pairs nicely with a warm summer night. This French Provence-styled wine is a light bodied rose with refreshing notes of pomegranate, strawberries, and soft floral aromas. The pale salmon color is the result of white wine fermentation techniques on red grapes with limited skin contact and offers the perfect balance of Mourvedre, Cinsault, Counoise, and Tempranillo. Double Gold winner of the 2022 San Francisco International Wine Competition for Best Rose Blend and Best Overall Rose, this bottle can be bought here for $25 per bottle. Or, another vintage to accompany you on these muggy nights is the Jolie 2021. The lightness and crisp acidity is the combination of roses from Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, giving it an infused body full of florals and bright fruits. Treated just as a white, this rose is the result of pressing Counoise grapes as soon as they arrived from the vineyard, ensuring a fresh medley of fruits for the palette. You can buy the Jolie 2021 here for $40 per bottle.
Bring the vacation to you, light some candles, put two place settings outside, and have a mini-vacation in your backyard! But, don’t forget the wine! Lifevine serves a beautiful glass and is the only Certified Pesticide Free wine in the United States. As they say, “wine not go on vacation?” With free shipping on orders over $64.99, we have three suggestions for you. First, pack your bags for Cali and put the California Sauvignon Blanc in your shopping cart. The sauv is a glorious exhibit of floral aromas and pairs well with a leafy green salad or shellfish. Next, toss in their California Rose (with zero sugar, might we add). This is a crisp blend of white and light red and kissed by pale roses from southern France. Finally, the Blanc De Blancs will take you home. At a modest 14.5 percent and touched by a gentle sparkle, the white wine is dangerously delicious. We won’t judge if you finish it in a sitting! $21.99
Louis M Martini 2019 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
This premier Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon will elevate any grilling moment, its rich finish and strong structure make it the perfect pairing to a juicy burger seasoned with zesty flavors. This wine exemplifies why the winery is known for premier Cabernet Sauvignon crafted from the best selection of grapes. This particular Napa Valley Cab presents a blend of cassis, vanilla, and smoky cedar aromas, layered with notes of black licorice and spice. The rich finish makes it the perfect bottle to pair with a grilled steak or a juicy burger seasoned with zesty, smoky flavors. $55
Martini & Rossi NV Prosecco
This classic, crisp bubbly is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a celebratory pour that won’t break the bank. Martini & Rossi Prosecco is beautifully versatile, so it’s perfect to sip on its own as a welcome drink for a summer cocktail party, or to serve alongside a summery main dish like a pan seared halibut or shrimp scampi. $14
Beringer Vineyards 2019 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
This delicious Cabernet Sauvignon emits aromas of dried herbs, lavender, and fresh boysenberry. It represents the traditional Knights Valley notes of black olive, wild sage, and mocha and, blended with flavors of figs, black cherry, and currants, this Cab is one of a kind. Knights Valley is a hidden gem that will impress your friends by bringing it to a summer dinner party – plus, it pairs particularly well with a pulled pork slider. $36
Denise and Stephen Adams, owners of ADAMVS winery on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley, acquired the highly esteemed and historic Château Fonplégade vineyards in 2004 with the intent of introducing this delightful wine to the American market. With a perfect balance between fruit, complexity and aromatic length, this wine is known for its soft and supple tannins and a velvety texture, ideal for any summer cookout. You can learn more about Chateau Fonplégade and Denise Adams on AppleTV film, “Eastbound Westbound,” an original wine documentary on the historical and deeply rooted links between the United States, Bordeaux, and its wines.