Cicadas are chirping, the sun beats down, a singlet and shorts seem the best uniform for the day with legs dug deep in sand and an esky, chock full of ice and refreshing things to drink, summer might just be about the best time to be exploring new and exciting styles and varieties.
From aromatic whites produced from grapes like riesling, pinot grigio, fiano, sauvignon blanc, semillon and gruner veltliner through to rosés, the delicate cousins of red wines, offering a much more interesting drinking experience than expected, and best when dry and savoury in personality. It’s a wealth of drinking fun to be had in sunny weather.
Steer yourself into white wines set to fresher, lighter, crisper, fragrant styles, often produced with little or no oak, and bursting forth with youth and vibrancy on their side. Wines that are an ideal foil for sunshine and warm days, ideally drunk from mid morning to late night with thirst-slaking enjoyment in mind. Blends can also play a part – more interesting for the varied layers of perfume and flavour, cool, vibrant whites of varied grape varieties offer early complexity coupled to great refreshment factor.
While rosés ideally hold court during summertime, light reds are also ideal and best with a quick chill knocked into them in either a handy fridge or ice slurry. Lighter red grape varieties like gamay, pinot noir, cabernet franc, nero d’avola, barbera and dolcetto all work well on warm days with a light chill.
Whether your days are spent beachside, poolside or hanging off the side of a boat, all summery moments deserve wines that epitomise the thirst-crushing, BBQ-helping, outdoor-drinking moments that come with the season. Don’t forget to explore wine regions that sit by the sea, seem permanently sun-kissed and blessed with a bounty of seafood nearby – think Sicily, Sardinia, Provence, Greece, Corsica, Loire Valley, McLaren Vale and a new wave of wines from California.
Though European regions might dominate summer-orientated drinking, an increasing number of savvy Australia winemakers have cottoned-on to the idea that some wines just need to be whip-smart refreshers more appropriately styled to our hotter climate. Go forth and explore.
© The Wine Front 2014.