After our late season rains and the deep freeze in the East, most of us can’t wait to exchange our winter clothes for summer casual. The warm weather calls us to the outdoors, to lighter foods and wines, and to the barbeque.
In Livermore Valley, a variety of seasonal white wines are hitting the market. Perhaps our Valley’s most famous wine is Sauvignon Blanc. I look for a Sauvignon Blanc with crisp acidity and an abundance of flavor that will enhance summer foods like our local King Salmon and grilled asparagus. But a Livermore Sauvignon Blanc is also wonderful on its own – on a hot summer’s day few wines are as refreshing.
The more adventurous might seek out a crisp rosé. A good rosé delights the eye as well as the palate. Rosé is trendy now, so it is hard to find a Livermore winery that isn’t producing one. As with Sauvignon Blanc, I look for a rosé that has natural acidity, a salmon to light pink color, and a fruit forward nose.
Let’s not leave out red wines either. When it comes to grilled meats, few wines beat a local Zinfandel or Syrah if the alcohols aren’t too high. Although our 2014 Zinfandel sold out earlier this year we are releasing a tasty Syrah in May, and the 2015 Zinfandel is just around the corner.
Finally, don’t forget sangria, which can be a wonderful refresher and is perfect for gatherings. You can start with a standard base of wine and distilled spirits to which you can add any number of summer fruits. My favorite is a peach sangria when the local peaches begin to appear at the farmers’ market in mid-June.