I wanted to share with you my favorite types of wines for summer along with bottle recommendations under $20, because we all deserve to treat ourselves this summer 2021!
For real though… since we didn’t have the opportunity to go all out last summer due to something that starts with a Co and ends with a Vid, we need to make Summer 2021 COUNT. For me, this means drinking and sharing endless delicious, summery wines with friends and family every opportunity I get.
These are the best wines for the summertime in my opinion — they’re crisp, cold, light, shareable, and utterly crushable. Most of these are whites, sparklings, and rosés, but I threw in a few reds for those who refuse to drink anything else.
Criteria here is pretty simple. Summery wines need to be:
- Best served chilled
- Low in tannins (for reds)
- Medium to high acidity
I’ve included bottle recommendations under $20 for each type of wine (you’re welcome), and you should be able to find any of these summery wine varietals at your local Total Wine. Enough with the preamble though, let’s get right to it!
I have a whole article on White Bordeaux here, because that is how much I love it. It comes from (you guessed it!) the Bordeaux region of Southwestern France, and is usually a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon. They aren’t quite as citrus-y and in your face as a Sauvignon Blanc, but they’re just as summery and crisp.
Personal recommendation: Chateau Guibon Blanc ($18)
A classic summertime favorite from our friends in Portugal! Vinho Verde is super light-bodied, with an average ABV of about 10%. So you can drink quite a bit of it without feeling as heavy or dehydrated as you might with a Chardonnay. It’s also slightly effervescent and pairs perfectly with a pool or beach view. They even have rosé Vinho Verde, which is equally delicious and one of my personal faves.
Personal recommendation: Blanka Vinho Verde ($10)
Another French white that is lovely for summer sipping! Muscadet (not to be confused with Moscato) is a super dry white wine that’s known as one of the best wines in the world to serve with oysters. Muscadet vines are grown near the ocean, so they have a very subtle saltiness that complements oysters like you wouldn’t believe. It’s a truly special summery duo that you need to try if you haven’t yet.
Personal recommendation: Les Parcelles Marc Dupas Muscadet Sevre et Maine sur Lie ($15)
Not the most interesting wine on this list, but c’mon! I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it, since it’s a summer favorite of many moms (and probably others). Sauvignon blanc is acidic, citrusy, and tastes best ice cold. It’s basically lemonade for adults, which makes it an ideal summertime wine.
Personal recommendation: Matua Sauvignon Blanc ($9)
Instead of a Pinot Grigio, try out a Pinot Gris this summer! Although they’re technically the same wine, I immensely prefer Pinot Gris because they tend to be fresher (and better ?) tasting. Pinot Gris originated in the Alsace region of France, but it’s make its way over to the states and you’ll see a lot of reasonably priced bottles from California and Oregon. It’s best served as cold as possible and goes fantastically well with fresh fish.
Personal recommendation: Acrobat Pinot Gris ($10)
I’ve always considered Cava the best summertime sparkler! It’s always clean tasting, inexpensive, and so refreshing on a hot day. In my opinion, it’s lighter tasting than most other sparkling wines, and it’s also accessible to all palates.
Personal recommendation: Borrasca Cava ($10)
Sparkling Rosé (of any type!)
Sparkling rosés of all types are my go to in the summer. There’s just nothing like popping open a bottle of crisp, pink bubbles on a swelteringly hot day. My favorite sparkling rosés are Pinot Noir based because they’re generally fruity with a wonderful tartness that brings out all the best parts of a rosé.
Personal recommendation: Tissot Marie Crément de Jura Rosé ($18)
Provence is likely one of the most well known producers of rosé, and it’s not for no reason. This region more or less popularized rosé, and rosés from Provence are wonderfully dry and mineraly with notes of all the summer fruits. Helllooooo strawberry and watermelon! They’re budget friendly and are a perfect wine to bring to a summer barbecue.
Personal recommendation: Olema Rosé Côtes de Provence ($17)
Another wonderful type of rosé from France (what can I say, they do it best!) This type of rosé comes from way over on the Western side of France in the Loire Valley wine region. Anjou is an appellation dedicated exclusively to rosés. Most are on the off-dry side (aka: slightly sweet), super fruity, and very fresh tasting. They’re considered to be a “non-serious” wine in France, but I don’t care because they are seriously delicious.
Personal recommendation: Bourgrier Rosé d’Anjou ($13)
Lambrusco is a type of sparkling wine from Italy that can be white, pink, or red, and they’re all wonderful for the summertime! The reds in particular are super unique and refreshing if you want a red wine but don’t want to drink something room temp in 90 degree heat. It might sound a little weird if you’ve never tried a red sparkling, but I promise 9/10 people LOVE it.
Personal recommendation: Lini Lambrusco Rosso ($15)
I think Gamay is good literally any time of year, but it’s a great red for summer since it’s fairly light and tastes better when served chilled. Most Gamay comes from the Beaujolais region of France, and it’s not very expensive compared to other French reds. It has a bunch of fruit to it and good structure, so it’s great with summery grilled foods, but thanks to the price point, you can also feel free to sip it from a plastic cup by the pool.
Personal recommendation: Jadot Beaujolais Villages ($12)
Primitivo is just red Zinfandel from southern Italy. It’s a little bit lighter than its American counterpart, but it still has a lot of the juiciness and fruitiness of a California red Zin. Primitivo is endlessly crushable and tastes wonderful with a chill on it. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to say .
Personal recommendation: Caleo Primitivo Salento ($10)
And there you have it! These are all of my favorite summer wines, but I am always curious what others enjoy drinking in the summertime, so please let me know in the comment section 🙂
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