We may be smack-dab in the middle of spring, but we’ve hit summerlike temperatures here in Sarasota, and we’re starting to plan our summer picnics and barbecues—and asking ourselves the eternal question: What wines should we choose for our warm-weather festivities?
So we went to an expert: Angie Cheatham, brand ambassador for Oregon’s Domaine Serene Winery, who will be at Sarasota’s Michael’s On East tomorrow, May 13, for a tasting of Domaine Serene’s offerings. (Tickets are $25; call (941) 366-0007 ext. 229 to reserve your space, or visit michaelswinecellar.com.)
What are your top tips for choosing a wine for warm weather?
Choose wines with lower tannins [such as whites, light-bodied reds and rosés] that can be served chilled without shutting down. Also pick wines with nice acidity that are refreshing—like Beaujolais, rosé or high-acid whites
What are your favorite summer food and wine pairings, and why?
Chablis, Muscadet, Assyrtiko and/or Albarino with oysters—the acidity and minerality of the wines complement the brininess of the oysters perfectly. I also love them with ceviche. And rosés are wonderful warm weather wines, as well—they're pretty, refreshing and pair wonderfully with dishes like crab cakes, melon and prosciutto, and lighter grilled meats.
What’s the best way to serve wine when you’re hosting an outdoor event?
Serve whites in a bucket of ice, and have an ice bucket available to lay the reds on intermittently so they don’t get too hot.
What are your personal favorite wines for summer?
Sparkling wines are always great! Raventos l'Hereu sparkling wine from Spain is delicious. I love lighter, lower-alcohol whites like Muscadet (a good one is Pepiere--and it’s all natural). I'm also loving some of the white wines from Greece, like Assyrtiko. They have great acidity and an amazing salinity that is especially fantastic with shellfish and ceviche which are great for summer. Albarinos and Chablis are always no-brainers, as well.