Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What to Drink when it's This Hot and This Humid

Washington, DC has a unique characteristic during the summer. When it rains in the summer, it doesn't cool things off but rather adds to the swelter. 

As Kermit the Frog - or anyone within the Beltway can tell you - drinking heavy reds in the humidity of a swamp in the summer is not always the most pleasant. So what is the wino to do during the summer months?

First, anyone who "only drinks reds" needs to shut up. Obviously, everyone has their preferences, but to shut out three quarters of wine available is just absurd. Be open-minded to whites,  rosés and sparkling wine. When it's 95 degrees out with 80 percent humidity, do you really want to pour that thick, jammy Zinfandel? Try some wines you wouldn't other. Not only will you likely be surprised, but they will actually be refreshing and enjoyable.

Second, be willing to try pink wine. White Zinfandel has done more to destroy the otherwise good name of rosé than we may ever know, but those willing to try these oft-maligned wines will be not only surprised, but become fans. Every year I feel like Sam-I-Am on this topic and every year, there are a couple of converts who admit that rosés are much better than they thought. For those skeptical about trying rosé, Rosé d'Anjou is a great place to start. Made predominantly from Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, these light, crisp and dry rosés are perfect for everything from a BBQ to a day at the park. And at $8.00 - $12.00 for a decent bottle, they are French, pink wines that won't break the bank.

When it comes to whites, Sauvignon Blancs are the perfect for the summer. Even though New Zealand has put these wines back on the map, I prefer the ones coming out of Chile, Bordeaux, the Loire and the domestic ones. These all tend to be less intense with respect to the gooseberry and citrus flavors that the New Zealand ones have, yet still have the balance and crispness that make these wines so perfect for the summer.

Finally, there are sparkling wines. Not all sparkling wine needs to be champagne, nor does sparkling wine need to be for a special occasions only. Spanish Cava is great this time of year. Not only are they crisp, complex and refreshing, but they work in any budget and are versatile enough to go with just about anything.

Any of these options work extremely well during the summer months - and with Virginia Viognier still coming into its own, and more producers making dry rosés - there are plenty of local options for grat wine to drunk during the summer as well.

1 comment:

  1. Haha I love this writeup. Its so true. Just shut up and drink something other than red, please. So true and great suggestions.

    I wanted to let you know that my friends and I just created a FREE app for the iPhone called "vinowine" which features wineries in Virginia and Maryland. We thought you might enjoy checking it out and telling us what you think considering your similar interests and passion for the good stuff!

    You can track which wineries you have been to, view upcoming wine festivals, as well as rate and favorite the places you find to be most memorable. That being said, we would really welcome your reviews and comments of the wineries within our app.

    If you’d like to download “vinowine” you can do so here:

    Within our app we will also be creating a "featuring" portion to the app where we can highlight blogs and articles like yours! We want our users to be as informed as possible on Virginia wineries and what Virginia wine lovers have to say. We will let you know when we get that portion of the app done.

    We'd appreciate your help on spreading the word so we can help advertise local wineries as well as highlight blogs like Beltway Bacchus. We would also really appreciate it if you'd link to our website as well

    Keep up the good work on the blog and I look forward to reading more!

    Mike Barefoot