Strawberries, cherries, an angel’s kiss in spring,
My summer wine is made of all these things.
Nancy Sinatra put it best all those decades ago: summer wine is much more than a seasonal fancy. In fact, summer and wine are a vintage pairing and there are many argentine wines for the summer.
Now that the hot weather is back, it’s the perfect moment to reaffirm that relationship, an opportunity that many have been waiting for eagerly as one of the highlights of the year.
Finally, we’re able once again to enjoy the fresh air with our friends, spend afternoons in the park, hold barbecues on the patio and enjoy a lovely, refreshing wine on the beach as we watch the sunset. As the days get longer, we look forward to enjoying never-ending evenings with our thirst for discovery and adventure renewed.
For each of the plans you’re making for summer, it might be a good idea think about your wine choices too so you’ll select just the right thing to open under blue skies. Be it surrounded by meadows or just on your balcony, there are plenty of wines from Argentina that are perfect for such occasions.
But which to choose? Well, put on some summery music, and below we’ll offer three excellent and refreshing options that reflect the best of Argentine wines for the summer:
Argentine wines for the summer: how to get the best
One thing that we should always bear in mind is that a wine served at the right temperature can be drunk at any time of the year.
Of course one should also take into account what they’re serving with it, and the options tend to narrow down in summer. So, when the menu is light and simple, perfect for a hot summer’s day, it’s very important to make sure that the bottles are chilled, whether they contain white, sparkling or rosé. Reds should also be kept cool until they’re opened.
While the first three; the wines one always drinks cold, should be kept at a temperature of between 9 and 13°C, it’s not a bad idea to keep reds at between 12 and 14 and return them to the fridge or cooler once the glasses have been poured. If you follow that simple advice, you’ll find it’s always wine ‘o’ clock.
Argentina is enchanting palates across the world with its wines from the Andes and while reds from the region tend to be the first to come to mind, there’s also a wide range of whites made from traditional and more exotic varieties that are casting their wineries in a new and fascinating light.
Among the classic wines of Argentina that are also perfect for a sunny day, you’ll find Torrontés, a native variety that is both extremely refreshing and very expressive with its floral, citrussy aromas. Its volume makes it an excellent choice as an aperitif or to accompany cheeses and grilled vegetables.
The most famous come from the Calchaquí Valley, a high altitude area where vines are grown at heights of between 1700 and 3500 meters (5600 to 11400 feet) above sea level. Essential labels include Piattelli, Amauta from El Porvenir de los Andes, Yacochuya and Finca Quara.
Among those made in Mendoza are the Sauvignon Blancs from regions such as the Uco Valley, joining in the global enthusiasm for a variety that offers good fruit and citrus flavors along with a lively mouthfeel. This is certainly true of those made by Salentein Reserve, Domaine Bousquet, Tomero from Bodega Vistalba and the exotic Eggo, which is made in concrete eggs by Zorzal Wines.
There are also hundreds of other labels that represent varieties such as Pinot Grigio, which takes on more intensity and flavor in Argentina than in other regions, as well as varieties rarely seen in South America such as Albariño, Riesling, Verdejo and Chenin Blanc which go extremely well with sandwiches, salads and many other light summer dishes.
A summer red, why not?
The warm temperatures and heady breezes of summer often put one in an improvisational mood. The goal is to have as much fun as possible with the people we care about. And if you’re in the mood for red, what’s stopping you?
In recent years, several interesting new options have been appearing in Argentina to meet the need for summer reds. Many of them involve carbonic maceration, which ensures a fruity expression, plenty of freshness and a few tannins; the kind of wine you can shove in a cooler and drink cold. Which should you be looking out for?
Obviously, several are made from Malbec and deliver a depth of red fruit that delights the senses. This is true of Doña Silvina Fresh de Malbec, Krontiras’ biodynamic wines, Mythic Divine Creations Malbec Nouveau and Vinyes Ocults Maceración Carbónica.
Meanwhile, Tintillo from Santa Julia is a classic of the category, blending Bonarda with Malbec, while Marcelo Pelleriti has recently released Blend Tinto Fresco, which is a mixture of Malbec and Cabernet Franc made the same way.
A great option for aficionados and the curious minded are native criolla grapes, an enticing alternative to light Pinot Noirs that when drunk cold go excellently with grilled meats such as hamburgers, chicken wings and pork ribs.
Great labels to try include Petite Voyage de Mundo Reves (which is also made using carbonic maceration), Vallisto, Vía Revolucionaria and Cadus Signature from Santiago Mayorga.
Of course, in addition to all these ideas, there are also the rosés, which we reviewed quite recently, the lively world of the pet nats and the orange mountain wines, just some of the new output with which Argentine wineries are surprising and delighting curious palates at home and overseas.
Take off your silver spurs and help to pass the time,
And I’ll give you summer wine.
“Summer Wine” is the perfect Lana soundtrack to these more optimistic times, and Argentine wine is just as good an accompaniment.