It might be a cliché, but when it’s said that a certain wine is the epitome of “summer in a glass”, I still find it a turn of phrase that resonates. To me, it suggests a liveliness and cheery nature, and it fits well with wines that aren’t too heavy or exhausting to consider having that extra glass or two.
This week, a handful of wines that can be considered summer in a glass that should keep you going through the fall.
Parés Baltà Pink Cava Brut N.V.
Penedès, Spain; $30 to $34, private wine stores
This Spanish sparkler is a blend of Garnacha, Parellada, and Macabeo, made in the traditional method with a secondary ferment occurring in the bottle, just like its Champagne brethren. Eighteen months after that latter fermentation occurs, it’s disgorged and bottled without any additional dosage, ensuring a dry wine with a snappy finish. Cream soda, strawberries, and Turkish delight are all featured in the aromatics, leading to a lightly peppery palate full of raspberries, red currants, and cranberries. Recently spotted at Marquis Wine Cellars.
Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling 2018
Eden Valley, Australia; $20.99, $19.99 through July 27, B.C. Liquor Stores
Akin to biting into a Granny Smith apple followed by a chaser of fresh-squeezed lemon and lime, this perennial Aussie favourite also features amiable notes of powdered candy (think Rockets or Fun Dip), searing acidity, and a tart little finish. Their website suggests pairing with seared scallops, salt-and-pepper squid, or a Thai noodle salad, and I’m having trouble topping those excellent ideas.
Maetierra Atlantis Albariño 2016
Rías Baixas, Spain; $22 to $26, private wine stores
From sand-and-granite soils near the banks of the river Miño comes this lovely ode to all things tropical. Salty sea air mingles with fresh-cut pineapple as the wine swirls in the glass, then the incredibly juicy palate is awash with guava, nectarines, mangoes, and even a hint of litchi on the finish. This is an easy drinker; the biggest difficulty you’ll have is choosing between clams, mussels, scallops, and oysters. Scratch that. Start with fresh oysters, then do a few scallops in brown butter, then steamed mussels in white wine, butter, and leeks, finishing off with linguine and clams. Now you’re all set, and you may want to have a second bottle on hand. Recently spotted at Kitsilano Wine Cellar.
Gini Soave Classico 2017
Veneto, Italy; $29.99, B.C. Liquor Stores
This white made from the Garganega grape is new to our market, and I’m welcoming it with open arms. Grown in volcanic and limestone soils, between 100 and 200 metres above sea level, the grapes are hand-picked at harvest time, then vinified with wild yeast. Six months spent on the lees (that spent yeast at the bottom of the stainless-steel vats) brings a touch of creamy, nutty character that provides a suitable bolster for fresh jasmine, nectarines, and a nice lemony finish.
CedarCreek Estate Winery Platinum “Block 1” Pinot Noir Rosé 2018
Okanagan Valley, B.C.; $29, cedarcreek.bc.ca/
100 percent of the Pinot Noir grown in this vineyard block was designated for this wine; I love how it’s not only a tasty pink wine but exudes charming Pinot Noir character from start to finish. It is the result of two 2018 harvests: a slightly earlier one for good acidity and citrus character, and a later one for riper red fruit to be added to the mix. While 84 percent was done in stainless steel, that remaining 16 percent saw neutral oak, which frames the fruit well without getting in its way. Red plums and cherries are generous, with strawberries, raspberries, and mulberries all making appearances. At almost seven percent residual sugar, it’s not the driest rosé out there, but it’s very well balanced, and that kiss of sweetness on the finish will envelop the heat of curries, Buffalo wings, or any other spicy fare.
Rust Wine Co. Gamay 2018
Similkameen Valley, B.C.; $23, rustwine.com/
Put a bit of a chill on this lighter red and revel in its abundance of charisma. Bing cherries, nutmeg, and fresh-carved roast beef are initially on offer on both the nose and the palate, while further sips see it veer into an umami direction, with elements of sun-dried tomato and even a little hoisin sauce. At 23 bucks, it’s an incredible bargain.