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Summer Wines

Inexpensive yet worldly vintages

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Summer Wines

The arrival of summer brings with it not just warm days and long vacations, but it also brings a desire for different kinds of food. Rather than the heavy, starchy foods of winter, we desire fresher, lighter meals.

The arrival of summer brings with it not just warm days and long vacations, but it also brings a desire for different kinds of food. Rather than the heavy, starchy foods of winter, we desire fresher, lighter meals.

Consequently the wine we choose needs to change too. During the hot summer months the consumption of white wine almost doubles, and rosé suddenly becomes a fun option, especially popular for picnics.

Here are a few of my favourite summer food and wine pairings for you to enjoy alfresco.

Seafood
Serve summer favourites such as lobster or prawns with a warm garlic butter or a citrus dressing and pair them with an Italian white wine such as Masi Soave Classico. This is a very approachable, smooth, dry, and medium-bodied wine, with a light creamy texture which shows flavours of lightly toasted almonds.

Salad
If you are cutting back on the starch in your diet, then a flavoursome salad can really hit the spot. How about a Thai ginger chicken salad? I would almost always pair this dish with an aromatic, just off-dry Gewurztraminer. Try BC’s own Larch Hills Gewurztraminer; it’s not only a delicious, well-balanced wine with plenty of tropical fruit flavours, but it’s made with 100 percent organic grapes.

Picnics
For me, choosing wine for a variety of picnic foods is an easy choice. I want something chilled, but with a rounded fruity flavour. Rosé wines fit the bill well. If you like a dry-style wine, the Marqués de Cáceres Rosé from Spain is a great match for all those delicious picnic meats and cheeses.

If you prefer a fruitier-style wine, the Espelt Lledoner Rosat from Catalunya in Spain will refresh your palate and will be perfect with your picnic. Try to stay away from the cheap white Zinfandels as they can be a bit insipid, thin, and dull.

Barbecue
Beef burgers and steaks seem to be number one during the alfresco season, and this is when a nice big red does the job well. For burgers try a fruity Cabernet from Australia. Because you don’t want an over-oaked wine with this kind of food, try the Angus the Bull Cabernet Sauvignon from the Aberdeen wine company. This is intensely juicy, with strong, ripe blackcurrant flavours, smooth tannins, and a lip-smacking finish.

With a big steak, perhaps with peppercorn or a barbecue sauce, why not try a Syrah (the same grape as Shiraz). The Antu Syrah from Chile is excellent value, and its powerful fruit flavours, combined with a full body and peppery, lengthy finish, is more than a match for any chargrilled meat.

This summer don’t stay with your safe winter choices; be bold and experiment with the best food and wine of the season.

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