The Lighter Side of Red Wines

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We’re in the thick of the dog days of summer – long, hot days, trips to the pool and barbequing with friends and family. In my last article I wrote about some of my favorite white wines for the summer, but sometimes a red or rosé pairs better with a meal.  Lately it’s been my goal to seek out those special warm weather reds. I think you’ll approve of what I found.

Chateau Des Annibals Coteaux Varois En Provence 2010 Rosé, $16.99 –

Okay, I don’t normally use terms like this, but this wine is sexy! The Chateau Des Annibals’ label has an elephant on it, paying homage to Hannibal’s ride through the French countryside with his war elephants. Along with the elephants came the Gypsies, singing their siren song “Suivez-moi-jeune-homme” (follow me young men) which is also featured on the label. Seductive back story aside, the color of the wine is that of flushed rosy cheeks, the nose has rose petals and strawberries, and the flavor is bright, fresh, and lovely.

New Age Rosé NV, $8.99 –

In my last blog, I wrote about how nice the New Age white is for the Summer.  Well, the Rosé is the fuchsia colored sister to that wine, and is just as pleasing as the white!  It gets its vibrant color from equal parts Merlot and Malbec.  Like the white, it has a bit of fritz to it and is abundantly fruity with notes of wild strawberries and raspberries. See this as a warning or an accolade; it has some sweetness, akin to very ripe sugar dipped strawberry.

 

Autumn Flight Barbera, NV 10.99 –

Barbera is a grape that is indigenous to Italy and is starting to make waves in California. The Autumn Flight is light to medium bodied, fruit forward, fresh, and food friendly! On an extra hot day, don’t be afraid to chill this down and take it to the neighborhood cookout or Barbeque.  Black stone fruits, smoke, and a touch of coffee round out the flavors, while the acidity gives the finish nice grip.

Chime California Pinot Noir 2009, 12.99 –

Chime Cellars make Riesling and Chardonnay but their main focus is on Pinot Noir.  We brought the entry level California Pinot to Nino’s about 6 months ago and it has been flying off our shelves ever since!  I believe this is because it’s fresh and fruity, with flavors of fresh baked cherry pie and a touch of toasty vanilla and nutmeg on the finish. It’s a lighter Pinot Noir in style, so whether you are having chicken kabobs on the grill or fresh fruit by the pool, it is an ideal summer red.

 

Ca’Bona Sangue Di Giuda, 2009 $11.99 –

It’s late, it’s hot, and the kids are at camp. You and your lovely spouse are sitting in the backyard listening to the symphony of crickets and cicadas, watching the lightning bugs float by. This is the perfect time for Ca’Bona Sangue di Giuda. This wine, served chilled, is red, fruity, bubbly, and a touch dry on the finish.  Sangue di Giuda or Blood of Judas; allegedly named by disapproving monks for its aphrodisiac like qualities, has flavors of strawberry and raspberry preserves.  If you want to add a little dessert to the mix, I recommend Just Desserts Raspberry Scones or any good quality dark chocolate.

I can’t finish this festive summer sipper article without mentioning something about Sangria.  Many of you have inquired about recipes or wines to use, so here is my Sangria breakdown.  For Peach Sangria I would recommend the Sweet Sunset Golden Peach wine ($9.99), or the Montpelier Viogner ($7.99) if you want it a little drier.  For white Sangria I like to use Terra Andina Sauvignon Blanc ($7.99) and for red Sangria I use Protocolo Spanish Red ($7.99).  Here is my Sangria recipe…

Jennifer’s Red Sangria Recipe:

1 Bottle Protocolo Red

1 Orange Sliced Thinly

1 Lemon Sliced Thinly

2 Limes Sliced Thinly

1 Nectarine Cut into Sections

1 Peach Cut into Sections

½ Cup Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum

½ Cup Orange Juice

1 Cup Lime Perrier

Or if it’s just too darn hot to do all that work, we just got in Bethany Frankel’s Skinny Girl Sangria ($14.99). Just open and serve!

Summer is in full swing and I hope that you stop by and pick up a couple of my chillable red picks!

Enjoy!

– Jennifer Laurie