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The Best of Summer Wine Pairings

Spring is well underway and it’s time to start looking ahead to even brighter (and hopefully warmer) days. With the better weather comes an influx of guests looking for food and drinks to match their newfound cheery dispositions and sudden health-consciousness. With a few simple guidelines, you can pair any summery item on your menu with the perfect wine.

Hot off the grill

It’s no secret that summer is the season of the grill. The smokiness of grilled foods might seem intimidating to pair wines with, but fear not. Much like with spring wines, always consider two things: overall heartiness and primary flavors, match accordingly or contrast.

Try something like: Casal Garcia Vinho Verde Rosé

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With notes of berries and cherries, this will be the yin to the yang of spicy rubs and mouthwatering burgers. A rosé like this one will complement grilled chicken, light-fleshed fish, or shrimp kebobs with light marinades.

Greens galore

Summer is undoubtedly also the season of the salad. When unsure about which wine to pair with a light summery salad, reach for a bubbly one because it will match both the weather and the dish. Tart white wines are usually a go-to because “acid loves acid” and they will pair well with any vinegar based dressing.

Try something like: Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc

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This New Zealand winery gets a lot of attention for its Sauvignon blanc wines. This bottle is described as light and crisp with hints of lime and grapefruit. The perfect pair to refreshing zesty flavors in a summer salad.

Fruity fiesta

It’s not summer if there isn’t an abundance of beautiful fruit in season. Apricots, berries, peaches, melons, and even tomatoes all take center stage to be eaten as the stars of dishes or a standalone act. It’s time to scratch the wine and cheese plate and bring on the fruit and wine pairings. Let’s focus on melon, pears, cherries, and berries.

Try Something like: Charles Heidsieck NV Brut Réserve Champaign

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What do melons, pears, cherries, and berries all have in common, you ask? They all pair well with champaign! Just like with any other wine, you can pair because of similarities or contrasts. The caveat here is not to pair anything really sweet (aka watermelon) with a very dry champaign, it’ll ruin both the drink and the dish. This bottle is said to balance fruit flavors with acidity, a striking combination.

Kiana Gonzalez

Kiana Gonzalez

Intern at Uncorkd
Kiana is a Chicago native putting the finishing touches on a marketing and psychology degree from DePaul University. In her spare time, she enjoys drinking sangria and watching Spanish novelas.
Kiana Gonzalez