Floridians seeking to cool the summer heat seem to always be searching for a refreshing wine that goes from the pool to the beach to the boat and back to the house for the grill out. While reds do pair best with warm weather BBQ, there’s a whole other realm that exists beyond the dark side. Yes, white wines serve well here. But there’s a lighter side to even the lighter whites of the wine world. And today, we ask that you step (sip?) into them.
We can thank the wine makers of Bordeaux and the Loire Valley for this herbaceous white. If you’re new to the world of wine, notes of grass and asparagus might sound off when considering a wine to wash down some grilled scallops. But understand, the wonderful tang of lime and passion fruit (and ripe peaches in warmer climate Sauvs), mean that your herbaceous flavors are balanced out and only add to the wine’s complexity.
Herb heavy dishes (think caprese salad, rosemary chicken, cilantro and lime shrimp) are wonderful mates with Sauvignon Blanc. Try Trione Sauvignon Blanc ($19.99)
Once you get comfortable with the herbaceous flavors in Sauvignon Blanc, we want to introduce you to its sister, Fumé. Why two names for the same grape? Well, in the ‘60s Sauvignon Blanc production quality fell really low. It was either too sweet or too grassy for a lot of American palates. The great Robert Mondavi, thinking of the wonderful vintage of Sauvignon Blanc he’d just harvested, realized it wouldn’t sell under its true name Sauvignon Blanc. So he threw it in oak barrels, which impart a smoky flavor, and re-imagined its name to Fumé Blanc.
Melon carries a heavier emphasis in this style and sometimes a rounder body from the oak aging. Pair Ferrari-Carano’s Fumé Blanc ($10.98) with Asian food, fried goat cheese or grilled veggies.
Though the grape that makes this bright, acidic white is a daughter to the red grape of Pinot wines, it’s known best for being the lightest of the light wines. When opening a bottle of Pinot Grigio, expect major emphasis on lime, green apple, lemon, even nectarine. There is always an underlying foundation of salted minerals, which makes it such a great option for outdoor enjoyment.
Pour a glass of Cavit Pinot Grigio ($10.98) to take with you on the boat and make sure to chase the sip with a bite of chips and gauc.
“Rosé all day” is still a thing and its moment is not over. If you’re in the mood to drink pink, know that this style can be as rich or subtle as you choose. Rosé wines range from a tiny tinge of color to bright pink, and from sweet to bone-dry in style. Its popularity has exploded in recent years, and with fruity characteristics, range of body and the ability to pair with an array of foods, it’s easy to see why. Rosé wine characteristics tend to be subtle versions of their red wine varietal cousins. With fruit flavors that lean toward strawberry, cherry and raspberry with some citrus and watermelon—generally very refreshing and especially popular in warm weather. French rosé wines will be a bit zestier with aromas of strawberries, raspberries and grapefruit.
Vigilance Rosé ($9.99) boasts delectable aromas of strawberries, citrus and violets. Crisp flavors of raspberry, strawberry and fresh lemon zest.