Food

Summer Sippers: The Best Wines to Drink This Season, According to Experts

BY Skylar Parker TIMEJune 6, 2022 PRINT

From unusual whites to lighter reds, to the ultimate sparkler, here are top summer wine picks from experts across the country.

California Dreamin’

Oceano 2017 Spanish Springs Vineyard Chardonnay, San Luis Obispo County, $38

This chardonnay is the definition of a coastal wine. The grapes come from the closest vineyard to the ocean in California. The wine is crisp with bright minerality and a touch of saline; complemented by notes of citrus fruit, green apple, and melon; and an ever-so-slight touch of vanilla and toast.
—Nia Ruth, founder, Nia Ruth Wine Club, Beaufort, South Carolina

Something Fresh

Domaine Mas de Cynanque 2019 Cuvée Méandres, Vin de France, $24.99

A fascinating and delicious organic wine from a mosaic of small vineyards in the Saint-Chinian region. This very unusual blend (albariño, petit manseng, clairette, white grenache) produces a wonderful expression of quince, pears, and honey with a solid base of minerality, and just a hint of tarragon and fennel. We love its abundance of flavors and its freshness on the finish.
—Ioana Bucur, French wine scholar and wine educator, Princess & Bear Wines, Seattle

Pretty in Pink

Domaine La Bouysse 2020 Florèal, Corbieres, $21.99

This pale pink beauty is not your ordinary swimming pool rosé; it’s a rare and delightful jewel. She sparkles in the glass, entices with a refined nose, and offers a layered flavor burst of lush cherry, black currant, and raspberry. The fruits melt in your mouth on the finish and there is just the right amount of crispness to keep your palate refreshed.
—Ioana Bucur

Champagne at a Steal

Charles Heidsieck N.V. Brut Reserve, Champagne, $44.94

This has long been my favorite sparkling wine. It’s an epiphany wine of incredible value, comprised of 40% reserve wines traditionally meant for expensive vintage Champagne. It has classic microbubbles, floral and fruit flavors, and a characteristic “leesyness,” giving it flavors of fresh-baked biscuit, sourdough starter, and brioche fresh from the oven.
—Aaron Horwitz, sommelier, Cork Dork Wine Bar, Thousand Oaks, California

Grill and Chill Your Reds

Jean Foillard Beaujolais-Villages, $25

While most lean toward white and rosé wines during the summer season, I like to pop light-bodied reds like Beaujolais-Villages wines right into the refrigerator for evening grill-and-chill gatherings. This low-tannin, moderate-alcohol, fruit bomb of a wine pairs perfectly with barbecued burgers and won’t break the bank.
—Rebecca DeVaney, owner and educator, The Somm School, Scottsdale, Arizona

Italian Summer in a Bottle

Selvagrossa 2019 Muschen, Marche Rosso, $16

Italy’s Marche region, often in the shadow of more well-known wine-producing regions, offers incredible value in wines. It’s a beautiful area that often reminds me of perfect summer days. This blend of sangiovese, cabernet franc, and merlot offers a lot—a beautiful silky palate feel that leads you to clean, elegant fruit notes loaded with dark cherries.
—Aldo Zaninotto, owner and wine director, Osteria Langhe and Testaccio Cucina, Chicago

This article was originally published in Radiant Life magazine.

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