Picking the Right Wine for Summertime

Five Seasonal Suggestions from Rosen College of Hospitality Management Wine by Education Program Instructor David Black 

Hot summer weather calls for wines that are light, unoaked, refreshing and full of flavor. Each of the four white wines I’ve chosen should be served at refrigerator temperature (45 to 55 degrees F). The lone red wine from Chianti’s Sangiovese grape should be served after spending about 30 minutes in the refrigerator. All of these wines are readily available in most retail outlets for prices that average less that $20 per bottle.


2012 Kim Crawford Chardonnay Unoaked (South Island, New Zealand) 

As the label reads, this Chardonnay is completely unoaked, which means it was aged in a non-oak barrel. That difference insures that the wine retains a crisp acidity and a lovely apple-like freshness.

2012 Honig Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley, California) 

It can be argued that Honig Winery makes perhaps the Napa Valley’s finest, unoaked and most refreshing white wine from 100-percent Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

2013 Castello Banfi Pinot Grigio “San Angelo” (Tuscany, Italy) 

There are innumerable Pinot Grigios on most retail wine seller’s shelves, but this single-vineyard wine from Banfi’s Tuscan estate is my hands down favorite thanks to its rich, full flavor and lively, savory finish.

2013 La Spinetta Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont, Italy) 

Piedmont’s La Spinetta Estate is one of Italy’s premier wineries. Their rendition of the increasingly popular Moscato d’Asti represents everything that is enjoyable from the ancient Moscato grape: very aromatic, slightly bubbly (frizzante), low in alcohol and absolutely delicious.

2012 Di Majo Norante Sangiovese (Molise, Italy)

This 100-percent unoaked beauty from Italy’s Molise province is the only red in this group. It is light on the palate, full of flavor, pure in its Sangiovese red fruits and, like all the whites listed above, it is best when served quite cool.

 For Best Results:

  • Serve these wines in a glass that tapers toward the rim. This will allow you to fully capture the unique aroma of each one.
  • Fill your glass about a third full and twirl the wine inside the glass to release its bouquet.
  • Before swallowing, let the wine linger in your mouth to coat your palate. This will allow the wine to impart its best qualities.
  • None of these great value wines need to be decanted. It is acceptable to to pour them right from the bottle into a glass where they will quickly breathe as you begin to enjoy them.

IMG_0505David Black has served as an instructor and lecturer at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida since 2009. Black has more than 30 years of experience in fine wine and spirits, including an intensive, five-year Master of Wine Program, studying viticulture, winery techniques, business, blind tasting and evaluation. He has also traveled extensively to major wine regions in France, Italy, Germany, Spain and California. Click here for more information about the Rosen College Wine Education Program.

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