There’s something about having just one or two perfect glasses of wine—maybe with your shoes kicked off on the porch watching the sunset, or by a lake, with snacks—that’s just ideal for summer. Especially if it’s just you, you’re not going to want to drink the whole bottle.
Enter: Coravin. Their wine preservation system is just the best for letting you pick up that rosé where you left off without any oxygen adversely affecting its taste. We reached out to Greg Lambrecht, the inventor and founder of Coravin, who has had a lot of experience sampling wine. With an engineering degree from MIT, a successful career in medical technology, and a passion for wine all working in tandem, he created a system that allows you to enjoy any amount of wine at any time without pulling the cork. If you have a screw top bottle, that’s OK there’s also an accessory included for that!
Greg has a number of favorite wines for summer sipping, and has shared a few of his top picks here. Be sure to select the best glass for each wine, then try them alongside dishes that accent their finer qualities. (It’s summer time! Think: light, bright, and delicious.)
Chateau de Pibarnon 2019 Bandol Rose
Greg says: “The cost of this wine is in the $30 to $40 range, and it’s worth every penny. On the heavier, juicier, more complex end of rosé, it’s absolutely delicious either on its own or in combination with cheese, strawberries, or salad.”
Thomas Labaille Sancerre l’Authentique Rose 2019
Greg says: “Light, bright, great acidity and fruit. This $20 to $30 wine is a classic from the Loire. If this doesn’t make you happy, nothing will.”
Matthiasson Linda Vista Chardonnay 2018
Greg says: “This is an incredible producer in the Napa Valley. Everything they do is unique. This is not a vanilla flavored or oaky wine. It is much more like a white Burgundy, crisp, with good fruit, and tons of complexity for the $30 price. Cheese, fish or chicken would all work well.”
Domaine du Pelican Abrois Savagnin Ouille 2017
Greg says: “This Jura wine is made by an incredible winemaker in the Volnay of Burgundy, Marquis D’Angerville. Many Jura whites are made in an oxidative style, but not this one. At a fraction of a price for Burgundy, this Savagnin is clean, juicy, rich, but with acidity to balance. It’s an incredibly delicious wine I drank recently and I’m going to go find more, although it’s a bit pricey at $40 to $50.”
OK, Greg, we’re thinking one-dish pan-roasted chicken with plenty of fresh herb butter alongside crusty bread and a green salad. Or mussels—mussels forever!—with leeks and white wine. We’re also very partial to olives nestled next to chicken with plenty of lemons, and as the weather cools a little bit, a bright riff on French coq au vin: coq au vin… blanc!
Dominio Bibei Lalama Ribera Sacra 2015
Greg says: “I hope this wine is still around, because it is an amazing Spanish bargain. This Mencia based wine has the complexity of Syrah from the north of Rhone, with a black olive character that would make it an absolutely perfect pairing for lamb. It’s $20 to $25 per bottle. Delicious.”
Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
Greg says: “You don’t get much more classic than this for a Napa Valley Cabernet. This is a wine that will make a steak very happy. Excellent fruit, complexity, acidity and alcohol all in balance. It costs $40 to $50, which is a bargain for a winery that has been so consistent in its style across the generations and more and more getting back to its roots.”
A top-notch Cab Sauv deserves a good steak. If you haven’t covered up that grill yet, go with a peppercorn-crusted rib eye that’s nice and spicy. Or use your grill pan and make a lovely Cabernet sauce to go on the rib eye. And remember inexpensive cuts like skirt steak, which become nearly as gorgeous as a fillet when you marinate them for hours in parsley, cilantro and fresh marjoram, grilling them for just a few minutes per side. Yum, yum. They’ll become as worthy as the wine you serve them alongside.