When it’s warm outside and our focus turns to summers at the lake, grilling or hosting lawn parties, we want different kinds of wines than during cooler months. We want the carefree summertime crowd pleaser—the vinous equivalent of “Summer of 69” in a bottle. With all the entertaining we do this time of year, we need a pretty versatile soundtrack of signature summer wines. To get an idea of which bottles you’ll want for the table, boat or beach, we asked Tony Gaddis, co-owner of Bosu’s Wine Shop & Secret Wine Bar, for his current summer favorites.
“Rosé is one of the hottest trends in wine today,” says Gaddis. This is your signature summer wine. Your theme song. The one you buy cases and cases of. Rosés are refreshing, food-friendly and beautifully hued. They’re made from a wide variety of grapes creating a world of dry, crisp, refreshing, fruit-forward, affordable options to explore.
“Nothing is more refreshing on a summer morning than a great sparkling wine,” says Gaddis. The best in the world are certainly from Champagne. They pair beautifully with omelets made with a variety of farm fresh ingredients. There are a few lesser-known regions in France that make incredible sparkling wine under $25 with nearly the same flavor quality as the great Champagnes. “For a twist on a classic, I love serving Champagne or sparkling wine with a perfectly grilled steak,” says Gaddis. “The delicate yet complex layers of the champagne, combined with the fine bubbles, work in harmony with the juicy and succulent texture of the steak.”
Rustic, Spicy Reds
“Summertime, for me, says backyard barbecues and cool nights by the fire pit,” says Gaddis. Hearty reds have their place in summertime but the devil is in the details. As a rule, try to avoid overly oaked red wines of any variety this time of year. “With barbecue I prefer Carmenères,” says Gaddis. “Their spicy, oftentimes herbaceous character really complements condiments and marinades.” Pinot Noir is another great option. Lightly chilled, it drinks beautifully and pairs well with a wide variety of grilled meats and vegetables. “Pinot Noir is like that classic song that you play,” says Gaddis. “It’s a comfortable crowd-pleaser.”
“Summer is the perfect time of year to expand your playlist of go-to white wines,” says Gaddis. Vinho Verde. Albariño. Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling. Pinot Grigio. Viognier. Chardonnay. “There’s a terroir for every palate.”
Want to discover your new summertime favorite?
Bosu’s Wine Shop & Secret Wine Bar is hosting a series of events; join us to discover your new summertime favorite!
- May 24: 5 for $5 Summer Favorites Wine Tasting with Kate Higgins-McCabe of Tryon Distributing Company, Drop in 5-9p
- May 25: Secret Wine Bar Night, Drop in 5-9p
- May 26: Free Saturday Wine Tasting, Drop in 1-5p
- May 26: Paint & Sip with Master Artist, Jo Ridge Kelley (Reservations required, $45) 1-3p
- May 28: TGI Monday Portuguese Wine Sale & Tasting (free), Sale 10-6p / Drop in tasting 1-5p
- June 27th – The Annual Zinfandel Seated Tasting ($20, reservations required) starts at 7p
- July 18th – Classic Wine Pairings Dinner with Nick Demos, Advanced Sommelier
Ensaladilla Rusa Recipe
Looking for a fresh way to spice up your Memorial Day weekend menu? Try infusing a simple side dish with garden fresh herbs. Whether you grow your own or buy them from local farms, cooking with fresh herbs is a wonderful way to achieve great flavor without adding unwanted fat or sodium. Inspired by flavors of the Mediterranean—enjoy this alfresco ready recipe for Ensaladilla Rusa (Spanish Potato Salad) from our friends at Buy Haywood. It’s the perfect side dish for any meal enjoyed in the backyard, beach or mountaintop.
- 3 lbs red potatoes, peeled, boiled and diced
- 1 lb organic baby carrots, boiled and diced
- 8 oz baby spring peas, blanched
- 5 oz Piquillo peppers, drained and roughly chopped (1/2 jar, found in most supermarkets)
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 cup diced green onion, approx. 3 stalks with green & white parts
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, more or less for desired texture and flavor
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Paprika, for garnish
Prepare the potatoes and carrots: Place the potatoes (and carrots) and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes and carrots in a colander, then place the colander with the mixture over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes and carrots to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
Blanch the green peas for 3 minutes in boiling salted water, shock in an ice water bath to stop cooking.
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Chill until ready to serve.
Dash with paprika. Serve & enjoy!
All photos by TM Photography.