Summer Reds

bocce-wineThere’s a motto that everyone in the service industry knows “the customer is always right.” This is the case when it comes to selecting wines for your summer gatherings. Some people love to drink heavy Cabernets all year round. Personally, when the weather is hot; red wine just makes me hotter and sleepier. But everyone’s tastes and likes are different. I’m not writing this blog based on my personal likes and dislikes; I’m writing it to introduce people to new flavors and experiences. Drink what you like!

Nelly Boy gave some great advice on my “Beer Drinkers” blog about chillable red wines. However, there are many reds that are very enjoyable for summer time that do not need to be chilled.

A lot of people, including me, love to barbeque during the summer. In my opinion the best wine to match with BBQ is Zinfandel. Zinfandel has a big fruit flavor with notes of pepper and smoke. These characteristics make it a perfect pair to many types of BBQ. The only thing to be careful about is if you make a very spicy BBQ, the higher alcohol in many Zinfandels will create an unpleasant burning sensation. A great value is Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel which is available at Mount Royal Bottle Shop, Last Chance Liquor, Lake Aire, and Cashwise. If you are looking for something a bit higher end go for Earthquake Zinfandel by Michael David in Lodi. Earthquake is a favorite at the Kitchi Gammi Club and is available at Fitger’s Wine Cellars, Mount Royal Bottle Shop, Lake Aire, and Cashwise.

If Zinfandels have a bit too much spice for you another great BBQ chose would be Petite Sirah/Syrah. Petite Syrah is a completly different grape than Syrah or Shiraz. Petite Syrah is very fruit forward but lacks the spice of a Shiraz. Petite Syrahs are known for their flavors blueberry and plum, this makes them very drinkable with or without food.  As with Zinfandels, Bogle Petite Sirah and Michael David Petite Petite are two of my favorites. Bogle is available at Fitger’s Wine Cellars, Mount Royal Bottle Shop, Kenwood Liquors, Last Chance Liquors, Lake Aire, and Cashwise. Petite Petite is available at Cashwise.

Pinot Noirs are a great choice if you are looking for something light that pairs well with many different foods. Cavit is the number one imported and selling Pinot Noir in the United States. It is available at most liquor stores in the area, or go try a glass at Olive Garden. Another great company that is know for their Pinot Noirs is Castle Rock. There are very few drinkable Pinot Noirs under $10 and Castle Rock California Cuvee is one of them. They also produce Pinot Noirs from Mendocino, Central Coast, Monterey, and Russian River. Castle Rock can be found at Mount Royal Bottle Shop, Lake Aire, Last Chance, and Cashwise.

Evoida is a new Granacha from Spain that is very light and fruit forward but still has enough complexity to keep your mouth wanting more. Evoidia is available at Mount Royal Bottle Shop, Fitger’s Wine Cellars, and Cashwise.

winehavenWinehaven which is located in Chisago Lakes area in MN. They are the most award winning winery in Minnesota and offer both grape wines and fruit wines. My personal favorite is Rhubarb Wine. Their number one seller is the Honey Wine. Be sure to look for Strawberry Rhubarb that comes out in late June and sells out with a few months.

A great sweet chillable red is Natural Sweet Red by Robertson Winery in South Africa. Robertson makes their Natural Sweets just for the United States. They are sweet but clean and very easy to drink. These wines should be chilled. Try serving them with your favorite fruits. These wines are also very inexpensive and available at Liberty Liquor, Wild West Liquor, and Cashwise.

I hope this gives you an idea for what to sip on while watching your next sailboat race!

As always if you have any specific questions let me know! I love comments and I want to know what everyone is looking for.

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