Sippin’ wine on the porch in summer – but what to drink? From Oregon Culinary Institute — Portland’s only independent culinary school — sommelier/instructor Maxine Borcherding has just the advice you need for drinking with tips for whites, reds & rosés–juice that you can enjoy by themselves or with just about any summer foods.
White: Sauvignon Blanc – bright, refreshing, full of citrus flavors that can range from meyer lemon to grapefruit, and a delightful grassy note. Sauv Blancs grown in different parts of the world can have different profiles, and they are all delicious. Its refreshing acidity makes it one of the rare wines that pair well with a tart vinaigrette, and classic food pairings also include fresh oysters and goat cheese. Try one with a summer salad of mixed greens (make sure some of them have a bit of crunch) with fresh grapefruit and tangy goat cheese with a citrus vinaigrette. The grassy notes in Sauv Blanc make it a great pairing with asparagus- in fact it is one of the rare wines that work well with this early messenger of spring. Try it with grilled asparagus served with a lemon dill caper mayonnaise. Look for a Sancerre such as Domaine Vincent Gaudy Sanncerre “le Tournebride” from the Loire Valley, one of Jules Taylor’s Sauvignon Blancs from Marlborough, New Zealand, or a delicious and incredibly inexpensive Sauv Blanc from chile’s Cono Sur.
Rosé: Rosé was made for warm weather, and one of my absolute favorites is the Lucien Albrecht Brut Rose Cremant d’Alsace. This lovely sparkler is made from 100% Pinot noir. Sparkling wines go beautifully with fried and salty foods, and pinot noir is great with truffles- so try this lovely Rosé with fresh, crisp truffle fries, or popcorn topped with butter and truffle salt (my mouth is watering)-or pair with a light pasta salad topped with smoked salmon, olives, caramelized onions, and fresh basil.
Red: A low tannin red such as Gamay from southern Beaujolais, such as a Louis Jadot Beaujolais Village, is one of the most versatile wines on the planet; and since it can be served with a light chill, it is perfect for summer. Try it on a soft blanket under a shady tree by the bank of a lazy river with a sandwich of roasted eggplant, caramelized onion, roasted red pepper and soft cheese drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar on a really good baguette. Ain’t summer grand?
You can read more articles by Maxine at her blog: In Maxine’s Glass
Maxine Borcherding is the Lead Chef Instructor, Certified Sommelier and Certified Spanish Wine Educator at The Oregon Culinary Institute.