As summer menus have transitioned to seasonal produce, seafood and grilled dishes, consumers seek out wines that will go with warmer-weather fare. Xavier Thuizat, head sommelier at Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel based in Paris, shares some recommendations for summer wines for different meals and occasions.
For the summer in general: This summer I recommend a cuvée, a white wine that is in between a vermentino and a chardonnay, from Provence. The 2018 Chateau La Coste Grand Vin is a light and easily digestible wine, with notes of citrus and verbena. This wine is a perfect pairing for a seafood platter shared on a beautiful summer evening.
Wines suitable for a picnic: Picnics are about friendship, which involves spontaneity, directness and cheerfulness. The wine that most encapsulates the spirit of friendship and these qualities to me is a Beaujolais. My recommendation would be the 2017 Domaine Anita Prestige Morgon, produced by a remarkable woman vintner, Anita Kuhnel. This wine is of great finesse in the mouth and carries aromas of red fruits including blackcurrant and raspberry.
Great wines for grilling season: When talking about barbecue the key word is syrah! The grape has a smoky nose and the aroma of black pepper perfectly complements grilled meats.
My two summer syrah picks would be the 2010 Charles Melton “Nine Popes” from Australia’s Barossa Valley, a dynamic wine with minty flavors, and the 2015 Domaine Histoire d’Enfer Syrah du Valais from Switzerland, which has a remarkable freshness. Tip: for these wines, make sure to place the bottles in a bucket with some ice to keep them fresh!