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Wines to Drink This Summer

Summer wine questions answered by sommelier & marketing specialist with Stew Leonard’s Wines, Blake Leonard

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Are oaky chards too heavy for summertime- if not, what would you recommend?
Absolutely not! Chardonnays that have oak influence and are not too overpowering are great summer time wines especially with grilled seafood. I would recommend Hayes Ranch Chardonnay. It's made by the Wente Family, a 6th generation winemaking family from California. When it comes to Chardonnay, they know what they're doing.
What is a good red wine to pair with summer BBQ like ribs or pork?
If your BBQ ribs have a little kick to them, pair them with full bodied reds with well-integrated tannins and spice like Zinfandel or Syrah. I recommend Parnell Napa Valley Red ($13.99), Jeantet Côtes du Rhône ($7.99), and Smith & Son Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.99).
What is a good wine to pair with grilled seafood?
You want a wine that is going to complement and enhance the fish without overpowering it. Citrusy Sauvignon Blancs, Rosés, and Chardonnays are great options. I love cooking grilled shrimp with red pepper flakes so a Riesling with a little residual sugar is my go to. If didn't put any red pepper flakes in, then I would probably go for a crisp white like Chateau Magence, a white Bordeaux ($9.99).
What is the best kind of red wine to use in Sangria?
When you are adding sugar and all that fruit to a red wine, you don't need anything fancy. I would suggest any California red that is under $10.
Are there any summery dessert wines that you would recommend?
When having dessert wines with something sweet, you actually want the wine to be sweeter than the dessert. I tend to like fruitier dessert wines like Moscati D’Asti ($13.99) which is a sweet and delicately fruity wine from the Asti area in North-west Italy.

All wines are available for purchase at Stew Leonard’s Wines in Norwalk

Stew Leonard's Wines
55 Westport Ave, Norwalk; (203) 750-6162