End of Summer Wine-Down

Top 10 Wines to Say Goodbye to Summer

As summer comes to a close, it’s time to squeeze every last drop of fun out of the season.  Summer isn’t over yet!  There is still time to party on the patio, enjoy evening picnics, and drink thirst-quenching summer wines before welcoming the shorter days and cooler air.  Summer wines are meant to be crisp and chilled.  As we bid farewell to the season, try these wonderful wines that, while refreshing, are weighty and complex enough to transition into fall (much like my favorite denim jacket).

While some red wines can taste overly powerful, rich, and heavy for the warmer months, the reds on this list are light-bodied and fresh.  Some handy tricks for keeping the reds fresh on 90+ degree days: chill them!  Refrigerate your reds for about 30 minutes before serving. It is amazing how much brighter and more aromatic they will become with a slight chill.  Also, make sure your summer/fall reds are low in tannin.  Tannic and astringent wines are too powerful in warm weather.  Enjoy these wonderful and diverse wines this Labor Day – all are food-friendly, ideal for dining alfresco.

Top 10 summer-to-fall transition wines

2012 Terra do Castelo Godello ($9.99):
The Godello grape is enjoying a revival and for good reason.  It’s tasty, complex, and round.  Indigenous to Northwest Spain, this wine bursts form the glass with notes of apples and citrus, along with wonderful flinty minerality.  Often likened to Chardonnay, Godello, tends to be brighter and more viscous.
 
2015 Bedouet Le Domaine Muscadet ($11.99):
Bright with the zippy acidity of freshly-squeezed lime, this little guy is light and refined. Made from Melon Blanc grapes grown in France's Loire Valley, it has a salty character making it the prefect accompaniment to raw oysters.
 
2014 Altos de Cristimil Albariño ($19.99):
Summer in a bottle! If you’ve never tasted Albariño form Northwest Spain before, it’s like Pinot Grigio… on steroids.  It has intense aromas of fresh pear, apples, and lemon peel on the nose, with hints of white flowers and stony minerality on the palate.  Pair this wine with steamed clams, Hamachi Poke, or any delicate white fish.  This particular Albariño even has the body to stand up to grilled chicken.
 
2014 Erste + Neue Pinot Grigio ($19.99):
These Pinot Grigio grapes are grown on steep terraced slopes in Alto Adige nestled within the Italian Alps. Erste + Neue Pinot Grigio is far more complex than many of its siblings.  Dramatic day-night temperature swings create bracing acidity and crisp freshness lacking from some other Italian Pinot Grigio wines.  This baby is dynamic and fresh – the ideal picnic wine.
 
2012 Wunsch and Mann Gewürztraminer St. Remy Organic ($19.99):
In your glass you’ll find highly aromatic character with rich notes of ginger, white flowers, spice, and lychee.  Pair this zesty and fragrant wine with spicy Thai cuisine and Indian curries.
 
2012 Clos DuBreuil Clara Rosé ($29.99):
This deeply colored rosé from the Saint-Émilion region of Bordeaux drinks like a light red rather than a rosé.  Now is the time to make the switch from lighter Provence rosés of summer to one with more body and complexity.  Rich, fresh strawberry notes explode from the glass along withhighly concentrated aromas of blackberry and pear.  Bright acidity keeps the wine in perfect balance.
 
2013 Barrique Cellars Dry Creek Zinfandel ($19.99):
Barrique Cellars is part of our private label collection at Schneider’s.  We partner with world-renowned vintners and winemakers from our nation’s most iconic growing areas.  This Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel from Sonoma County is no exception.  It is loaded with aromas of cedar and baking spice, followed by bright raspberries and tart cherry on the palate, with a rich mouth feel and long finish.
 
2013 Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge ($19.99):
The famed Perrin family ofChâteau de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, partnered with Robert Haas, longtime importer and founder of Vineyard Brands, to create this bright and earthy wine in Paso Robles, CA.  Bringing the best of the Rhône Valley varietals
 to California, this wine has fresh red berry aromas and white pepper on the nose, with notes of violet and spice on the palate with wonderfully tangy acidity.  Priced at only $20 this wine drinks like a $50 Old World bottle.
 
2011 Thibault Liger-Belair Moulin-à-Vent La Roche ($49.99):
Cru Beaujolais is the perfect wine with which to settle into the crisp fall months while still being light enough to enjoy in the summer.  It’s medium-bodied, low in tannin, and has tons of structure.  A serious Gamay that’s loaded with lush and spicy fruit.  Pair it with spicy ribs, juicy burgers, and crunchy coleslaw this Labor Day.  
 
2011 QUO Gastiago Grenache ($24.99):
This is a smoky, spicy, peppery, and bold wine.  Pair this savory Spanish Grenache with slow cooked, fatty roasts of pork or lamb.  It will also pair beautifully with summer BBQ, sweet sauce and all.

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