With the heat & humidity of summer engulfing us, we tend to lose our zest for big tannic and bold Cabernets or a fat glass of Zin.  Good news!  There’s a vast array or refreshing wines that go well with summer and summer food.  At a recent Wine tasting & Tapa event that I hosted, we explored some great summer-themed wine and foods that will keep you satisfied for the coming months.

1. Cava with Avocado & goat cheese mouse with jalepano jam… mmmm!  Cava is a crisp and bubbly sparkling wine from Spain; a sister to Champagne (and generally less expensive).  Spread some avocado & goat cheese on a crispy pita and a touch of jalepeno. The zesty food matches the carbonation of the Cava.

2. Sauvignon Blanc with avocado and tomato gelato topped with basil sea salt.  Chilled white and light wine like Sauv Blanc with light in flavor gelato ice cream is a perfect outdoor snack.

3. Chardonnay with Brown buttered gnocchi & light tomato chutney.  The Chardonnay we had was un-oaked and light, very similar to the Sauvignon Blanc.  I find this more desirable in the heat that your typical buttery and creamy chardonnay that has lived in oak for a while.

4. Rosato / Rosé with RIBS!  We featured a smooth and gentle Rosato with delicate floral and fruity flavors + lightly BBQ glazed ribs & yucon potato gold chips. It may be hot, but you still have an appetite!  As long as the meat is not doused in flavor, Rosato does a nice job of making this a refreshing pairing.

5. Lillet with chocolate covered strawberries & a touch of sea salt.  Lillet is a French aperitif from Podensac, France: 85% wine plus 15% fruit-infused alcohol.  Must be sipped every so gently as it is sweet and heavy.  Serve chilled, it is a great match with the touch of saltiness on the rich chocolate strawberries.

So, don’t ditch the wine just because it’s warm outside!