Kosher Wines for Summerby Andrew Breskin June 26, 2018
Summer in San Diego brings about images and memories of backyard barbecues, picnics at the beach or Balboa Park, all the while enjoying a cold local beer or refreshing cocktail like a margarita or mojito. Noticeably absent from this list is wine. Something about the casual nature of San Diego summertime entertaining lends itself to less formal beverages. While lounging in shorts and flip flops, sipping and swirling a fine Cabernet, and all the contemplation that goes along with it, doesn’t quite match the picture.
Personally, due to the summer travel schedule for my wine club Liquid Kosher, I tend to do the most amount of wine drinking (“tasting”) during the summer, while meeting with our winemaker partners overseas, and hosting small gatherings all over the country. But aside from this pleasant duty, summer does present the opportunity to drink wine in a more relaxed setting, which is more conducive to enjoyment than deliberation. The food is simpler, the company is sedate, and the sunlight inhibits the deep and meaningfuls, more suited for winter nights.
The following are a few selections that are flexible, food friendly wines, that don’t need much in terms of advance preparation or planning, and are perfect for casual fun!
2015 Borgo Reale Pinot Nero, Italy
While tasting through a flight of Italian wines for an event, I was surprised that this unusual bottling was my favorite. Italy is not typically associated with quality Pinot Noir (Nero), but this elegant wine is crisp, flavorful and had very alluring aromatics immediately upon opening. No further cellaring required. I would pair this wine with a mezze course of grilled bread, Mediterranean dips and roasted/grilled vegetables.
2017 Hajdu Rosé, California
Rosé is generally simple and easy to drink. This edition is that, plus adding layers of complexity that become evident as the wine warms in the glass (as it will, while entertaining outdoors). A lighter color rose composed of a melange of uncommon varietals, wrapped up in ever striking packaging, which is typical of the brand. Pair this lovely wine with a cool leafy salad with grilled salmon, and save the empty bottle for the centerpiece of your next event, ideally with a sunflower.
2015 Flechas de los Andes Malbec, Argentina
While of French origin, this varietal has become almost entirely associated with Argentina. The high altitude vineyards with unique soil turned out to be a perfect match for this grape, as evidenced by this always enjoyable release from Flechas. Bright and burly fruit flavors are certainly a crowd pleaser, but the wine has the tannins and acidity to match nicely with grilled classics such as steak and ribs.
2016 Les Marronniers Chablis, France
Not to let the article pass without a French wine, this is a tremendous value that can be enjoyed yearround. Chablis is the region where the wine comes from, and it is composed of 100 percent Chardonnay. If you’re not a fan of the buttered popcorn California style Chardonnay, try this crisp, nimble wine that is perfectly comfortable being paired with anything on a tortilla chip, as much as it can be enjoyed on its own.