Despite the rain outside, our wine tasting on Friday made it feel like summer inside Hatch’s as we sought to find unique and refreshing wines perfect for sipping under the summer sun. This week’s wine tasting featured red, white, and pink wines from well-known wine regions like Provence, France to under the radar vineyards in Austria and Portugal. With a range of varietals, styles, and regions, our tasting has only just begun our efforts at the store to show you new ways to spice up those “summer nights!”
To start, we cracked open the Calamares Vinho Verde. At only $8.99, this white wine from Portugal is the perfect companion for the beach. Incredibly light, refreshing, and with a little spritz, this wine is also lower in alcohol content, making it a delicious and pragmatic choice for sipping under the hot sun. Another easy drinking and refreshing wine choice for the beach would be a rose spritzer made with our new Sables d’Azur. This rose wine comes from the famous Côtes de Provence region in the south of France. Our store capitalized on an outstanding deal to purchase overproduction from last year. What does this mean? You get all the flavor of the Provence rose region without the hefty price tag. This rose wine goes great in spritzer with muddled strawberries and a splash of soda, or is also terrific by itself. On a 2 for $15 deal, this is definitely a great wine to buy in bulk for a cocktail party where you will impress your guests while also staying under budget! Just a heads up: we only have 12 cases left in stock, and this rose is flying off the shelf, so come down and grab your bottles now.
Another hit at the tasting was the Grooner, a Grüner Veltliner wine. This Austrian white wine has started to make its way onto wine lists across the island, and for good reason. With a tart yet crisp finish, it is a fantastic summer wine that is incredibly versatile and pairs really well with a range of food, from Thai food to lobster to white fish or chicken on the grill.
To continue our quest for unique and refreshing summer wines, we decided to taste red wines, with a twist. When chilled, a range of light bodied red wines make for an invigorating afternoon cocktail. For red wine lovers, it means trying something new (chilling your bottle of red) and in the end, finding an alternative way to enjoy the bright, bold fruit of a red wine. Light and simple red wines really come alive when chilled, ultimately offering a completely different wine drinking experience that has shown us how red wine can keep you warm on a cold winter night, or keep you revitalized on a hot summer afternoon. The key is to find the right style and varietal of wine. We chose light red wines where the fruit really came forward at cellar temperature, and found that the fruit really popped when chilled. We started our journey into the new territory of chilled reds with the Louis Jadot Beaujolais. Made from a Gamay grape, this wine fit the bill perfectly as it proved cool and thirst-quenching.
Another wine that fit well into the “chilled red” category was the Zenato Valpolicella. Wines from the Valpolicella region in Italy can range from light and “nouveau” to the hearty and big Amarone. Made from the region’s most distinguished grape, Corvina, the Valpolicella wines are released soon after production and do not see the longer process of storage and refinement that Amarones undergo. Ultimately this means the grapes are light and ready to drink now. These chilled reds are perfect for cocktail hour and do not need food with them. However, with the Valpolicella, as with almost any Italian red, mozzarella on top of our basil tomato crackers proved to be a perfect complement.
Overturning assumptions and expectations proved to be our common “aha wine moment” during this tasting. Chilled red wines tend to make us think of sweet, sugary wines—a “hangover in a bottle.” But, as we tasted through French and Italian takes on cool red wines, we found that red wine too can provide some cool rejuvenation for those hot summer nights. Join us next week as we tackle our next summer project: finding the perfect rose wine for that picnic in the park or on the boat!