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   Share this article     Summary of Editorial column Wine Tasting 
  Editorial Issue 186, Summer 2019   
Summer, a Glass and Good WineSummer, a Glass and Good Wine  Contents 
Issue 185, June 2019 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 187, September 2019

Summer, a Glass and Good Wine


 Here we go. We are at the hottest time of the year that, at least in Italy, has been preceded by a spring at times very cold and then suddenly reached quite high temperatures. This summer – at least from the premises – is rather torrid, the heat is already quite high, making the days very sultry. We wine lovers, in any case and regardless of the season or temperature, don't let ourselves be discouraged and, certainly, we don't give up a good glass. With the heat, however, the desire of uncorking a bottle of red – especially a robust and full bodied one – is not that tempting. It must however be said, in case the right occasion should arise, we do not certainly give up to even appreciate a good red wine, despite the summer and the heat. In case we want to appreciate a bottle of wine, of course – in this season – we usually prefer wines that can be served at cool temperatures, capable of promising some relief from summer heat.


 

 The possibilities of finding the right refreshment from wine against summer heat, in fact, are many, however remembering that moderation too is the right way to appreciate wine, regardless of the season. Too obvious to suggest white and sparkling wines, whether they are produced with the classic or Charmat methods. During the summer, however, on my favorite wine list there are also rosé wines, as their quality – at last – has increased and clearly improved in the last ten years. The choice in favor of rosé wines is also dictated by another habit of my summer table, that is the frequent presence of vegetables and fish. These two dishes, in fact, pair well to rosé wines, not least with pizza, which is – in any case – a preparation that accompanies me throughout the year, not only in summer. Talking about pizza, it should be needed a much more in-depth article, as it is true art that is too often mistreated and roughly interpreted, rendered in indecorous and ignoble ways.

 Moreover, pizza is an extremely fascinating subject for me, as I like to make it and to enjoy it all year round. I admit I am quite demanding and I have hardly found pizzerias capable of fully satisfying my fussiness, both for the lack of care and quality of the dough and flour, and for the disputable condiments, too often made with materials of dubious quality, used or processed in questionable way. I am also aware of being, so to speak, unconventional when I decide to appreciate pizza. For me, the best pairing to this complex as well as tasty pearl of Italian cuisine, is wine, not least, sparkling wine. I can imagine, perhaps, the dissent of many of you who are reading these words, disagreeing with this habit of mine, preferring – maybe – the most classic and common combination with beer or others drinks. I appreciate beer – not all, to tell the truth, because even in that sense I am very demanding – but with pizza I undoubtedly prefer to pair it to wine.

 In the glasses accompanying my summer, in any case, I also pour sparkling wines, preferably classic method without forgetting about those produced with the Charmat or Martinotti method, provided they are of good quality. It is not, however, a choice dictated by the fact these wines can be served at decidedly low temperatures and therefore promising a relief from the summer heat. After all, I have always thought a vintage classic method served at a temperature lower than 10 °C means, at least for me, to destroy the beauty of its aromas as well as making it anonymous to the taste. This is particularly true, in my opinion, for rosé classic method sparkling wines – my great passion – and that only a few, if not very few, are capable of satisfying my fussiness. Let me be clear on this, I have no prejudice against rosé wine in general, on the contrary, for what concerns me, it is a wine I really appreciate. I must however say a rosé wine, sparkling or not, must convince me from the beginning and from the color which should be a gentle female pink, therefore I don't appreciate very much those that excessively tend to red tones. A rosé must be a rosé, therefore not a wine dressed in red.

 Red wines. Yes, red wines. Up to this point it would seem in summer I tend not to favor this style of wine. If it is true we tend more to associate red wines to the colder seasons, indeed in this category we can find a rich selection capable of being enjoyed with pleasure in hot summer days. In particular, those wines which are not excessively astringent and can be served at cooler temperatures, possibly vinified in steel tabks. The choice, in this sense, is decidedly vast and such to satisfy my summer desire for red wine, especially at the table, even with the rich fish cuisine, from grilled and roasted ones, to tasty soups. I must admit that, in summer, the red wine I drink the most is dry Lambrusco. Not only for the fact it can be served at a decidedly summer temperature and for the modest alcohol volume, but also for its joyful expression of bubbles that smell of red and black fruits. If I have to choose a red wine for the summer, my choice often goes in favor of dry Lambrusco, provided I am successful in finding one of good quality, a task not always simple to achieve.

 Another wine I appreciate on hot summer days is Moscato d'Asti, including the sparkling style, or Brachetto d'Acqui, because of its low alcohol content and the fact it can be appreciated at low temperatures while however expressing the richness of its aromas. What about fortified wines? I like drinking them too in summer, in particular Dry Jerez Fino and Marsala Vergine. In both cases, I find them also suitable for light, tasty yet joyous meals, in the style suggested by the richness of the Spanish tapas. In any case – besides these two fortified wines – in the summer I tend to prefer wines with a lower alcohol content, however, should the opportunity arise, I do not renounce a glass of Sagrantino or Barolo. They are clearly not the wines I think the most in summer, but I certainly don't exclude them. By considering in summer the intake of alcohol does not exactly help to fight the torrid temperatures, the rule – which should always be followed – a little but of good quality, is more easily respected. Good summer to all our readers, with a fine glass in order to make the summer heat more bearable and joyful. Finally – hoping to find you all here in September – like I am always used to end the episodes of our podcast, my wish to you all to have “a good wine, in moderation, provided it is always a quality wine”. Enjoy your summer!

Antonello Biancalana



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