There is no doubt we are in the heat of summer.
And hot humid weather calls for refreshing wines.
Gamay, the grape used to make Beaujolais, is a favorite red option for summer temperatures. It’s a light-bodied red that has aromas of summer flowers and fresh-picked berries. Beaujolais wines are ideal for your summer picnic with cured meats, cheeses and dips.
Primitivo is the genetic twin of zinfandel. It is a high-alcohol fuller-bodied wine with high acidity. This grape is an ideal partner for almost every menu item you will throw on the grill during the summer.
Rose wines are always a summer favorite. The zesty fruit forward style gives the red wine drinker a refreshing choice. Rose wines give the subtle structure of a red wine but the refreshing style of a chilled white wine.
Gewurztraminer always offers the complex rosy aromatic style ideal for a summer cool-off. Because wines made from this grape are generally low in alcohol, gewurztraminer is a good choice for summer sipping.
Picpoul is a wine lover’s dream for a summer staple. Its budget-friendly price tag and mouthwatering acidity make this wine a top white wine choice when the temperature soars.
Gruner Veltliner may be unfamiliar to many wine drinkers but it’s a delicious alternative to sauvignon blanc. It is packed with citrus, white pepper and racing acidity.
- 2016 Louis Jadot Beaujolais, France (about $15 retail)
- 2016 Antico Sigillo Primitivo di Manduria, Italy (about $14 retail)
- 2017 Los Vascos Rose, Chile (about $13 retail)
- 2016 Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer, Washington (about $13 retail)
- 2016 Picpoul de Pinet, France (about $12 retail)
- 2016 Raptor Ridge Gruner Veltliner, Oregon (about $19 retail)
As many of you know, I am a rose fanatic and I’m always eager to explore my favorite styles of wine. So when “frose,” the coolest summer cocktail, and our Southern heat came into my life at the same time, I thought what a better time to give this refreshing drink a test?
Frose (fro-ZAY) also known as frozen rose is an adult slushy that combines the cool, refreshing acidity and fruitiness of rose wine with a fresh fruit, sugar and ice.
When mixing any wine into a cocktail I always advise drawing a fine line. Don’t choose the best bottle from your cellar, but as with any recipe, the quality of the wine will contribute to the outcome of your cocktail.
This summer treat can be made ahead and frozen for up to a week. I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit.
1 (750-mL) bottle hearty, bold rose (such as pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, malbec)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
8 to 10 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup crushed ice
2 ½ ounces fresh lemon juice
Pour the rose wine into a 9-by-13-inch pan and freeze 6 to 8 hours or until almost solid. The alcohol will keep it from freezing completely.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring the sugar and ½ cup water to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Add strawberries and remove from heat. Let this mixture sit for 30 minutes to infuse syrup with strawberry flavor. Strain the mixture (do not press on solids) with a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.
Using a large fork, scrape the frozen rose into a blender. Add lemon juice, the strawberry syrup and 1 cup crushed ice. Puree until smooth. Transfer blender jar to freezer and freeze until mixture is thickened to about the consistency of a milkshake, about 30 minutes. Blend once more until slushy. Divide into glasses and serve. To add a special touch, serve in martini, hurricane or margarita glasses and dip the rim of your glass in sugar for an added sparkle.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
- 2016 Crios Malbec Rose, Argentina (about $10 retail)
- 2016 Montes Cherub Rose, Chile (about $14 retail)
- 2016 Calcu Rose, Chile (about $15 retail)
- 2016 Bodega Norton Rose, Argentina (about $13, retail)
- 2016 Concha y Toro Frontera Rose, Chile (about $10 retail)
- 2016 Hogwash Rose, California (about $18 retail)
- 2014 Elk Cove Pinot Noir Rose, Oregon (about $17 retail)
- 2016 Presqu’ile Vineyard Rose of Pinot Noir, California (about $20 retail)
- 2006 Turkey Flat Rose, Australia (about $18 retail)
Thank you Kelly Brant for the photo.