The warm weather is almost here! Below are a number of vibrant and refreshing wines to enjoy throughout the spring and summer months. Whites like the chardonnay and albarino featured are ideal for warm weather, but don’t hesitate to enjoy any one of the following reds. Fresh, fruit driven, and lighter bodied, all the following reds can also be enjoyed with a slight chill.  

Affordable Warm Weather Sippers

 

Ninety Plus Cellars Malbec Lot 23 Old Vine

The proprietors of Ninety + Cellars make it their mission to source fine surplus juice for bottling. Not an easy task. But over the years Ninety + Cellars established enduring relationships with benchmark estates, and today are reaping the benefits and passing the savings onto their customers. This malbec illustrates the point: a vibrantly flavored red overflowing with cherries, plums, and spice, at a price within the reach of any wallet. Stunning value, to enjoy with bbq, grilled meat, or on its own.  

Leese Fitch Cabernet Sauvignon

Yes, you can find tasty California cab at a sharp price. The key is to search beyond the Napa Valley, which is only a sliver of land when compared to the enormity that is California. Just south and east of San Fran are a number of areas yielding flavorsome juice - which you’ll find in LF’s tasty cab. Blackberries, savory herbs, chocolate hints - it’s all in there. Perfect with grilled steaks or burgers.  

Castle Rock Pinot Noir Mendocino County

A perennial favorite with both customers and staff! Somehow Castle Rock finds good juice to bottle and retail at an oh-so-friendly price. This is textbook cool-climate pinot - not easy to do, and rarely found at this price point. Cola and tea hints with silky Bing and black cherry fruit. This fresh and light red will pair well with a large range of foods.  

Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz

On any given vintage, Southern Australia and its sunny, rain-free vineyards yield ripe and flavorful wines with a consistency and an ease matched by few others. The Koonunga Hill Shiraz is a benchmark example of a Southern Aussie red: a full-throttle, no-holds-barred red that leaves no room for subtlety! Definitely pairs with grilled or smoked meat - it was made for it. But as ripe and as flavorful as it is, it will also shine on its own.  

Hahn Chardonnay

The fruit for Hahn’s chardonnay is sourced from cooler sites closer to the ocean and matured at least partially in neutral oak, making this vibrant chardonnay an ideal candidate for a summer sipper. Flinty mineral, toffee and vanilla on the nose, followed by flavors of baked apple and pear with a lifting touch of citrus on the finish. Enjoy with grilled chicken, fish, or grilled vegetables.  

Marietta Old Vine Red

No varietal says American as apple pie better than zinfandel, making it the ideal wine pairing for bbq. The Marietta is a telling example. It overwhelms with ripe blackberries and cherries with a hint of mint and chocolate in the finish. Definitely can be enjoyed on its own, but as rich and potent as it is we strongly suggest serving this with food!  

Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos

Super-ripe, savory, and sumptuous - grenache has something for everyone! There’s no better intro to this varietal than Borsao’s Tres Picos. One of the world’s best wine deals, the Tres Picos overflows with red fruit, baking spices, and aromatic herbs. This high-octane red will satisfy both the pleasure seeker and the connoisseur.  

La Cana Albarino

Spain is rightly famous for their value reds. But don’t forget - Spain also produces a number of stunning whites at friendly prices! The cool, sunny hillside vineyards and mineral-rich soils of the northwest of Spain yield whites whose flavors of apricots, flowers, and lime can rival anything from California or from France - but at a fraction of the cost. Its punchy flavors and full body will match anything you might grill in this spring or summer.  

Vietti Dolcetto d'Alba

Little sweet one is what dolcetto means in Italian, and Vietti’s take on this varietal is faithful to its name. Fresh red cherries and wild blueberries on the palate, with a chocolate hint framing the fruit. And like all the summer reds above, only the faintest hints of tannins emerge. A soft, juicy red from one of Italy’s greatest wine estates, enjoy this with grilled chicken, even tuna or salmon.   Check out the Wine Hotline for updates on new wines, tastings, sales and more!