3 Breakthru Wine Experts Share Their Must-Sip Wines for the Summer

Apr. 16, 2019

Summer wine styles header


For the last few months, wine drinkers have been cozying up to rich reds to keep warm over winter. But now, the temperatures are beginning to climb, and those same wine consumers will soon be switching to varietals that pair perfectly with the sunny season.  

We asked three of our wine experts what consumers should be sipping on this summer.

Sam Heider, Breakthru CO Fine Wine Development Manager

With the warm summer months coming, high-acid, fresh-fruited, and crisp wines will be the go-to for consumers, including: 

  • Italian vermentino
  • French chablis
  • Spanish albariño
  • Austrian grüner veltliner
  • Provencal rosé
  • Domestic rosé
  • Coastal pinot noir
  • Italian valpolicella with a slight chill

And, I wouldn’t be a true sommelier if I didn’t mention sparkling wine and Champagne. There’s nothing like a patio, bubbles and fresh oysters to brighten up anyone’s day. 

Christopher Rowell, Breakthru IL Wine Educator

My recommendations for summer wines are selections that are fruit forward, with modest alcohol, crisp acidity, and without excessive tannins for the reds.

Why not try some Mediterranean whites for a new perspective? You could start with Sicilian white wines like grillo and inzolia or Mount Etna’s carricante. Alternatively, the Campagna region outside of Naples produces outstanding options like greco di tufo, fiano di avellina or falanghina.

As you progress north to the French Riviera, the classic Côtes de Provence rosé demonstrates the classic benchmark style which is perfect for summer enjoyment. While most rosé options are safe, avoid the sweet blush wines, like white zinfandel, as their residual sugar could be too cloying in extreme weather.  

For reds, some low tannin options I like are a French beaujolais villages or northern Italian reds like valpolicella or bardolino, served with a slight chill. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, a dry lambrusco from a reputable producer tops my summer list. 

Tracy Sturm, Breakthru WI Fine Wine Specialist

I love a good dry white in the summer, like a French chenin blanc. It’s refreshing, easy to drink, aromatic with bright acidity. I always keep this stocked in my fridge! 

A great summer red on a hot day is a French beaujolais. I like it barely chilled and it’s great with simple summer fare, such as a charcuterie board with a variety of cheese, salmon pâté, or prosciutto. It’s also perfect for hamburgers on the grill.

Of course, I love a sparkling rosé. California, French or Spanish rosés are great any time of the day or night.



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