Summer is upon us and the only bearable way to spend your weekends outside of the air conditioning is to either be by the beach or pool. But which wines pair best with sun, sand and salt water? We asked our expert team of sommeliers for their advice on the best bottles for an alfresco day in the heat.
Arnaud Bardary, BELON
When I think about summer, I think about being in Europe along the Mediterranean, when the biggest decision I would make that day was – white or rosé? If you ask me today, my answer is white, specifically an autochthone Greek white grape variety (and probably the most famous) from the Aegean Islands of Assyrtiko. One winery, in particular, Artemis Karamolegos, excels in this category with their newly rebranded Santorini Assyrtiko ’34’ 2017. Its nose highlights peach and pear flavours, hints of tea leaves and chamomile, and an intense stony minerality with salty, flinty notes.
When the sun goes down, I would stick with the same winery and open a bottle of their Pyritis, the best I wine I have ever tried from Santorini.
Johann Kwan, Carbone
When you picture the perfect beach wine, you might think of champagne or a crisp white. While those are not bad choices, I would like to challenge the obvious with this suggestion: Super-chilled ‘red’ sparkling wine by Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvetro of Emilia-Romagna, Italy. This wine is a juicy fruit bomb of raspberry and red cherry with a slight sweetness that goes well with the feeling of warm sun and refreshing water on the skin. Plus, sparkling red looks so much prettier than regular bubbles. I challenge you not to love it.
Michael Tully, Buenos Aires Polo Club
When relaxing in the sun, I always go for something light and refreshing, like a bottle of Moscato d’Asti from Piedmont in Northern Italy. It is a slightly sparkling and sweet wine made from the Moscato grape. The light effervescence of the wine along with its subtle sweetness makes it a real thirst quencher when chilled. It has notes of tropical fruit like lychee, mango and ripe apricot that bring out the summer vibes. My recommendation would be Michele Chiarlo ‘Nivole’, Moscato d’Asti. ‘Nivole’ means ‘clouds’ in the Piemontese dialect, which makes sense because one glass in and you will feel like you are on one.
Kevin Lu, Buenos Aires Polo Club
When it is hot you need something refreshing that will both cool you down and bring your energy levels up. Franciacorta by Ca del Bosco is a great choice. It is made with the exact same method as champagne which means they share many similar qualities, but the results are different in style: finessed bubbles and bright acidity with a minerality that feels very drinkable. It is a lovely conversation starter too.
Antonin Dubuis, New Punjab Club
For me, a day at the beach represents an easy-going, lazy day. If I am with friends who are not very interested in wine, I’ll pick something similar to an everyday Pinot Grigio, since that is always a crowd-pleaser. My choice would be a beautiful dry Riesling, both the Schloss Johannisberg, Gelblack, Riesling Trocken 2017 from Germany and the Pegasus Bay, Bel Canto Riesling 2014 from New Zealand. Why both? Because the different styles of the two will keep the conversation rolling as easily as the waves to the shore.