(Your) Wines of Summer
Condensation forming on the outside of your beverage. A smoky tickle in your nose from a charcoal grill. The pop and whistle of fireworks. These are a few of the sights, smells, and sounds associated with summer, a season when many of us give the outdoors our full embrace.
But as Washington, DC residents – and those elsewhere – are well aware, beastly heat and humidity can challenge the joy of outdoor life. This is where the tastes of summer – namely our favorite wines – step in to save the day.
We asked a few experts in mastering heat and humidity – both local and a bit further afield – what they consider their go-to wines of summer.
For Cleveland Park resident Tammy Gordon, one of her summer favorites also plays a part in building community. During Washington, DC’s first pandemic shutdown in 2020, Tammy and her neighbors started weekly disDANCE parties in their outdoor common green spaces as a way to safely enjoy a drink and a song together.
To add some brightness to this already lively gathering, Tammy invites Birgit Wiederstein’s ‘Rosa’ to the party. In Tammy’s words: “This one is by a woman winemaker, it’s biodynamic, AND has a fun label that stands out at summer parties. It’s got a story, a point of view, and tastes fantastic.” With an eye-catching bright pink hue and a profile of sweet-tart strawberries, red cherries, and a palate-cleansing acidity, Rosa is a guaranteed heat-buster and crowd pleaser for any night of the week.
When the DC weather gets unreasonably hot and balmy (hello, August!), Weygandt Wines club member Kevin Paul turns to crisp, mineral whites for refreshment, and skin contact whites to keep things interesting. (As a side note, we’re personally a bit partial to Sancerre for a mineral-driven, cool-down libation.)
But his clutch summer wine is the rosé from Domain Charvin, which Kevin describes as “refreshing but rich,” with notes of “white cherry, raspberry, (and) a touch of sweet red licorice.” The Domaine Charvin rosé is also a Weygandt Wines staff favorite, transitioning easily from happy hour to the al fresco dinner table. We can also envision this bottle by our side on the beach or even trailing an inner tube down a lazy river. Delicious, approachable, and versatile.
If you’re a red wine devotee and still want the cool breeze effect, give your bottles a little chill. Wines that are low in tannins, light or medium bodied, or that have a juicy profile can be surprisingly expressive at cooler serving temperatures. This includes varieties like Gamay, Dolcetto, Pinot Noir, and Ploussard, among others.
Try it out with a lighter-bodied Trousseau from biodynamic producer Domaine de la Bord. Just 30 minutes in the refrigerator, or 10-15 minutes on ice, brings out crunchy, red fruit characteristics and a bright acidity that is eminently quaffable and delightfully restorative.
And if you’ve heard that sparkling wines are right for any occasion, well, it’s true! The energizing acidity and crisp fruit of many sparkling wines is like sitting under a pleasant mister during scorching days and sultry evenings.
Many DC residents spend part of their year in Florida, where managing hot and humid conditions is a familiar pastime. For Palm Beach resident Jeremy McBryan, his heat-busting go-to is Prosecco. Dressed up dinner at the table or dressed down poolside, San Giovanni’s Prosecco Superiore features crisp lemon, white peach, and green apple flavors that leave your palate – and your perspective – feeling as invigorated as a dip in the pool.
Whichever wine(s) you choose to mark your summer – white, red, rosé, sparkling, or all of the above – we hope you're also getting some well-deserved time to just sit back and enjoy every sip.