Those Summer Nights
Summer’s warm temperatures pair well with fresh, youthful and crisp wines. And yet, for grilled and barbecued meats, a complex, multi-layered red from Bordeaux or Mendoza complements the meats’ smoky flavors without overpowering. A warm night is also well suited for sparkling wines, such as a Brut Rosé from Napa Valley.
Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Brut Rosé, Carneros, Napa Valley, California
Linked to the winemaking Tatitinger family in France, this sparkling wine is crafted from organically grown grapes (59% Pinot Noir and 41% Chardonnay), resulting in supple wild strawberry notes and a dry, spicy profile that leads to a long finish. Clean and crisp, it’s a nice match with raw bar items, duck and salmon, salad greens, and berries.
2015 Meomi Chardonnay, California
Grapes from throughout Sonoma, Monterey, and Santa Barbara counties were sourced for this Chardonnay, which was aged in stainless-steel. It offers up butterscotch and baked-apple notes, with ample mineralities and zestiness, for a full-bodied, rich style of Chardonnay.
2015 St. Urbans-Hof Wiltinger "Alte Reben” Kabinett Freinberg Riesling, Saar Valley, Austria
Sourced from a 22-acre block of old vines and aged in stainless-steel, there’s a round mouthfeel on this Riesling, with honeyed golden-apple notes, hints of spice and lemongrass, and a very balanced palate. This Riesling would go well with poultry dishes.
2014 Landmark Vineyards Overlook Pinot Noir, 53% Sonoma County/39% Monterey County/8% San Benito County, California
A woodsy aroma in this Pinot Noir is followed by notes of plums and red raspberries. A star-anise accent seamlessly contrasts with a silky soft finish featuring a dash of pepper. Sip with classic Pinot pairings like duck, mushroom, or salmon.
2012 Le Chateau Lassègue “Les Cadrans de Lassègue,” Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, France
A surprising value for Bordeaux, this wine is 90% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. It carries a delightfully fragrant nose of cassis and raspberries that eases into a bone-dry, fruit-forward profile with cigar-box notes near the finish.
2015 Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Ancient Lakes, Washington
From rock star winemaker Charles Smith, this steely Riesling is a nice expression of Washington state, with effervescence and notes of golden apple, lime, and white peaches. Balanced and not overly sweet, there’s still enough weight and body to hold up to spicy foods.
2013 Bravura Proprietary Red Wine, Valle del Maipo, Chile
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, and Carménère—Chile’s signature grape—this wine expresses an inky indigo hue in the glass. On the palate, the dense concentrated dark fruit—currants and plums—is accented by a nose of leather, smoke, and crushed herbs. A perfect match with grilled red or game meat.
2014 Clos du Val Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Estate, Napa Valley, California
A woodsy and black cherry nose eases into an interesting profile on this sultry wine—93% Cabernet Sauvignon blended with 3.5% Merlot and 3.5% Cabernet Franc—marked by boysenberries and cocoa, with cigar box and soft tannins emerging near the finish.