Summer is prime time for enjoying wine, whether it's paired with food or sipped by itself on a sunny day. For a few new and exciting wine recommendations this season, we turned to Jennifer Wagoner, Wine Director at Sepia and Proxi in Chicago.
Q: What is a favorite summertime wine, and what would you recommend trying in addition to it?
A: Rosé is always a popular summer sipper, and I would be lying if I said I don’t love a good rosé. Bubbles are also a solid choice. If you want to enjoy something with value and quality, I would look to Crémant from throughout France.
Q: Is there a wine that's particularly refreshing on a hot summer day?
A: Wines with lighter body and freshness are always welcome when the heat of the day kicks in. I suggest Txakolina from Basque Country in Spain. It’s fresh and lower in alcohol, so you can enjoy a few glasses without fear of feeling less-than-great post-picnic.
Q: Is there a white that you particularly like for summer?
A: I’m a bit of a Riesling gal. It is incredibly versatile, and there is a spectrum of styles in which it is made. There is something for everyone. For me, summertime is Riesling time.
Q: A lot of people associate summer with white wines. But is there a red that you particularly like for summer?
A: I’m currently into chilled Pais from Maule in Chile. It’s bright and earthy and can come from vines that are well over 100 years old. It’s delicious alone or with savory snacks.
Q: Summer is prime time for grilling. What is a versatile wine that pairs well with grilled meats and vegetables?
A: Cooler-climate Syrah or Cru Beaujolais. I like a bit of spice on my reds when it comes to pairing with grilled meats and veggies. Pinot Gris is also a versatile varietal that is delicious on its own, but plays well with many different flavor profiles.
Q: What's a wine that’s perfect for drinking on a patio outside?
A: Again, I have to say bubbles. I clearly have an affinity for effervescence, but for good reason.
Wines of Alsace brings its top-quality wines, diversity of soils and passionate producers to Chicago this June with the month-long Alsace Rocks campaign.
Renowned for its world-class white wines, which make up 90 percent of all production, Alsace grows seven main varieties, including Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Muscat and Sylvaner. And, with 53 appellations, Alsace has a wine to impress anyone, whether you’re looking for an easy-going, well-priced wine, a Crémant d’Alsace sparkling wine made in the traditional method or a more complex Grand Cru wine. Stay up to date at @DrinkAlsace or visit www.AlsaceRocks.com for more information.