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Summer sippers: She said, he said

Sunday - 6/24/2012, 1:57pm  ET

Wine of the Week

Scott Greenberg, wine columnist for the Washington Examiner


Scott Greenberg,

According to the sun's position, the summer season officially began at 7:09 p.m., June 20 when the summer solstice sun reached the furthest distance north of the equator, providing the longest daylight hours of the year. This can only mean one thing: More sunshine to chill out with the right summer wine.

But which wine to tame the high temperatures with is a constant source of heat in our household.

She likes white wines that are crisp and dry, he prefers wines that are off-dry and refreshing. Since both styles definitely have a place in the wine bucket and on the palate, so I will each share both of our favorite picks so you can decide which wine style will help you keep your cool this summer.

She said: 'Crisp and Dry'

I can't think of any better way to beat the heat than with a glass of well-chilled dry white wine. White wines that have higher acidity act like a natural fire extinguisher for the tongue, refreshing the palate with every pass and leaving the impression of crispness on the finish. Here are a few that I reach for when the heat is on.

Torrontés is one of my favorite summertime heat busters. Traditionally grown in Argentina, it is usually produced in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fresh fruit flavors. The 2011 Andeluna Torrontés from the Mendoza region of Argentina is produced in collaboration with world-renowned winemaking consultant Michel Rolland. It has lovely aromas of acacia flowers, jasmine, peach and grapefruit. Abundant acidity keeps the bright flavors of tropical fruits, nectarine and citrus fresh and the finish crisp. $10

I also like the 2010 Neal Family Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Valley, Calif. Produced exclusively from organically framed grapes, this wine is a beautiful example of warmer climate style. The fragrant bouquet of papaya and kiwi paves the way for the lovely tropical fruit and pineapple flavors that glide across the tongue. Pitch-perfect acidity refreshes the palate with each sip. $18

He said: 'Off-Dry'

I want my off-dry wines to be refreshing but not cloyingly sweet. The secret is balance. When there is balance between the fruit, the residual sugar and abundant acidity, few wines shine as brightly on the tongue as these wines do when it comes to beating the steamy temperature of summer or the heat of spicy fare.

Semi-sweet sparkling wines are one of the best kept secrets when it comes to taming summer's heat. I'm sure that the 2010 Fratelli Moscato d'Asti Moscato d'Asti, Italy DOGC won't be a secret for long. Fragrant aromas of acacia and white peaches explode on the nose and in the mouth, where notes of apricot nectar and nectarine join the fun. The pop of acidity and the bright bubbles keeps the palate refreshed. $17

I am usually not one for gimmicky wines, so I approached the 2011 Kung Fu Girl Riesling from the Columbia Valley in Washington State with a healthy degree of skepticism. I was knocked out by the juicy apple core and bright citrus flavors. The balancing act between sweetness and acidity is perfect, giving the finish a delicious highlight of lemon zest and ripe nectarine. $14

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