By Glen Frederiksen
The Warm Season has arrived here in Las Vegas. Those capital letters we placed on “Warm” and “Season” are no mistake. We take Warm Season seriously around here.
For the next six months, through mid-October, daily highs will rarely dip below 90 degrees. On average, 72 of those days will see the thermometer rising above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Warm Season — time to put away those Ports, Sherries and big reds. It’s the season of the summer sippers.
What is a summer sipper? Wines that are on the lighter side, with less alcohol. Perhaps with a touch of sugar still in them. The majority will be white (Riesling, Muscat, Torrontes, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris and their ilk), with a good sprinkling of rosés and sparkling wines.
Those reds that work well in the Warm Season have less color, less body, and are leaning toward the Old World style of winemaking. Good examples are Sangiovese (and its blended brother, Chianti), lighter Tempranillo (and its summer sister, Sangria), Beaujolais Nouveau, lighter Pinot Noir, and any red made in the style of carbonic maceration.
Yes, it is true that a good summer Q (that’s barbecue, for those of you back East) calls out for a spicy (and decidedly red) Zinfandel, or maybe a peppery Syrah. But for today’s discussion and tasting, Dear Reader, we shall stick to the lighter, whiter side of wine… with the occasional blush and sparkler thrown into the mix.
Below, please find an ever-increasing list of Wine Lines Online’s favorite summer sippers, ready for your guzzling drinking pleasure. Follow the links to read the full reviews.
2010 Beckmen Vineyards ‘Le Bec Blanc,’ Santa Ynez Valley
2011 Beckmen Vineyards Purisma Mountain Vineyard Grenache Rosé, Santa Ynez Valley
2011 Kenwood Moscato Zacchera, California
2010 Salt of the Earth Flore de Moscato, California
2010 Quady Electra Orange Muscat, California
2010 Quady Red Electra Muscat, California
2008 Leasingham Magnus Riesling, Clare Valley