The weather is scalding hot in Florida these days as our daily summer temperature reaches record highs. If you’re like me, you find yourself going to the wine fridge to grab something to refresh and excite your palate. The fun is about to begin as you discover some new wines from around the world that will do just that! A Rose from Provence France, Sauvignon Blanc from Loire Valley, and a delish Chardonnay from California, all on a mission to cool you off in the summer heat.
But first, let’s do things a little differently and talk about food first.
PAIRING FOOD WITH SUMMER WINE
If you know me, you know that my love for food is second only to my love for wine. And when the summer heat sets in, all I want to savor is fresh, delicious local seafood.
In my opinion, there is nothing better than an old-fashioned clambake for everyone in your family or party to share and enjoy with a variety of delicious wines. Take a day trip to your closest seafood market and see what the local fishermen have caught and to learn what is typical for your region. In the Tampa Bay area, we get loads of shrimp, scallops, clams, and mussels. Seasonally, you might find Maine lobster or stone crab claws. You could say we’re pretty lucky around here.
Locally, your nearby fish market will be your best place to buy fresh, local delicacies to pair with our summer wines. Pair your main dish with buttered corn on the cob, salty new potatoes, and your family’s favorite slaw recipe. With an extra trip to your farmer’s market or produce stand, you could have fresh fruit to make a mouthwatering cobbler or strawberry blueberry shortcake to top off your meal.
Our first wine recommendation will start with a 2018 Digression Rose from Provence, France. While you are starting your clambake, you should have this bottle chilled and ready to serve. Take a sip here and there while you and your family prepare the stock pot with vegetables, an assortment of seafood gems, and fresh herbs. The pot only needs a little wine and water in the bottom, then layer the seafood on top of the vegetables. You only need to add very few seasonings since the pot will be full of flavor! The brine of the fresh seafood doesn’t require much to make an amazing dish. Sea salt cracked black pepper, Old Bay seasoning, thyme, and some paprika will make this dish come alive as it slowly steams the seafood.
2018 DIGRESSION ROSE ~ PROVENCE, FRANCE
This bottle of Digression is a beautiful Rose in a unique square-shaped bottle. Instantly, you can see its awesome salmon color with slight fuchsia hues. The bottle has a picture of a flamingo silhouette to enhance the color with such a striking image. This wine has superb flavors of strawberry, peaches, and apricot with floral bouquet. Pop the cork and enjoy the wonderful crisp flavors and tantalizing bouquet.
PETITE COMTE SAUVIGNON BLANC ~ LOIRE VALLEY, FRANCE
Our next summer sipping wine is Petite Comte Sauvignon Blanc from Loire Valley in France. This wine is bursting with flavors and aromas of pink grapefruit, lemongrass, and hints of gooseberries and herbaceousness on the finish. Chill this bottle to enjoy with an assortment of cheese and olives while your clambake is getting ready, or on a Friday night at home! I also recommend pairing it with creamy baked brie and lemon preserves. This Sauvignon Blanc will help you pass the time on any sunny afternoon chatting with friends or sitting poolside.
2017 MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS CHARDONNAY ~ EDNA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
Lastly is our Mount Eden Vineyards Chardonnay from Edna Valley, California. This 2017 vintage received 93 Points from Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate for February 2020. Wow! This Chardonnay has big flavors of honeycomb, orange blossom, baked apple, and quince. You will also discover lofty aromas of gardenia, toasty oak, and citrus on the finish. Aged in French Oak barrels with soft tannins, this is truly an impressive wine that has grabbed our attention. It would be a beautiful accompaniment to your clambake. Alternatively, pair it with a crispy pan-seared salmon with garlic, parsley, and fresh lemon.
Well, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get sipping!
Sit back and open that wine fridge with confidence as you grab one of these delicious and fun wines to enjoy this summer. Crack open the clams as you crack open another chilled bottle. Dip your seafood delicacies in butter and remember what summer is all about: quality time with family and friends.