AUSTIN, Texas (June 8, 2015) – The intense heat and bold flavors of summer call for just the right wine pairing, but there is no reason to sweat about it. The wine experts at Whole Foods Market have selected 10 summer wines at great values that pair perfectly with every summer soirée – from pool parties and picnics to big barbecues.
“Summer is all about taking it easy, so we wanted to remove the guesswork for our customers by curating these exciting, wallet-friendly wines to complement all the flavors of the season,” said Doug Bell, global beverage buyer for Whole Foods Market. “These interesting and refreshing summer wines, all priced under $20, are crowd pleasers without being generic. Our wine specialists in every store can help select the perfect bottle for any summer get-together, or just for sipping in your own backyard. ”
Here’s Whole Foods Market’s guide to summer wine and party pairings:
Toast the summer season with bubbles! Gruet Blanc de Noirs will turn an impromptu backyard gathering into a festive party. Serve this New Mexico sparkling wine with Hervé Mons St. Nuage cheese, potato chips or other salty finger foods, and then make sure to have a second bottle on ice. Another favorite poolside sipper is California’s JaM Cellars Butter Chardonnay, a rich, creamy white wine with a generous finish. Serve with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, chicken sausage or fruit with a honey drizzle.
Picnics call for make-ahead salads, sandwiches, small bites and chilled, thirst-quenching white wines. Domitia Picpoul de Pinet from France offers lively citrus notes, perfect for sipping or pairing with bean dip and cold fried chicken. Spirito d’Italia Pinot Grigio, similarly crisp, dry and refreshing from Italy, pairs perfectly with Parmigiano-Reggiano, prosciutto and cantaloupe.
Throwing some salmon burgers or shrimp on the grill? Grab Nortico Alvarinho from Portugal, which offers subtle effervescence and citrus notes, or the food-loving Innovación Malbec-Syrah Rosé with dried strawberry and cinnamon notes. For big gatherings, the one-liter Innovación Rosé from Mendoza, Argentina, is a smart, wallet-friendly choice for entertaining.
Nothing beats a summer burger with all the fixings. For a wine that stands up to the bold flavors of grilled meat and tasty toppings, grab Cloudveil Pinot Noir from Oregon, a medium-bodied red with red berry and dusty notes (also great with herb-grilled veggies). Or try the fruit-forward Vega Montán Mencía from Northwest Spain, which pairs well with tangy barbecue sauce. Feel free to slightly chill these reds. Or make wine cubes from the Mencía for sangria!
It may be summer, but sizzling steaks on the grill call for a full-bodied red like Bonny Doon’s A Proper Claret, with violet, cherry, plum and tobacco notes. Impress your friends with Old World styling from this New World wine from California, which also pairs nicely with Borough Market Stilton cheese. Or serve up the lush King Rabbit Malbec from France, with flavors of plum, blueberry and cocoa. Let this one breathe before serving. Spanish-style grilled portobello mushrooms and peppers is a great meat-free dish to enjoy with this Malbec.
Visit wholefoodsmarket.com/wine for more information about the summer wines, tasting notes, suggested pairings and recipes.