Summertime Beach Wines!
It's that time of year to play hooky at work, throw together a tropical music playlist, pack a towel and book it to your favorite beach. Don't forget to pack your cooler with these beach favorites guaranteed to pair perfectly with sunscreen.
The wine world has let beer own the refreshing canned beverage title for far too long.
Is there anything that says "beach ready" more than canned rosé? We are living through a golden age of canned wine because many respectable wineries are producing delicious, quality wines that could fool any wine snob into thinking came from a traditional glass bottle. RUZA is a passion project of sommelier-restaurateur Aaron Forman and Brian Smith, a vintner and co-founder of wine club, Winc.
Hailing from Lodi, California, Zinfandel grapes are picked early to retain their pucker-up acidity, and pressed gently in order to produce a light salmon pink color. This rosé style is Provence inspired while showcasing the vibrant, dark berry fruitiness of California Zinfandel. Although sipping it from the can is part of the fun, pouring it into a glass gives the full effect!
If you have ever been on the hunt for a fun, refreshing and inexpensive white, chances are you have come across a Vinho Verde. Vinho Verde literally translates to “green wine” which refers not to the actual color of the wine but rather its fresh, crisp and light effervescence--best served at its youthful peak. Vinho Verde is located in the northern Portuguese region of Minho and although they produce mostly white wines through blending several varietals, they also produce rosé and more rarely reds, often times from Padeiro, one of their more common red grapes.
Husband and wife duo, Jose and Mafalda Teixeira Coelho own and operate a 40 hectare estate in the small village of Peneireiros, located in the sub-region Celorico de Basto in Vinho Verde (DOC). This unique region is ideal for grape growing because there is less rain than in the surrounding areas with a greater temperature range due to the microclimate created by the surrounding mountains and the Tamega river flow. This results in a high concentration of sun exposure which produces fully ripe grapes with the right level of acidity. Their 100% Padeiro Rosé is a wonderful example of the region’s ability to produce grapes that pop with watermelon, and raspberry notes while maintaining a light, refreshing citrus acidity.
Just like there is no need to forget about white wine in the winter, there is no need to forget about red in the summer! Perfect for sipping while grilling by the setting sun, Loca Linda Malbec brings you a lush black fruit body with a spicy smooth finish. This wine hails from Vista Flores, an area in the Uco Valley just south of Mendoza Argentina. To the west of this region lies the Andes Mountains and at an altitude of 3,445 ft, it is one of the highest wine regions in the world resulting in intense sun exposure. While the solar exposure helps achieve phenolic ripeness, cold nights shut off the ripening process and allow for a “slow and steady” maturation. The wine has 30% of it seeing neutral French and American oak while the remainder is fermented in concrete and steel. This results in a fresh style that has underlying spice characteristics.
Summer is the perfect time of year to break out of predictable wine drinking habits and explore new varietals. Garnacha Blanca (Grenache Blanc in French) fits the bill for an exciting yet easy to love white wine. It is a lower acidity wine so it will please those that find Sauvignon Blanc just a bit too tart. Viña Zorzal is a winery located in Navarra, in northeastern Spain, dedicated to preserving the areas’ rich history through producing single varietal wines of grapes that seem to have been forgotten about. The Sanz Family, who own the vineyard, start off by picking their Garnacha Blanca early on during the coolest hours of the evening and after 12 hours of skin contact, the wine is fermented with native yeasts and after spending a few days on its lees, aged for 6 months in 500-liter barrels. The result is a medium body wine with notes of citrus zest, white peach and wet gravel, that pairs as well with herbed chicken, as it does on its on its own while lounging on a sandy beach.
The classics are mainstays for a reason, and what is summer without Rosé Provençal?
In good Provence style fashion, Cibonne Tentations Rosé is a blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 15% Syrah and, in this very unique case, 15% Tibouren. During vinification, the juice is kept chilled in order to extract the delicate aromas. The wine is then aged on the fine lees for 8 to 10 weeks which gives the wine its round finish. This is the wine you want when you are craving a discreet yet elegant rosé that blends bright stone fruit with a mineral, fresh herbal backbone.
The rosés of Clos Cibonne have quite a reputation. The property was owned by a captain of the royal marines of Louis XVI, Jean Baptiste de Cibon who sold the estate in 1797 to the Roux Family. It was in 1930 that André Roux took over with the motif of modernizing the winery and creating the regions best wines, especially the famed rosés of Clos Cibonne.
A unique characteristic of the rosés of Clos Cibonne is that they consist of the rare and native varietal, Tibouren. André Roux believed in this grape’s importance in Provençalwine and replaced all of the estate’s more common Mourvèdre, with Tibouren. As Jancis Robinson describes it, Tibouren makes earthy rosés that have a scent of “garrigue” or a southern French, herbal scrub. Their estate was the only producer granted permission from the A.O.C (appellation d'origine contrôlée) to list the grape on its labels. Today André’s granddaughter Bridget Roux runs the place with her husband while marrying modern winemaking practices with traditional methods.
The Fine Print:
RUZA Canned Rosé (4-pack)- ̶$̶2̶1̶.̶9̶9̶ $19.79
Quinta da Raza Dom Diogo Padeiro Rosé - ̶$̶1̶3̶.̶9̶9̶ $12.59
Loca Linda Malbec - ̶$̶1̶9̶.̶9̶9̶ $17.99
Viña Zorzal Garnacha Blanca - ̶$̶1̶4̶.̶9̶9̶ $13.49
Clos Cibonne Tentations Rosé -$̶1̶9̶.̶9̶9̶ $17.99