Archive for July, 2014


Look for Refreshing Wines When the Weather Turns Hot





The typical red with meat and white with lighter poultries and fish need to be re-evaluated when the weather changes and temperatures soar. It’s the moment to gravitate towards lighter, less expensive wines. Many wine drinkers turn their noses up at Rosés without realizing how absolutely delicious and refreshing these wines when produced in a dry style from many wine regions around the world.  I’ve made some reluctant converts to the “pink cause” over the years, so look for them from the carte de vins or from your favorite wine shop.

Summertime is a good time to pass on the knee-jerk choice of Chardonnay, especially deleting those heavy on the buttery, oaky flavors as too heavy for the summer palate. Good Sauvignon Blancs, served refreshingly chilled, are often less expensive than Chardonnays. Sauvignon Blanc goes right to the top of my personal list for their range of fresh, fruity, grassy, citrus flavors that are a great match for raw or cooked seafood, sushi, and lobster. Do a bit of detective work to find crisp Rieslings or Chenin Blancs, many of which are priced between $10 and $15.

Sangria, with a potpourri of summer fruit marinating in chilled, less alcoholic red or white wines, is a delicious choice when the grill is going full blast cooking up hamburgers, steak, and chicken. I’ve kept my recipes for Sangria close to my heart, since it took me a long time to perfect them. Yet I’d like to visualize the happy faces of people who enjoy red or white Sangria

Start with a 750 ml bottle of Rioja from Spain for an authentic feel, inexpensive wines from Chile or Argentina, or Zinfandel. Add 4 ounces of brandy, (brandy is the kicker), a splash of orange juice, (an optional glass of club soda), and all the fresh fruit you can muster up.

For white Sangria, and there is such a thing, substitute a touch of frozen lemonade for the orange juice, add brandy, club soda, honeydew melon, and green grapes. Serve either Sangrias chilled and use what’s left of the macerated fruit on vanilla ice cream or sorbet.