We all know summer is the season for entertaining, socializing and drinking more wine. Ok, I may have made that third one up, but I bet you nodded your head in agreement anyways. Whatever it is, though, I find my wine selections change to reflect the people, food or activity. So, I rounded up a couple of different wines that pair well with the most popular summer ‘activities’ on our dance card.
The Backyard BBQ
Since all of our friends have young kids, dinner time has become quite the affair when our group gets together. Most of us feed our littles around 5:30pm and bedtime is a hard 7pm, for sanity’s sake. So, when we have a BBQ, it means late afternoon cocktails and early dinner. My two go-to types of wine for these events are a bright, crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, or a yummy French Pinot Noir.
I was introduced to Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 6 years ago during a visit to New Zealand. I like bringing it to a BBQ because it’s a classic NZ Sauv with nice acidity and prevalent grapefruit and passionfruit flavours.
The Louis Latour Bourgogne Pinot Noir (2015) is a crowd pleaser and the quality is always reliable. Pinot Noir is a native grape to the Burgundy region in France and does a great job of absorbing the terroir it is grown in. Usually, a French Pinot is going to have a distinct earthiness to it, somewhat of an old world feel. Whereas a California Pinot Noir is a lot richer with less earthiness, in my opinion. I guess it’s the Old World/New World juxtaposition. The Louis Latour is fantastic with any type of grilled meat, making it perfect to have with your meal.
We have a pretty competitive group of friends and inevitably after the littles have gone to bed, we can be found playing some type of game. Mexican Train, Euchre, Blokus, Crokinole, you name it and we are in. We have even been known to enjoy a rowdy game of Clue, if you can imagine that! Due to the competitive nature of this event, I’m going with a higher alcohol content wine. At 15% ABV, Chateau de la Gardine’s Chateauneuf du Pape (2014) is a traditional blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre. It’s a full bodied wine, but not as chewy as a Cabernet Sauvignon. This one has delicious notes of blackberry jam and a bit of a roasted flavour.
In Calgary, we’re lucky to have quite a few communities built with manmade lakes. It’s a great place to meet up at that doesn’t involve one family having to play host and clean up after all the kids and the perfect spot for rosé. I went in to Willow Park for a new recommendation and I walked out with the Chateau Langlois Cabernet d’Anjou Rosé (2016). It’s a Cabernet Franc rosé from the Loire Valley, which intrigued me because I enjoy Cabernet Franc reds. This rosé won’t disappoint, it is light and dry, with a little bit of minerality. And another sweet bonus, it’s a screwcap as well, so totally easy for the lake!
The summer goes by so fast, so make sure you get out and enjoy as much of it as you can, hopefully with a delicious glass of wine!