The Best Wines for Summertime Sipping

This time of year, many of my friends, peers and our guests will ask what they should be drinking over the summer months as their dining interests turn to lighter fare and barbeques. Most wine drinkers already have a favorite wine or style of wine they prefer and that is what they’ll have on hand. If an oaky, buttery chardonnay or a grassy, grapefruit-covered sauvignon blanc is your preference, the odds are you already know what producers and regions to look for; however, if you're looking to surprise your palate and try something new, you've come to the right blog post.

Here are three wines I keep stocked throughout the summer – some daily drinkers, others for special occasions – that are produced with a little extra care or from some very special vines.

  1. Albarino, Rias Baxias, Spain – This is my daily go-to throughout the summer and a homerun. How can you go wrong with a glass of wine that has enough body, acid and finish to stand up to most lighter fare but is also light and refreshing enough to be enjoyed all on its own? 

  2. Rosé, France – I’ve been a fan of Cotes de Provence for some time and they are growing in popularity, offering bright, beautiful red fruits with nice minerality and acid. The Vie Vité, which we pour by the glass, is the perfect companion for lounging in the sun but is also bold enough to stand up to most summertime barbeques. If you want something bigger, especially if you're typically a red wine drinker, try a rosé of grenache from Chateauneuf du Pape from producers like Domaine de la Mordorée. Or, a rosé of mouvedre from Domaine Tempier and Domaine Terrebrune in Bandol. They work beautifully for occasions when you want a little something special.

  3. Bubbles, Anywhere – When in doubt, bubble out. You can’t go wrong with bubbles, ever – at least not in my humble opinion. And there are so many options. For something light and fruity, a Prosecco from Italy is a great choice. There are also many amazing Cavas on the market. Some of my favorites for the summer are the Brute Rosé from South African winemaker Graham Beck, made the same way as Champagne and highlighting beautiful dark fruit with some of that toasty character than makes these wines so special. Another personal favorite from South Africa is the Simonsig Brut Rosé made from pinotage. This wine is gorgeous with notes of grilled strawberries that make it truly exceptional.

I hope you get the chance to enjoy some or all of these wines with friends and family this summer, with your feet in the water and food on the grill. Or, if you're in the mood to let someone else do the cooking, join us here at George's. We offer an extensive wine list on all three levels – California Modern, Level2 and the Ocean Terrace – and would be happy to help you choose the perfect wine you'll be sipping all summer long.