Now that summer has finally arrived, purchasing a summer survival case makes sense. You’ll be prepared for anything — from impromptu summer get-togethers, al fresco dinners, or just to expand your palate. These 12 bottles will ensure you won’t have to open a bottle that you’d been saving for a special occasion and you can also take advantage of in-store case discounts to stretch your summer wine budget.
There are many bulk, homogenous, mass-produced products available under $20, however they can be less about actual fermented grapes — grown by farmers — and more about large marketing plans for branded beverages. Rather, think about shopping for wine as you would groceries, passing on anything processed.
Make some room on the fridge door for these top-value wine picks for the summer of 2019. My recommendations are for a variety of styles and price points from both large and small producers that will ring in between $15 to $25 a bottle — a dozen easy-drinking crowd-pleasers.
GIUSTI ASOLO SUPERIORE PROSECCO DOCG EXTRA BRUT $21
This newly released sparkler is from the Asolo region in Italy where the driest styles of Prosecco are permitted — they can have up to five times less sugar than most Proseccos on the market. A medium-bodied wine, comprised of 100 per cent Glera, rich, crisp and minerally with peach, apple and pear skins, along with fresh savoury herbs; lasting finish of crunchy apple, white flowers, lime zest and pear skin. A solid value.
RACINE PICPOUL DE PINET $20
Picpoul is a white grape known for its naturally high and racy acidity. This Languedoc wine is wonderfully delicious — fresh and delicate with layers of ripe citrus fruits and tropical flowers. It’s easy-drinking and pairs with lighter dishes — seafood, shellfish, crab/fish cakes, ceviche and mild cheeses.
SPIER SIGNATURE CHENIN BLANC $15
This is a popular white wine from South Africa that’s crisp and fruity with apple, grapefruit, pear, hay and exotic flowers. The grapes are hand-harvested, de-stemmed and slightly crushed before pressing and brief contact on the skins. Perfect with friends in summer or with a picnic-style meal including sesame-coated chicken and a salad with fried goat cheese.
FINCA NUEVA WHITE $15
This is a white wine made from the Viura grape in Rioja, Spain. Mouth-watering with high acidity that’s characteristic of the grape, along with pear and crisp apples mingled with hay and flowers. Pair with fried tapas, artichokes and mild cheeses.
CANTINA LAVIS PINOT GRIGIO ROSE $15
The lovely coppery colour comes from the skin of the Pinot Grigio grape. An intensely aromatic wine with citrus, floral and minerality on a softly textured palate. Enjoy as an aperitif or pair with lighter summer dishes.
GORGO BAROLINO CHIARETTO ROSÉ $19
Here’s an Italian savoury and elegant summer rosé that’s ideal for patio lunches. It’s low in alcohol and made from classic grapes of the region that are organically farmed — Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. Beautifully bright pink in colour with fresh herbs, juicy fresh summer fruits — market cherries, strawberries, raspberries — with a twist on lemon zest and lingering notes of summer blooms.
AB VALLEY VINHO VERDE ROSÉ $19
The Atlantic Ocean and the unique soil composition have significant influence on the wines from Portugal’s Vinhos Verdes subregion of Amarante. This crisp and dry rosé is a blend of Espadeiro & Touriga Nacional — youthful and fresh with ripe red fruits, floral notes and citrus.
CHATEAU DE PONCIE GRANDE CUVEE $22
This lovely light red wine made from Gamay is from Beaujolais wine region in France. Its bright and juicy red berries are complemented with soft acidity on a lighter-bodied palate weight (think of the weight of skim milk). A great pairing for Mediterranean food and just to patio sip. Serve slightly chilled.
DE ANGELIS ROSSO PICENO DOC $17
If it’s a glass of red you’re looking for, try this youthful fuller-bodied blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese that’s textured with loads of earth, flowers, red berries and a splash of spice. A wine that’s easily paired with a range of foods and offers crowd appeal.
BEAU BONHOMME ORGANIC $17
A newly released label from the popular Canadian winemaker, Natalie Bonhomme — a 100 per cent organically farmed Monastrell from 25-year-old vines. A concentrated, smooth, dark and rich wine with ripe black fruits and spice. Pairs well with grilled and braised meats, as well as aged cheeses.
MOTHER ROCK FORCE MAJEURE RED BLEND $24
This is an organic/raw wine that was dry farmed on bush vines in Swartland, South Africa. This is a blend of mostly Syrah; with Pinotage, Grenache, Carignan, Cinsault and Mouverdre. Don’t be shocked if you find sediment in the bottle because it’s unfiltered, resulting in a wine full of personality with a softly textured mouthfeel of juicy cherries, raspberries, blackberries, plum, violets and earth. Nothing added to this delicious wine.
M DE MULONNIERE ROUGE $24
I’m a huge fan of the wines from the Saget La Perrière family from the Loire in France. This is from their premium line — a Cabernet Franc that’s complex and delicious with undergrowth and ripe red berries. Beautifully balanced with smooth tannins that will pair perfectly with summer grilled meats and vegetables.
Wine selections are available at select Alberta shops. Log onto liquorconnect.com to check availability and give them a call to verify.
Juanita Roos opened Color de Vino, a fine wine and spirits store, with her family in 2014. She has traveled to wine regions around the world and completed the prestigious WSET Diploma from London, England, the prerequisite for the Master of Wine program. Send your questions about wine to firstname.lastname@example.org.