This issue was born on Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial change of the season. It’s like the first day that actually feels like spring, when everyone is out and the park is suddenly filled with boom boxes, rollerbladers and people playing Frisbee.
As spring turns to summer, friends begin to ask us: What wines should I order for my family reunion? Got any leads on great reds I could stock up on for backyard barbecues? What should I bring to my friend’s summerhouse?
We’ve got you covered with this issue.
First up is sparkling wine. Maybe it’s not the time for your favorite extra brut Champagne, or a vintage wine with the kind of richness you might prefer in December. Maybe what you need is a light and frisky Prosecco, a Cava to sip all night with friends on and o the dance floor, a fizzy lambrusco to serve with salumi as people toss bocce balls. To add depth to our own picks for summer sparklers, Deanna Gonnella asked chefs around the country what snacks they like to serve with their personal favorite sparkling wine; their ideas are on page 42.
Sit down to dinner while the sun is still high in the sky and you’ll want something cool and refreshing. You might consider an Atlantic wine, like albariño or Vinho Verde, which I’m convinced makes one of the most festive party wines around—vibrant, friendly and light enough in alcohol that you can drink it all night. Or follow Tara Q. Thomas into the cool hills of northern Greece for a range of crisp whites waiting to be discovered. Or join Ceri Smith and Wolfgang Weber in Liguria for chic and quirky summer whites from Italy’s west coast.
And then there’s pink, the color of summer in chilled lobster on the coast of Maine and in peaches coming into season in Georgia. The challenge with pink wine is to find one with flavor depth. We call out a number of delicate but flavorful rosés in our tastings, and we asked David Schildknecht about his own strategy to find terroir-expressive pinks. He starts in Sancerre, with a few key producers, and then goes farther afield to explore rosé from growers and winemakers playing off pinot noir and its kin. Put your red wine aside for a moment: These rosés have the sort of complexity and intrigue to hold your attention all summer.
This story appears in the print issue of August 2017.
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