Summertime and the living is easy. It also is really hot. What is a wine drinker to do?
If you drink your wine indoors with the AC cranked down to low 70s, who cares about summer? Knock back whatever you want. Big, hot, California cabs and zins or heavy, buttery chardonnays? Heck yeah. Royalty checks cover your electric bill and wine tab without you having to blink or think.
Fortunately, there are options for those of us who don’t use two commas to write our net worth.
White wines, especially really cold white wines, are summer wine winners and often affordable.
Think Portugese vino verdes, German or New York Finger Lakes rieslings, Texas viognier. If you must, white zin; even better, a nice rosé. Bubbly works, works very well. Moscato d’Asti, prosecco, sparkling anything. And sparkling also sparkles in a spritzer or wine punch.
Recipe suggestion: combine five ripe apricots, 1/8 cup of fresh lemon juice, splash of simple syrup, one cup of ice cubes in blender and puree. Plop a scoop of the apricot puree in a flute and add sparkling wine (10 drinks).
Summer means watermelon? Try three cups of seeded watermelon, 1.5 cups of white vermouth, 1.5 tablespoons of superfine sugar. Process in blender until watermelon is liquified, add three cups of crushed ice, fire up blender again for a few seconds. Serve in chilled flutes (serves four).
Like wine sweet, even really sweet? Wine-A-Rita is a dry, sugary mix—there are six different flavors—to which you add wine and ice and process in a blender to create a wine slush. Because mix dominates, you can go really cheap on the wine ($5 bottles work). Mix costs about $10.
• Gauchezco Torrontes Salta 2011. Flamboyantly floral nose; crisp, fresh; melon, lemon-lime lilts; nice acidity; Argentina’s signature white. $10
• Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012. Balanced citrus, peach, tangy key lime; vibrant acidity; food pair beyond compare at great price. $14
• Apothic White Winemaker’s Blend 2012. Chardonnay, pinot grigio, riesling; surprising good commodity value; honey, apple, peach; tropical fruit. $14
• Las Rocas Rosé 2013. Clean, fresh, fruity; strawberry, raspberry, watermelon; full body, snap of acidity; substantial Spanish summer winner. $14
Last round: I’m a wine enthusiast. The more wine I drink, the more enthusiastic I get.