Warm climates are setting in, which means summer Fridays, longer daylight, and patio drinking. In our humble opinion, many of the bottles are best sipped in situ at a vineyard, but, with Covid-19 shuttering tasting rooms, that isn’t quite possible right now. So what’s going in your glass this summer? So, we’ve rounded up our favorite transportive bottles that will whisk you far away with every sip.
One of my favorite parts of summer is moving wine drinking into the great outdoors. I’m all for a picnic with a covert bottle, but thanks to a slate of winemakers turning out excellent canned wines, I see no reason my wine drinking won’t be as easy as popping a tab this summer season. Vermont’s Co-Cellars, co-founded by Krista Scruggs, is making one of the most quenchable options—the Leon is made with earthy, ripe Leon Millet grapes fermented with cranberries, apples, and yeast native to Vermont.
Try as I may avoid the “Rose all Day” tropes, a chilled bottle of rose is the perfect companion to a humid summer day. This bottle goes against the idea that roses are light and chuggable. Made with the Frappato grape by Terre di Bruca, it’s dark with a big body and strong cherry notes. It’s a stellar wine to pair with food when the weather is too toasty for red wine. We sipped it as the sun went down on a Saturday night—the dark rosy hues of this quirky summertime wine perfectly mirrored the sunset colors we were taking in from our teeny downtown condo.
Love You Bunches
It feels odd to recommend a slate of red wines for the summer season, but here I am again, asking you to pay a little attention to darker grapes. This Carbonic Sangiovese from Stolpman Vineyards in Santa Barbara is fresh and delicious, highly tannic with a petite party of bubbles that light up your mouth. All grapes are picked on the latter side and then left to ferment in a barrel for 30 months, then an additional six months in bottle. Drink it slightly chilled, at a barbecue. The label, hand-scribbled by vineyard manager and Grape Whisperer, Ruben Solorzano, adds a charming touch.
Anna et Andre Durrmann
Far up in the Vosges mountains of Austria, sheep stroll through Yann Durrmann’s vineyards, where grapevines weave and climb up the mountainside. Expect wines that reflect this glittering pastoral scene, like a Crémant d’Alsace Brut Rosé N.V. It’s sunshine in a glass—pink-orange, with sparkling bubbles and notes of raspberry and rose.
Each bottle of Revel Cider—and I’ve ordered many—has been a festive affair of a bottle. Made in Guelph, Canada, each is fermented in-bottle with local ingredients—anything from watermelons to Ontario cherries to pineapples (okay, not local on the latter). They are craft ciders with a natural wine accent. Every offering is fruity, sparkling, and a perfect sunshine sip: zippy, bright, and uber-quaffable.
Lady of the Sunshine
Second-generation winemaker Gina Hildebrand makes whimsical, romantic wines in California’s Edna Valley. Expect terroir-driven wines made from grapes sourced from a small, 6.5-acre parcel of land. Based on the mantra ‘know your farmer,’ each wine showcases California’s growing capabilities—bottles are made with wild yeast, neutral oak, and without filtration. There’s a Sauvignon Blanc, with a mild haziness and a bright acidity, or a rose made from Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc grapes—grapes are stomped by foot and soaked for 24 hours before it’s fermented in neutral oak barrels and aged for eight months on the lees. What results is a pink lemonade of a wine, citrus-forward, and lush.