We have all heard the rules about wine. We are told to stick to red for meat, white for lighter fare like fish and poultry, and rosé, which can be paired with a porterhouse or salmon. But we are here to tell you that while a good prime rib can mellow out the taste of the tannins in a Cabernet Sauvignon and the creamy taste of a Chardonnay enhances the mild, milky flavor of cod; sometimes it is ok to break those rules.
With that in mind, and since summer is in full bloom, we here at SPY wanted to do a roundup of some of the best sparkling and white summer wines. There will be some that you may recognize and others that may be a surprise to you. But not to worry because we aren’t wine snobs here, so though there will be splurges, there will also be affordable bottles that are just as tasty.
Read on for our list of the best sparkling and summer wines.
1. Cavit Pinot Grigio
For a light and delicate wine that will pair well with pasta or popcorn, there is Cavit Pinot Grigio. This easy-to-find and popular brand showcases the distinctive fresh and dry finishes of a Pinot Grigio, balancing out the taste of a sweet apple cobbler. It is great with fish, and also as a base for white wine sangria.
2. Trimbach Pinot Gris
So Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are, in a sense, the same wine but not really. They both come from the same grape variety that originated in France. The main difference is that the Pinot Grigio is light and crisp, and Pinot Gris, like Trimbach, tends to be fuller-bodied and earthy. It works well with a roasted chicken.
3. Seastone Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
One of the great things about Sauvignon Blanc is that you can find a great bottle at a reasonable price. While the more pricey Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, 2018 drips with heady flavors of ginger, nectarine, apricot and melon, Seastone Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc won’t let you down with its herby undertones vibrant aromas of passion fruit and lime. It is made to be enjoyed with a nutty-flavored pesto sauce.
4. Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay
Oak is the distinctive taste of a good Chardonnay, and Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay captures that as well as citrusy notes from pink grapefruit, tangerine, and citrus blossom. In addition to the acidity they bring, the apple flavors add a nice crisp finish. It pairs well with a cheese plate that contains figs and jams.
5. Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling
Washington may not be the first place you think of when it comes to wine, but Columbia Valley is the wine region that’s produced this easy-tasting semi-sweet Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling. The flavors are a mix of white peach, apricot, pear and zesty grapefruit, and thankfully isn’t syrupy. It works well with a spicy cream sauce or blackened chicken.
6. Saget Peres & Fils Chenin Blanc Vouvray
While a Riesling can evoke flavors of peaches and apricot, a Chenin Blanc tastes more like an over-ripened apple. Saget Peres & Fils Chenin Blanc Vouvray is creamy and acidic, making it the perfect partner for a wedge cheese salad.
7. Saula Gavi White Label
Light and bright with flavors of apple and wildflower, Saula Gavi White Label finishes with a mellow hint of almond. It will complement white fish that are denser like haddock and cod; ones that are more delicate like flounder, sole, or halibut; or ones sweeter like snapper.
8. Freixenet Cava Carta Nevada Brut
Sparkling wines are fun and delicious, and though sometimes they may be considered a substitute for champagne, they can and should stand on their own. Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine, and Freixenet’s evokes apricot and vanilla flavors that make for a great brunch partner and goes way beyond mimosas. It can be enjoyed chilled and alone or mixed in a bellini.
9. Gancia Prosecco Rosè D.O.C.
Gancia Prosecco Rosè D.O.C. is a nice twist on a typical Prosecco. Although it lands somewhere between a white and a red, it is certainly worth mentioning. Its flavors of red berries pop and pair well with appetizers like Caprese salads, with the acidic flavors from the tomato, creaminess of the burrata and herby goodness of the basil. It can round out the taste of bruschetta as well.
10. Cavit Moscato
Light and bubbly, Cavit Moscato pairs well with just about anything you feel like adding some sweetness and sparkle to. It isn’t as fizzy as a sparkling wine, but it also isn’t as flat as regular white wine. It works well with grilled chicken, salmon, pizza, focaccia, ricotta cheesecake, dark chocolate and by itself. It belongs on any list of the best sparkling and white summer wines. It is a great go-to for those just developing their wine palette.
11. Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Champagne
Moët & Chandon was founded in 1743, and its Ice Imperial champagne is a great representation of the brand. It was made to be served over ice and is a blend of pinot noir, pinot Meunier — red grapes — and chardonnay with sweet and spicy notes. While many descriptors could be used to say how wonderful this champagne is, it is far simpler to say that Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Champagne is simply delicious.
12. Dom Pérignon, 2010
A classic helps define the standard in most things, and Dom Pérignon certainly has set the bar high. And the 2010 offering, like each vintage, has unique notes that provide the character of the champagne. It evokes fruity tasting notes with a subtle hint of vanilla. You do not need to be a sommelier to know that this champagne is the Kilimanjaro of champagnes.