5 Ways to Beat the Heat

From our Hang Time tasting on Thursday, July 14, 2016…

It’s been a hot couple of months; rainless but humid.  For sure, it affects what we wear, do, eat, and drink. We keep it light—light clothes, light activity, light food, and drink lots of water.  Summer’s fresh fruits and vegetables are appearing in family gardens, farmers markets, and CSAs.  Here are some of Red Feet’s suggestions to beat the heat and partner with light, fresh fare.

We’ll taste three whites.  Northeast Portugal produces Vinho Verde, a low-alcohol, almost-sparkling, citrusy white wine.  Vidigal Vinho Verde 2015 is a refreshingly minerally, limey example of the genre, made from three local grape varieties.  It’s a fine aperitif or partner for seafood and salad, and even better than a cold beer after hours in the garden or mowing the lawn!  Forstreiter Grüner Veltliner Kremser Kogl 2015 showcases Austria’s signature white grape.  Made by the “Pope of Grüner,” Meinhard Forstreiter, it offers gooseberry, crisp, clean green apple, and herb notes with tangy acidity.  Pair with light pasta and homemade pesto, rice salads, or lightly crusted chicken cutlets.  From New Zealand  the Glazebrook Sauvignon Blanc 2015 is loaded with tropical fruit, white peach, and lime along with light dried herb and anise notes.  This is a wake-up-your-taste-buds kind of wine to pair with veggies, herbed goat cheese, tarragon chicken, or Asian flavors.  Go for zingy!

Another category on the “beat the heat” radar is rosé, and Red Feet has many versions (including a three-liter box!).  Today we’ll sample a wine from the southern Rhône area, Château La Sable Luberon Rosé 2015.  This is a bit heartier than many Provençal rosés.  The red fruits of Grenache dominate, but hints of blood orange, minerality, fennel, and other savory notes are part of the story as well.  This is a good partner for tuna or salmon (perhaps with fruit salsa on the side), charcuterie, or quiche and brunchy items.

Our final heat-beater involves the use of soda water, ice, and a lemon or grapefruit peel.  Cocchi Rosa, an Americano (bitter fortified wine) from the Cocchi family in the Piedmont, is made primarily from the Brachetto grape.  It’s more aromatic and spicy than its white counterpart, adding rose and ginger to the traditional bitter base to produce a rounder profile.  Mix two parts Rosa and one part seltzer and pair with Parmigiano-Reggiano or other hard, salty cheeses. Sure, fans and air conditioners will help you beat the heat, but today’s approach is definitely more fun!

–M.P. Rouse

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