For The Summer Season
the full-bodied reds for lighter, crisper drinks.
After a winter spent hibernating by the fireplace with heavier
red wines and ports, the warmer weather arriving in spring
and early summer makes us feel like shedding those heavy
wines (not unlike shedding our heavy clothes) for wines that
are more light, crisp and refreshing in style.
This is also the season for many outdoor activities and special
events such as graduations, weddings and bridal showers, or
family reunions and picnics. Let’s take minute today to look
at wines that we at Wines by Jennifer have found to be appropriate
and popular for these events:
Raspberry Sparkletini or Moscatos from Italy are clean,
crisp, light in body, low in alcohol, and tend to be sweeter,
so they are very appropriate for a graduation celebration.
The Sparkletini is a sparkling wine that’s made with a
touch of malt liquor, and has been a popular seller at
Wines by Jennifer.
The Moscato can be found as a sparkler or as a “still”
wine, and is produced primarily in the Asti area of Piedmont
and Bridal Showers
are always a big hit at weddings and bridal showers. The
Bellini was invented in 1948 at Harry’s Bar in Venice,
Italy by the head bartender at the time, Giuseppe Cipriani.
Cipriani was particularly fond of Italian white peaches
and had been experimenting to find the perfect cocktail
as a base. When he stumbled upon the combination of white
peaches and the Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco, he knew
he had something.
The very basic Bellini recipe calls for one ounce of peach
puree for every five ounces of chilled sparkling wine. Avoid
the temptation to use French Champagne in the recipe because
the rich flavor of the Champagne is not a particularly good
match for such a fruity cocktail.
German Rieslings are another good choice for a wedding
or bridal shower. The longer fermentation process employed
in making these wines means more residual sugar is converted
to alcohol, with the expected result of a slightly more
and less sweet wine that is slightly higher in alcohol.
also often recommend a nice, dry Spanish Cava for the wedding
toast. While Cavas are made in the Champagne method,
they are usually a much better value than true French Champagnes.
Be aware that Cavas are not the only type of sparkling
wine made in Spain and consumers are sometimes fooled into
something inferior. True Cavas can be distinguished by
a four-pointed star on the cork.
Like Champagne, Cava comes in varying degrees of sweetness
according to the sugar content. The different styles, listed
from driest to sweetest, are as follows:
Unlike Champagne, Cava will not improve with age. On the contrary,
it will deteriorate with age, so buy it and drink it preferably
within the same week.
One last note on Cavas: the sweeter the Cava, the cooler it
should be served. While a Brut Nature can be served practically
at room temperature, a Semi-seco should be well chilled.
Reunions and Picnics
Midwesterners take great pride in their barbeque, and family
reunions and picnics are some of the best opportunities to
show off those BBQ skills. Whether smoking a rack of ribs or
just throwing a steak on the grill, we have a couple of candidates
for you to choose from to complement your food:
Australian Shiraz is an inherently smoky and juicy wine
(just like your food), with loads of dark red fruit flavors
that match perfectly with grilled meats. The Barossa
Valley region in particular is producing some terrific
are also good values.
fine pairing with barbeque that may be less recognizable
than the Shiraz (or Syrah) is the Spanish Garnacha. Known
elsewhere around the world as Grenache, this wine is not
as bold as the
Shiraz, but is a real treat with lighter meats like pork
ribs, wild caught salmon filet, or grilled steelhead trout.
wines are generally less expensive relative to other
wine-producing areas, but they are producing some excellent
wines that are
good values in general.
Stanton is the proprietor of Wines by Jennifer in Parkville,