What’s better than a wedding, anniversary, or graduation to celebrate? Instead of bringing that traditional bottle of Merlot or Cabernet, why not try a bottle of something more unique-either by region, flavor, or grape varietal?
2015 has brought us some exceptional wines-both from local vineyards here in the states, and from regions-new and old, from around the world. Here are a few of our top picks (and some kosher wines, too!) for unique wines for summer celebrations.
Everyone loves a great red wine, but in the hot months of summer, choosing the right one can be tough. Tannat is the traditional grape of Uruguay, introduced by travelers from the Basque region in the late 1800’s. It’s full bodied, with dark berries and spice, but not overwhelmingly heavy-making it perfect for hot summer weather. Bodega Garzon utilizes sustainable farming and viticultural practices, making it a great choice at a very affordable price.
Nobilo Icon Pinot Noir, 2013 – New Zealand – $20
Another sustainably sourced wine, perfect for summer entertaining, hails from New Zealand. We’re seeing some truly fantastic pinot noir wines continuing to come out of New Zealand, and their environmental regulations haven’t hindered the process in the least. Nobilo’s winery and bottling facility has a comprehensive recycling program, with food composting, recycling, and reduction of electricity and paper use playing just a small part in their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint.
This is a lighter red, good for pairing with lighter fare, or pork, or even salmon. On the nose, aromas of dark berries, plum, chocolate, and spice are present. Palate shows a bit of black currant and cocoa, with soft tannins, and a medium body. Drink now through 2017.
Although we’re not entirely sure why the winemaker refers to this wine as ‘crunchy’, it’s certainly one of our top picks for summer wine pairings. Featuring a blend of Glera, Verdiso, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay grapes, you’ll find yourself reaching for this summer sparkler as a way to celebrate every day-it’s that good. As with most Proseccos, notes of crisp pear and apple blossom are present, as well as malic acid. Bubbles are delicate and fine, very persistent in the glass. High minerality is present, making it a smart choice for pairing with foods. Try it with arctic char (fish), or herb and garlic grilled shrimp.
What’s a summer celebration without a great white wine? Get out of the box with this iconic grape varietal from Uruguay. Again, Bodega Garzon has created a stellar wine, with notes of white peach, citrus and high minerality. Albarino wines have a bit more body than a sauvignon blanc, and are fruit forward, without being sweet or cloying. One of our favorite grape varietals, this wine will pair well with fish, chicken, mustard based barbecue sauces, or even grilled pineapple or peaches with freshly whipped cream.
Domain du Castel Grand Vin, 2011 – Israel – $65
If you need to keep it kosher this summer, and want to splurge on a great bottle of wine, look no further than Domain du Castel Grand Vin.
Made from a blend of primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, the palate is silky and elegant, with dark berries and black fruits, chocolate and spice, with balanced tannins. Ruby in color, and velvety and smooth on the palate, this is the wine to pull out when you’re looking to impress guests. The Grand Vin is aged between 20 and 24 months in new French oak barrels.
Kayoumi White Riesling, 2011 – Galilee – $25
Treat guests to another great kosher wine that will pair well with summer fruits and flavors. Elegantly fragrant with white citrus flower, melon, and peach, Kayoumi is made from 100% white riesling grapes, and comes from the Carmel Winery in Galilee. The winery was founded in 1882 by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, reknowned owner of Château Lafite in Bordeaux, and as with most of Rothschild’s wineries, the French influence is seen in the structure and ease in which this off-dry white wine can be paired with food. Try it with appetizers, Asian inspired dishes, or summer fruit desserts like peach cobbler, blueberry pie, or strawberry lemon cream cake.
Next up, find wine pairing ideas to go with pizza!