(photo credit: MCT)
Enjoy wine in the summer by matching the wine not to the food but to the
occasion. Now is the time to buy what you like and not worry what others think.
For the growing number of wine lovers who like to boast that “they only drink
red wines,” the summer months give the classic opportunity to enjoy white, rose
or even sparkling wines.
Where to buy for summer drinking? I always
suggest a place where there is a fast turnover of stock. A supermarket or wine
shop where the wines have been kept correctly is ideal.
dessert wines or simple white wines should be served very cold.
white wines, like a Chardonnay or a Viognier, should be chilled and even light
fruity red wines are best lightly chilled.
When you have bought your
wine, be aware that a domestic fridge will chill a wine in an hour. At the last
minute it would be more effective to put the bottle in a freezer for 15 minutes.
However, don’t forget it, because the wine will freeze to slush, which will
destroy the quality and the bottle may explode!
For the quickest result, the
solution is the simplest. Put the wine in a bucket or sink full of iced water,
add a pinch of salt and the bottle will be cold in 10 minutes. This is the
ice-bucket principle you know from weddings and restaurants! At a picnic, try
wrapping a wet rolled up newspaper around a bottle or use one of the ice freezer
sleeves available in some wine shops. Both methods really work.
are buying wine in a restaurant, insist on an ice bucket for your white and rosé
wines. However, to be effective, ensure the ice bucket is full not only of ice,
but also water. Even some red wines will benefit by 10 minutes in an ice
If you want to ensure the temperature remains correct, be sure
that glasses are not overfilled as wine warms up quickly in the glass.
what to drink?
The classic and most stylish drink is champagne, which apart from
anything else is perfect with strawberries and summer fruits. Cava from Spain
and Prosecco from Italy are in fashion and less expensive alternatives. However
there are good Israeli sparkling wines at every price from wineries such as
Carmel, Golan, Tabor and Tishbi. So if you want to support Israeli wine, there
is now the variety to allow you to do so.
Rosés, derided by wine snobs
for years, are suddenly back in. Consumers are realizing a wine does not have to
be sophisticated to be enjoyable. A rosé or blush wine is perfect for the
summer. The delicate pink color and touch of sweetness make this a great picnic
If you are trying to choose one wine to please everyone, a semi-dry
white wine made from Emerald Riesling will be popular with a greater number of
people. If you want a semi-dry wine which is more sophisticated, maybe a
Gewurztraminer will be appropriate. A wine that will surprise is a Moscato, made
from Muscat grapes. This is a light, grapey, sweet, slightly sparkling wine,
which is also low alcohol. Moscatos originate from Italy but there are
also some good examples from Israel. People who don’t like wine will love it and
it will make wine lovers smile!
However, if you prefer drier wines go for a
light-style Chardonnay, preferably unoaked, a refreshing or an aromatic
Sauvignon Blanc or one of the new Viogniers, which are proving popular with
For a barbecue, a light red with good fruit and balancing
acidity can be versatile and refreshing with both meat and fish dishes. Here you
are looking for a young red drinking wine, which has not been aged in oak
barrels. A light Cabernet Sauvignon or young Merlot will suffice. This style of
wine will be available at a less expensive price in a supermarket. You just have
to choose a wine with the fruit to give you mouth-filling flavor and the acidity
to make it refreshing. To put it more simply, buy the wine you like! As for
myself, my two favorite summer drinks are Bucks Fizz and a white wine spritzer.
Bucks Fizz is champagne with freshly squeezed orange juice added, though any dry
sparkling wine will do. For a white wine spritzer simply add soda or sparkling
water to an ordinary white wine.
Serve it very cold in a long glass. It
is good for your friends who are diet conscious, is very refreshing and one
bottle of wine used like this will go a long way.Adam Montefiore works for Carmel Winery, and regularly writes about wine for both international and Israeli publications.Adam@carmelwines.co.il