Wine Pairings For Seasonal Summer Foods
We’re in the height of summer which means that by now, most of summer’s seasonal bounty are at their peak. Gorgeous fruits, sensational squashes, fresh veg, seafood, and even certain meats are all at their flavourful best – all the excuse you need to get a little more cooking done. Naturally, this calls for a glass or two of wine! Generally speaking, you’ll want to keep your wines light and bright for your summer dishes. Steer towards refreshing sippers to enjoy while the sun’s blazing. Ease into the gentle warmth of the evening with something as fragrant as the blossoms whose sweet aromas are caught on the wind. You get the idea. Here are a few of our go-to wines of summer.
There’s nothing like fresh, perfectly grilled sweetcorn with a glass of Chardonnay. Opt for a style with just a touch of oak and a smidgen of butteriness. You don’t want to overpower the corn’s flavour, but that little extra richness in the wine and hint of oaky smoke will be a brilliant foil to the char on the corn.
You can cook summer squashes a thousand different ways and each will be delicious. Fried, scattered over a pizza, roasted and mixed into a cold pasta salad…truly the options are endless. The general rule of thumb is to stick with white wines like an unoaked Chardonnay or Marsanne-Roussanne blend, but if you grill your summer squash, definitely think pink. Grilled and roasted veggies are gorgeous with a dry rosé. Tomatoes are especially tasty at the moment and are also lovely with a high acid, slightly herbal, savoury rosé, like those found in Provence.
Staying onboard the rosé train, Cabernet Franc rosé is made for stuffed bell peppers. Whether stuffed with cheese, meat, rice, or a combination of ingredients, the bell pepper note inherent to Cab Franc is perfect for all things pepper.
Stone fruits like peach and nectarine practically glow with ripeness, juicy and ready to eat. Put into a tasty tart and you have the ideal summer dessert. A late harvest Riesling or Chenin Blanc with peachy overtones will complement each bite. For those freshly picked berries put into a pie, a sweet sparkling ice wine rosé will blow your mind.
For sides like mac ‘n cheese, potato salad, or baked beans, explore the dry side of Riesling. This wine’s naturally high acidity will cut through the richness of any of these dishes while resetting your palate in between bites.
From ceviche to crab cakes, sweet shrimp and scallops, we all love a good helping of seafood. Go for ultra minerally wines full of feisty citrus flavours. Sauvignon Blanc is phenomenal with fish tacos generously dosed with lime or lemon. Crafting a crab salad? You’ll want to pick up a bottle of vibrant sparkling wine. Shellfish and bubbly are just about as classic a pairing you can get.
The seasonal fruits de mer to enjoy right now include albacore tuna, sea bass, and salmon. Both tuna and salmon are meatier, you don’t need to stick with the white wine with fish rule (after all, rules are meant to be broken). A light-bodied red is a good choice. Our pick is an elegant Pinot Noir, but a fruity Grenache or Gamay would be equally divine. Just watch your tannin levels.
While these days we can get pretty much anything our hearts desire year-round, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take full advantage of summer fare while they are at their peak delectability.
If you’re hitting the grill this summer, why not check out our favourite wines for barbecues?