Sum­mer Sips

RSWLiving - - Departments - BY GINA BIR CH

With the hot sum­mer months upon us, we hear a lot about health: pro­tect­ing your skin from the sun and your body from de­hy­dra­tion. We know it’s bad for food to be left in the heat, but did you know it’s also bad for wine? Afi­ciona­dos use the term “cooked” when re­fer­ring to wine that has been ad­versely af­fected by the heat.

One of the most com­mon signs that your vino has fallen vic­tim is the loss of fresh­ness and vi­brant fla­vor. The good news is, you may not even re­al­ize this sub­tle change, es­pe­cially if you are serv­ing the wine with food.

More ob­vi­ous, and not so easy to over­look, is the smell— a bit too sweet, al­most pro­cessed. Also sniff for metal­lic or swampy odors. Vis­i­bly, if the cork is bulging out of the bot­tle or leak­ing, leave it alone. While con­sum­ing cooked wines won’t hurt your health, it

will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Don’t store wine in your boat or pool­side un­less re­frig­er­ated and don’t leave it in your car for an ex­tended pe­riod of time un­less in a cooler.

In your search for sum­mer wines that beat the heat and pair well with grilled foods, try some of these from around the world.

Château La Coste Coteaux d’Aix- en- Provence Rose Rose wine is fan­tas­tic to drink in the sum­mer, and this one from France is made mostly from syrah. You’ll smell the min­er­als and taste them too. A dry pink wine that you could drink all day, this one has fla­vors of straw­ber­ries, with a touch of anise on the fin­ish. ($ 20)

Do­maine Louis Michel Ch­ablis AOC If you are serv­ing oys­ters, you need this wine. It is trop­i­cal, cit­rusy, clean and oh- so- re­fresh­ing, with a hint of salin­ity. In fact, it has be­come quite fash­ion­able to drink Ch­ablis these days. This one is 100- per­cent French chardon­nay and a fan­tas­tic value. ($ 25)

Hamil­ton Rus­sell Vine­yards, Hemel- en- Aarde Val­ley Chardon­nay From South Africa, this de­light­ful wine is crisp and acidic with lots of pineap­ple and a hint of nuts, no oak. It’s a per­fect wine to serve with salty pork. ($ 33)

Sierra Batuco Lone Rider This blend of cabernet, syrah and mer­lot is from Chile. It’s a bit spicy, earthy and mas­cu­line, but still has a good amount of dark red fruits; it’s per­fect for your grilled pork or beef. ($ 25)

Ja­copo Biondi Santi Brac­cale Rosso Com­ing from a fa­mous fam­ily of Ital­ian wine­mak­ers, this san­giovese is blended with a lit­tle bit of mer­lot for some added fruit fla­vors, such as plum and black­berry. The fin­ish is a bit as­trin­gent. Serve it with bar­be­cued chicken or grilled sweet Ital­ian sausage. ($ 19)

Beso Del Sol San­gria This wine in a box is a Span­ish tem­pranillo that’s mixed with cit­rus and other fruits to pro­duce a sweet, re­fresh­ing blend. It’s ideal for drink­ing around the pool or on a boat since there is no glass to fuss with, just 100- per­cent re­cy­cled card­board. Pour it over ice, add some fresh fruit and vi­ola! The 3- liter box is a bar­gain; equiv­a­lent to four bot­tles. ($ 19.99)

Find these wines at lo­cal re­tail­ers: Whole Foods, Wine Mer­chant, Is­land Store, To­tal Wine and World Mar­ket. You can also en­joy them at area restaurants, in­clud­ing the Mad Hat­ter, Blue Coy­ote Sani­bel and The Other Side Bistro.

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