Like Wine

Summer is a good time to spend less money on wine, since most whites, rosés and lighter reds tend to go easier on the pocketbook. Deliciousness, on the other hand, is in full supply. Summer is a wine lover’s time to revel in a generosity of straightforward, fruity flavors that don’t demand overthinking, nor service with fancy foods.

PINOT GRIS/GRIGIO FOR PICNICS

If you like this wine:

Uvaggio 2013 Napa Valley Zelo Bianco White Wine ($20)
A proprietary white blend comprised primarily of Pinot Gris, with the rest the unusual Traminer and Moscato Giallo, this wine is both refreshing and substantial, with floral aromas, minerality and lush flavors of ripe pear and lemon.

Then try this wine:

Chloe 2013 Valdadige D.O.C.  Italy Pinot Grigio ($17)
Chloe is a new wine collection of mostly California wines developed and made by California-based winemaker Georgetta Dane, who is also the “warden,” or winemaker, of the Big House wine brand. Here, she’s crafted a crisp, classic Pinot Grigio from northern Italian grapes, full of honeysuckle, Meyer lemon and peach flavors.

ROSE FOR BEACH DAYS

If you like this wine:

Kale 2013 Napa Valley Rosé ($22)
A classically yummy combination of 62% Grenache and 38% Syrah, this is a dry, crisp, refreshing rosé, awash in flavors of just-picked raspberries. The wine bursts with a kick of minerality on the finish.

Then try this wine:

Pedroncelli 2013 Dry Creek Valley Dry Rosé of Zinfandel ($12)
Packed with Zinfandel’s signature berry goodness, this wine goes down easy, dancing in moderate acidity and completely thirst-quenching. Pack a bottle for a day at the beach and treasure it with a sandwich or summer salad.

ZINFANDEL FOR BARBECUES

If you like this wine:

Ravenswood 2011 Belloni Vineyard Russian River Valley Zinfandel ($35)
From vines planted around 1900, this wine is dark and brooding, with crushed blackberries and jam, traces of tobacco and leather, smooth tannins and finely built structure. From a cool site in a cool year, it has elegance to spare.

Then try this wine:

Dry Creek Vineyard 2012 Heritage Vines Sonoma County Zinfandel ($20)
Rich and exuberant in substantial fruit and tannin, this is a great barbecue wine. It offers refined blueberry and baking spice character and is ridiculously gulpable. Fifteen percent Petite Sirah adds structure and pleasant earthiness. Pour it for a crowd of two or 200. All will be happy.

GRENACHE FOR THE GARDEN PARTY

If you like this wine:

McCay Cellars 2011 Lodi Grenache ($32)
If you’re aching to taste what potential lies in Rhone varieties from Lodi, start with this Grenache. It’s a restrained version, resplendent in cranberry and Rainier cherry fruit with smooth, herbal layers that linger for a long time.

Then try this wine:

Anaba 2011 Turbine Red Sonoma County Grenache-Mourvedre-Syrah ($24)
A blend of 45% Grenache, 28% Mourvedre and 27% Syrah from two vineyards (Landa and Bismark), this Rhone red is a mouthful of tantalizing white pepper, earthy meat and spicy cherry. It’s soft, smooth and perfect for charcuterie.

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