Summer Sipping Wines

Santa Barbara Wine Shop Owners Share Their Seasonal Secrets

East Beach Wines
Paul Wellman

Bob Wesley from The Winehound (1221 Chapala St.; 845-5247; “All meteorological anomalies aside, our favorite summer wines trend toward lighter whites and (slightly) chillable reds, providing versatility appropriate for the beach and the barbecue.”

• Alois Lageder Riff pinot grigio 2010: Destined to become our best-selling Pinot Grigio of the summer, Riff is all at once both slickery and crisp, and loaded with ripe lemon and melony fruit. A heralded producer (Mr. Lageder) coupled with the Lilliputian price tag means this Italian combination is unsurpassed. $10.99.

• Domaine la Cabotte Côtes du Rhône Colline 2009: This wondrous French blend of grenache, syrah, cinsault, and carignane is the perfect bistro red, avoiding overt heft but brimming with raspberry, black pepper, cocoa, and dried herbs. $11.99.

Frank Crandall from Renegade Wines (417 Santa Barbara St. A-6; 568-1961; “Summer is great for all types of wine. A dry rosé for hot June evenings, a nice Côtes du Rhône for the family barbecue, and, of course, Champagne for all the celebrations.”

• Albert Bichot Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes 2009: One of the best chardonnays for under $25. Well-balanced, nice acidity, texture, and finish. $12.50.

• Paul Jaboulet Côtes du Rhône ‘Parallele 45’ 2008: A wonderful grenache-based wine from one of the Rhône’s top winemakers. A great everyday red. $11.50.

Brian Brunello from The Liquor & Wine Grotto (1271 Coast Village Rd.; 969-5939; “Warm summer days are best complemented by fun lighter wines with lower alcohol. Wines from Europe often work very well.”

• Caruso & Minini Inzolia 2009: Inzolia is a grape grown primarily in Sicily. Light and crisp, this is a great summer wine that goes well with any seafood dish. $16.99.

• Rancho Sisquoc Pinot Noir 2009: Typically lighter in style, this pinot is a wonderfully flexible summer food wine. $19.99.

David Cable from East Beach Wine Company (1114 State St., Ste. 24; 899-1535; “In the warmer weather, wine sipping turns to dry rosé. One of our favorite locals is the 2010 Rusack Rosé.”

• Days Off Lake Day Wine 2009: A nonserious delicious sauvignon blanc/chenin blanc blend made by Andrew Murray, originally for his private consumption. $15.99.

• Henry Fessy Moulin-à-Vent Crus du Beaujolais 2009: A lush, velvety wine with fine balance and dusty tannins. Great with lunch-type foods. $16.99.


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