Food & Drink

Three Great Wines to Toast the Beginning of Summer

From picnic or patio, these bottles (and suggested food pairings) are perfect for warmer weather.
—Courtesy of Sojourn Cellars via Facebook

Domaine Huet Vouvray “Le Mont”
Demi-Sec 2022
($53, Roanoke Wine Co.)

We’d be remiss if we didn’t shine a light on Vouvray, a delicious wine-growing zone in the Loire. Here, Chenin Blanc is the grape variety and the wines range from bracingly dry to dessert wine sweet. This iteration falls somewhere in-between, with plenty of lusty ripe pear and honey tones buttressed by formidable zing on the finish. A beautiful layer of aromatic white flowers drapes itself over the top of the whole affair to make an enchanting semisweet white wine.

Perfect Pairing: Serve with buttery ripe cheeses like Camembert.

Sojourn Cellars Pinot Noir “Gap’s Crown Vineyard” 2021
($75, Kysela Pere Et Fils)

We know $75 is a stretch, but this is one of the silkiest, most enticing, food-friendly Pinots we’ve tasted from California in some time. Gap’s Crown is a famous Sonoma Valley source for great Pinot Noir and it’s on full display here. Lovely layers of strawberry, black raspberry, and blueberry mingle with the barest hint of vanilla and baking spice.

Perfect Pairing: The finish is plush, with a lightly chewy texture that begs for food. Think grilled lamb chops or broiled salmon with a rich, satiny butter sauce.

Chateau de Valcombe Costieres de Nimes Rosé “Pastel” 2023
($20, SAWM Imports)

This offering from southern France is a classic example of why “dry” rosé became popular in the first place—it’s a racy, limpid wine with a bit more body than white wine but without the weight of a red wine. Made mostly from Syrah (with a dash of Viognier for aromatic lift),

Perfect Pairing: “Pastel” is perhaps served best with several bottles shoved into a cooler full of ice and a lot of friends and family close at hand. It’s the perfect patio sipper without shying away from food. But this is rosé and summer is officially here, so don’t work too hard. Grab some pre-steamed chilled shrimp and a jar of cocktail sauce and go to town.