Summer days call for refreshing sips, the kinds of wines that pair well with fresh salads and light seafood dishes. We asked Jennifer Ingellis, our partner in Williams-Sonoma Wine and one of Food & Wine‘s 2012 Sommeliers of the Year, for her top warm-weather wine picks. Read on for descriptions and food pairing suggestions, then pick up a bottle for your next dinner party.
Zof Sauvignon Friuli Colli Orientali: This bright, refreshing, minerally Sauvignon Blanc comes from the Italian coastal region of Friuili Colli Orientali, showing flavors and aromas of apple, underripe pineapple, lemon zest and white flowers. Just as you’d expect from a coastal region, it pairs perfectly with seafood — try a scallop ceviche or halibut crudo.
Domaine des Montarels Chardonnay Fut Cotes de Thongue: Here’s a delicious Chardonnay from a little-known region of France that won’t break the bank. The stone fruit aromas and flavors in this wine make it an ideal match for grilled peaches wrapped in pancetta, a beautiful summer appetizer. It’s also a great wine to pair with a classic seared tuna Nicoise salad.
Zevenwacht Stellenbosch The Tin Mine White: This wonderfully balanced white blend from South Africa (including Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier) was made for your next lobster or crab boil. The blend has bright acidity yet enough heft to stand up to the richness of the shellfish, with aromas and flavors of apple, apricot, lime, vanilla, white peach and light baking spices.
Vaughn-Duffy Rose, Sonoma County: A dry rose is always a hit in the summer. This one has strawberry, orange blossom, white cherry and white pepper aromatics, along with flavors of tart raspberry, Valencia orange and white peach. Enjoy with smoked salmon blini.
Vineyard 29 Cru Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley: A sophisticated Sauvignon Blanc, this wine shows a wonderful balance of oak and minerality. Flavors of pineapple, lemon curd and Buddha’s hand round out the palate. Since it’s a richer style of Sauvignon Blanc, pair it with seared scallops and a light lemon butter sauce.
Vauroux Montee de Tonnerre Premier Cru, Chablis: This textbook Premier Cru Chablis has chalky minerality, with pear and light butter on the palate. Serve with pan-seared petrale sole amandine for an special meal.
Photo Credit: Alex Farnum