By Michel Phaneuf, wine writer
Store away your bold wines rich in alcohol; lightness is the new summer trend.
As noble as it is, wine is first and foremost a beverage. Born in the periphery of the Mediterranean Basin where the sun shines 2,500 hours a year, wine was created to meet the primal needs of a population suffering from the heat. Since antiquity and until very recently, wine was found at the table of the peasant, who would keep it fresh – at the bottom of a well, for example – so as to accompany food with a refreshing beverage. Wine had to be cold, but also light in alcohol, so that the worker could get back to work rested and without having to suffer from its negative effects.
This summer, store away your bottles of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Shiraz de Barossa, and Paso Robles. The
summer is a time to eat and drink more lightly. Rediscover the fruity charm of a Beaujolais, a Dolcetto, a Tasmanian Pinot noir, or a Riesling Kabinett. Enjoy the acidity of a Sancerre or a Chenin blanc from South Africa, and the salivating salinity of a nice Muscadet or a flavourful Alvarinho… There are as many options as there are occasions. On a terrace, as an aperitif, or at the restaurant, get a taste of the summer under the theme of lightness!
Domaine Thymiopoulos, Naoussa, Jeunes Vignes 2011 (11607617)
Third success in a row for this cuvée made from young Xinomavro vines, an indigenous grape variety from
Macedonia, closely related to Piedmont’s Barbera. Full of black cherry flavours and vibrant from a sweet acidity, the wine has just enough structure to have both a satiating and thirst-quenching sensation that lingers in the mouth. Great “drinkability” and lots of pleasure for the price. No wonder Apostolos Thymiopoulos is one of the most promising young winemakers in Greece.
Selbach-Oster, Riesling Kabinett 2010, Mosel (10750841)
The Selbach family manages one of the most respected winemaking companies in Germany. In a style that is
very typical of Moselle, straightforward and without frills, this very tasty Kabinett stands out with its discrete notes of fir branches, giving it an original strong touch. 8.5 % of alcohol, fine sweetness, and a clear acidity that balances it all. What a nice breath of fresh air!